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View Diary: A 'carbon bomb' at the top of Keystone XL Pipeline (63 comments)

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  •  The tar sands (9+ / 0-)

    oil is already moving by rail, just not in the volumes that a pipeline can handle.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:25:30 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Believe it or not... (4+ / 0-)

      a pipeline into the US isn't the only way to export oil from Alberta.  Worst comes to worst, they'll build an internal pipeline to a port and export oil to China or India.

      The only way to stop the Alberta tar sands from being developed is to get Canada to outlaw it.  And that's not going to happen.

      And even if it did disappear tomorrow, similar, less efficient projects would just spring up elsewhere in the world to replace it.  People produce oil in order from simplest and cheapest to most expensive and complex.  The latter generally means "dirtier".  So you just move the world one step down the line.  And each step down the line you go, the orders of magnitude larger the reserves (for example, look at the scale of the tar sands compared to your average oil field - and the Alberta tar sands are just one of many tar sands, which are themselves outnumbered orders of magnitude by coal fields which can be converted to oil, which are themselves outnumbered orders of magnitude by shale which can be converted, and on and on).  And when you're measuring your cost of production in 10-30 a barrel for Canadian tar sands, you have a LOT of production price increase you can soak before you even begin to dent demand.  Even shale production is rapidly becoming economical.  Do you have any concept of how much shale there is on the planet?  I mean, it's just unfathomable.  Different forms of shale have different amounts of carbon, but all black-colored shale has carbon from which you can produce oil.

      There's no shortage of "carbon" on the planet, and pretty much any form of combustible carbon can be produced as oil (non-combustible carbon too, although that takes energy input).  The crust of our planet is packed with carbon, most of it combustible.  The solution to the problem has to be demand-side.  We have to undercut the demand or someone, somewhere will produce supply.  If there's a profit to be made, they'll make it.

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