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View Diary: Occupy the Tar Sands Pipeline literally (22 comments)

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  •  Are they going to protest and stop... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, condorcet

    ...the 3-4 tar sands pipelines coming into the US already?  Or is this just against the new one?

    TransCanada already has a TarSands pipeline coming into the US down through the Dakotas to refineries in IL, OK, and TX.  Stopping this one pipeline is not going to stop the refineries from using this crude derived from TarSands

    FYI...Enbridge also has one...they are the ones that had the spill in Michigan.

    •  Are you saying this action is stupid (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, Horace Boothroyd III

      or that there should be more actions?

      I'd agree with the latter myself.

      •  IMHO... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        condorcet

        I think the focus is in the wrong place. To me, this pipeline is a distraction to energy issues as a whole. Protesting this pipeline, or any other pipeline, does not resolve the greater issue.

        I'll be honest, I do not see how this pipeline will be stopped. The Canadian government wants it, as do many within our own government.

        I believe our energy should be focused on ways to reduce the need for Tarsands, and petroleum based products in general.

        If this pipeline does not get built, adn we stop all tarsand imports into the US, this is not going to stop the extraction of the tarsands. It will instead be refined in Canada, and exported to other countries.

        The only way to reduce or stop the extraction and use of Tarsands would be to reduce or end the need for oil worldwide.

        Until that happens, Phillips 66, BP, Marathon, Exxon, Shell, and other refining companies will demand access to tarsands, and they will get it.  They have power, not just with our government, but Canada's government and many other governments worldwide.

      •  Yes, it is stupid (4+ / 0-)

        For some of the reasons mentioned above: supply-side protests rarely work. For all the media attention it gave them, Greenpeace in the past (and Paul Watson and his ego now) didn't do a damn thing to stop whaling with their inflatable boats, it was pressure on land with politicians that had real effects. Whether one agrees or not with the ban on seal products in some countries, that had more of an effect  than did all the protests on the ice trying to screw with the hunts by reducing the demand for sealskin.

        They're great for media attention, and I suppose they give a feeling of warm fuzziness to the people carrying them out, but in the end they typically don't work compared to the far less glamorous and media-less work on dealing with reducing the demand.

        I'll let you in on a secret: resource companies are not, in fact, villains from Captain Planet who do what they do for the shits and giggles, it's because there's a demand. You take away the demand so there's no profit, they don't do whatever it is you are opposed to.

        •  There's no logical connection (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          condorcet

          between virtue and demand, sorry.  There's a demand for chocolate; there's a demand for contract killers.

          Otherwise I'd say that such actions are indeed "great for media attention," which has an at least indirect effect on such matters as demand, mass action, legislation, etc.

    •  So, sort of like rape (of the earth)... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III

      it's going to happen, might as well enjoy it?

      /republicanthinking

      NOW SHOWING
      Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
      Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

      by The Dead Man on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 09:06:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The bigger point is that this will never (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        condorcet, limpidglass

        be stopped on the supply side.

        But that seems to be an easier approach than confronting demand.

        It's like 30 or 40 years of the "war on drugs" has taught us nothing!  (which of course it hasn't).

        •  stopping pipelines (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Horace Boothroyd III

          is about making it harder for supply to be exported to china, which is ultimately a strategic question of reducing their demand as well. see also: powder river basin, cherry point coal terminal.

          yes, we need to drastically reduce american demand, but not just so that the fossil fuel can be sent to china. it's a global problem and anything burned anywhere is a threat to everyone.

          •  Oil is a global commodity, it will just go (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            condorcet, Patrick is Lucky

            someplace else.

            for example, if the Canadians can't sell to China, they'll build pipelines (or re-fit existing pipelines) to central and eastern Canada to use the tar sands oil to displace oil that they currently import from the middle east.

            Canada has invested so much into the development of the tar sands that they are going forward one way or another, there is essentially zero political opposition (heck, even the NDP is on record favoring their continued development).

            The only way to thwart this is if demand for oil dropped so precipitously that it would be uneconomical to extract the tar sands oil.

            •  oil is a global commodity only if it can get (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Horace Boothroyd III, AoT

              to market. frustrating that process by opposing pipelines and export terminals to the best of our ability is one part of keeping that oil off the global market.

              obviously, getting our economy largely off of coal, oil and eventually natural gas is a critical part of crashing our carbon emissions and saving the planet from ecological and thus economic collapse. but to do so while allowing infrastructure that enables the slack we've created just to be turned around and sent to china merely displaces the problem.

              stopping coal exports is even more important, but the tar sands matter as well.

        •  a carbon tax is the only reasonable way (3+ / 0-)

          to affect demand that doesn't require governments to monitor every action undertaken by every human being on planet Earth that might possibly contribute carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

          Of course such taxes will have to be integrated into a binding international climate agreement to prevent carbon offshoring in nations with laxer enforcement standards.

          That and removing those outdated subsidies for development of fossil fuel energy. They were useful 80 years ago, not now.

          When fossil fuels are correctly priced in such a way that takes their true costs into account, then we will see a huge swing towards renewables (aided, of course, by subsidizing their development).

          Supply-side protests are useful for raising public consciousness of the problem, and then perhaps legislators will finally take notice and feel some pressure to solve the problem.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:22:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, exactly (0+ / 0-)

            and it could be phased in over time so that it is not immediately onerous, but will soon become that way if ignored.

            I suspect that an ever accumulating $0.25 a gallon per year (for gasoline - adjusted proportionately based on energy content for coal, diesel, ethanol, etc) would do the trick.

      •  Not at all... (0+ / 0-)

        Like rape, we need to find ways to prevent it from happening.

    •  tar sands are also being carried to louisiana now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patrick is Lucky

      by train.

      Southern Pacific Resources, which began trucking out initial production from its new McKay Thermal Project three weeks ago, will open a dedicated rail terminal in a few weeks just south of Fort McMurray and ship its product in leased tanker cars via CN Rail all the way to Natchez, Miss.

      From there, it's just a short barge ride down the Mississippi River to one of the eight refineries in Louisiana, where the crude will fetch $20 to $30 a barrel more than it could at the congested terminal hub in Cushing, Okla.

      While Canadian and U.S. railways are scrambling to meet demand, opening small terminals close to production in locations such as the Bakken area of southern Saskatchewan and North Dakota, the Athabasca oilsands have not been part of the rush. Until now.

      http://www.calgaryherald.com/...

      ::

      attacking supply rarely works, as we saw in prohibition, drug war, etc.

      imo, this focus on KXL is basically a waste of time and resources.  all of canada's major parties are in favor of exploiting tar sands (NDP seems to be split, though), and several countries have billions invested in canada's tar sands.  china also invested $6 billion in venezuela's tar sands last year.

      it seems much wiser to me to focus all this attention and effort on the demand side: improving energy efficiency, especially of buildings and machinery; eliminating various uses of plastic like shopping bags and unnecessary wrapping.

      stopping tar sands on the supply side would probably require various forms of sabotage, but i guess we are not supposed to advocate violence of any kind.

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