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View Diary: Pres. Obama's Big Oil host has history of war profiteering, discrimination (Updated/Action) (284 comments)

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  •  With or without pipelines, the price is not (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billlaurelMD, Chi, FG


    Heck, where I live the price of gas has risen $0.50 a gallon just since the holidays (e.g, in less than 8 weeks).

    That's $22/bbl - or the cost differential of moving oil/gasoline ANYWHERES on the North American continent by rail vs. pipeline.  I'm not sure where those $$s are going, but by googling, they very well could be going for just that purpose.

    For example, as I posted yesterday Southern Pacific is transporting Tar Sands oil to LA refineries by rail (and barge & truck, a bit).

    there was a diary here just a few weeks ago about moving Bakken oil to Albany NY by rail (and if that can be done, so can Tar Sands oil be moved that way).

    And just today, something new to me - sending this shit to Delaware by rail:

    PBF Energy Inc has completed the second crude oil unloading facility at its subsidiary’s Delaware City Refinery. The construction of the 70,000 barrel per day (bpd) rail facility was announced in mid-2012 and was completed on schedule and on budget.  

    Eighteen unit trains of Bakken crude oil were expected to arrive at the facility during its first two weeks in operation. With the completion of this project, the Delaware City rail facilities are now capable of discharging 110,000 bpd of crude oil directly at the refinery--40,000 bpd of heavy crude oil and 70,000 bpd of light crude oil.  


    Seriously, just pay attention and you'll quickly see that the pipeline hysteria is completely irrelevant.  While no one was paying attention, it turns out that pipelines no longer matter.

    •  Technically speaking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, corvo

      Those prices are rising without a pipeline.  And pointing out that they do move oil by train avoids the issue.  I know that happens.  There is a reason they want this pipeline and it isn't because it's more expensive than other methods.  Rising prices lowers demand, and the more extraction we prevent the higher the prices.

      And I'll ask again: If this pipeline is so irrelevant then why do they want to build it?  Why is the president willing to push it through despite massive opposition from the base if it doesn't matter?

      •  The question is whether you'd rather (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Kresnik

        make $18 billion or $28 billion.

        Clearly, you'd prefer $28 billion.

        BUT, you're not going to shut down the entire operation and go home in a snit if you can "only" make $18 billion . .. .

        •  err, those are annual profit projections (0+ / 0-)

          based on moving tar sands oil by pipeline ($28 billion) vs. rail ($18 billion)

          Of course with peak oil, if global supply issues dramatically increase the price of crude oil these numbers will shift to something like  $128 billion vs. $118 billion.  IOW, either way immense profits will be made and tarsands exploitation will continue unabated.


          •  I'm extremely skeptical (3+ / 0-)
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            corvo, joanneleon, Pescadero Bill

            about the claim that this simply won't affect prices but will affect profit.  Have companies managed to completely uncouple the two?  If not then it would have to have some effect.

            More than that, after we defeat this pipeline, which we will do, then we can move on to other methods of transportation.

            I'd only add that if you see other fights as more important then it would be great if you could focus on those and point them out instead of just generally saying that there are more important fight.  This is the fight we have right now.  We aren't getting anything through congress and the pres seems to be doing as much as he can on the demand side, so unless you have suggestions for other action then it doesn't help to just tell people not to take action at all.

            Winning this is the first step.

            •  It won't affect prices (0+ / 0-)

              Tar sands output is 2 or 3% of global production.

              the volume simply is immaterial to affect global prices (and only has an effect "locally" - e.g., in the upper midwest where the product is currently stranded).

              That's what is leading to the efforts (and not only efforts, the reality) to transport crude oil by rail to Albany, NY, Delaware, and Louisiana as I have mentioned in other posts.

              If a lack of pipeline capacity really could constrain production, the Bakken oil fields would never have been developed.  That ought to immediately put the lie an any claims that blocking pipeline construction will inhibit tarsands production.

              •  You keep conflating constraining production (0+ / 0-)

                with stopping construction, they're two different things.  Increasing the amount of oil that can be transported will increase oil output, it's as simple as that.  Why do you think that once the pipeline is built they won't be using trucks and rail as well?

                And again, what action do we take?  You keep saying there are better places to take action but can't name any of them.

                •  I've named them repeatedly (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  but no one gives a fuck, so why should I keep repeating myself?

                  The irony is that many, many frontpage diaries here at DailyKos ridicule the Republicans for not being reality based while celebrating a completely non-reality based idea that blocking Keystone will have an effect on TarSands production.

                  It'd almost be embarrassing if anyone around these parts cared to engage in any serious analyses of the issue.

                  But, clearly they don't.  Whatever,  as long as they enjoy entertaining themselves, all is well and good I suppose.

                  •  I haven't seen you name any of them (1+ / 0-)
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                    You could at least point to a comment where you've done so.  And I'd add that this doesn't have to be the only thing we focus on.  And there are in fact people focusing on more than just this.  KXL is the primary national issue right now, there are plenty of fights at the state level that are ongoing.

                    •  A problem is when this backfires (0+ / 0-)
                      KXL is the primary national issue right now,
                      perhaps gently, perhaps spectacularly, how often can one go to the well and rile up the base?  

                      you know, the "boy who cried wolf" story comes to mind . .

                      As does PETA's debacle wrt horse slaughterhouses.

                      In any event, the only thing that is guaranteed to reduce demand is a carbon tax with teeth  - my recommendation is an escalating (i.e., cumulative) $0.25 per gallon (or gallon equivalent for coal or NG) a year.

                      That would not immediately stymie the economy considering that larger fluctuations occur naturally - i.e., time would be built in to adjust/adopt new technologies.

                      but over time - e.g., $2.50  / gal in a decade or $5 /gal in 20 years - the continued use of carbon based fuels could simply not compete with cheaper alternatives and would be discontinued.

                      •  So your alternative is something (0+ / 0-)

                        That at very best won't happen until 2016. So what you're really advising is inaction at the national level. We can't tell people that the fight against climate change is the most important issue in our time, and it really is, and then tell them that they should just change their lightbulbs and hope that congress eventually get around to acting on it. That guarantees failure and failure is unacceptable on this issue. Even if you're right and KXL doesn't matter at all to carbon emissions it still matters as a victory to the movement and winning is vital for that reason alone. We need to win this for morale reasons if nothing else.

                        •  It's a Pyrrhic victory at best (1+ / 0-)
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                          or more likely, an absolute debacle.  Seriously, a decade from now when 4,000,000 bbls/day of crude oil is being moved about North America by rail with the huge increase in pollution, energy, spills, etc that that entails, environmentalists may very well be begging for pipelines  to ameliorate the situation, just like PETA is now in favor of reopening horse slaughterhouses that they lobbied to close.

                          The whole situation is also somewhat similar (but not nearly as significant) as when environmentalists shut down nuclear power construction a generation ago - which is the one thing that could have made a difference wrt global climate change.

                          But everyone puts on their blinders and narrowly decides what's best for them (for Keystone protesters, their own egos, it seems, based on what you just said).  That's just human nature I guess.

                          •  So (0+ / 0-)

                            You don't have any effective actions to suggest. Good to know. And if you think a symbolic victory is Pyrrhic then you don't understand how organizing works.

                          •  My "effective action" is to (0+ / 0-)

                            first of all - NOT MAKE THINGS WORSE

                            second, lobby for effective policies (e.g., a carbon tax) at the governmental level - or even smaller token efforts like tax credits for electric cars - that's not much but if you want a symbolic victory, it's * something * !

                            And finally, do what I can at the local level (e.g., not drive at SUV myself, look mournfully and shamefully at my neighbors when * they * drive by in their SUV, and that type of thing).

                          •  What action are you suggesting? (0+ / 0-)

                            Because I don't see any action suggestions, just stuff that politicians should do.  There needs to be action on this and telling people to wait for politicians on the national level to act will be the death of us.

                            And finally, do what I can at the local level (e.g., not drive at SUV myself, look mournfully and shamefully at my neighbors when * they * drive by in their SUV, and that type of thing).
                            I assume for now that everyone taking part in the conversation is doing something local as well, but we can't let localism lead to inaction at the national level.  If you're going to tell people to stop working on KXL, and again I think your claims about it being worse for it not to happen are nonsense, then you need something else for people to work on.  You keep failing to address that point and pretend like we can just tell people to hang out and "support" the movement by making mostly useless gestures.  There is a critical mass of people who are behind this and KXL is just the beginning.  There are going to be nay-sayers for every action, claiming it won't help or we won't be able to win.  This is just part of the fight.
                      •  This action is a precursor to that (0+ / 0-)

                        We need to have some public markers laid down that action is required.   Without showing of muscle, that tax never happens.  It would help if could take out earth burner politicians too

                        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                        by Mindful Nature on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:40:40 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Roadbed guy has emphasized (0+ / 0-)

                      Efforts at curbing demand as targets.  I don't think they're as good from a political campaign standpoint, but he has put them forward

                      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                      by Mindful Nature on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:05:42 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Just because people disagree with your (0+ / 0-)

                    Analysis doesn't mean they haven't taken a serious look

                    First, pipeline transport is cheaper.  Second the oil will fetch higher prices once complete.  These two factors mean the oil sands will be more profitable.  This means that it will take a bigger price drop or cost increase to render them not profitable.  It also creates incentives to increase production.   This is not an all or nothing proposition.  It won't stop production, but it will slow it based on simple economics.   Also if the tar sands are harassed into increased production costs, then it will take a smaller carbon tax to kill it.  People have made this point repeatedly. I think it is a solid analysis

                    Also, the fight is a useful political marker since is successful it will place the President in the position of making dealing with climate change legally part of the national intrerest, not as mere words, but as actual action.   In fact the fact that the impact on oil companies might be minor makes it a great political target, since it would generate good political rhetoric without nece scarily a lot of cost, so it is a more likely battle to actually win.

                    So, there are a ton of serious reality based analyses that suggest this is a good target.  Just because it doesn't line up with your particular analysis doesn't make them unserious

                    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                    by Mindful Nature on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:04:36 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Even more aggressive development of renewables, (0+ / 0-)

              but that doesn't fit nicely into that false dichotomy you got going there.

              The whole decade needs an asterisk.

              by James Kresnik on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:40:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I did not say anything about a false dichotomy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                And if you want to point out how it's possibly to get more development for renewables past congress then be my guest, but it ain't gonna happen right now, which you'd note if you were paying attention.

                And I've been saying again and again that I'm for reducing demand, the fact of the matter is that people who claim that's the only path forward refuse to call for any actions that would significantly reduce demand that are also possible to implement.

                Quit pretending I said something I didn't.

    •  the price in the midwest will rise (5+ / 0-)

      if the pipeline goes through, i read an estimate of .15/gal.

      the crude from canada is currently priced at about $33/bbl less than heavy crude from venezuela,  though once the pipeline goes through, it is not knowable what it will be priced.  the point of the pipeline however is to get the product to a point where it can be refined and then shipped to where the demand and higher prices exist - outside of the us.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:23:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, and there was a recent anti-Keystone (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        diary here at DailyKos based on the idea that it was good to flood the upper midwest with tarsands oil to provide cheap energy in hopes that job creation would follow.

        More likely is craziness like this:

        shipping by rail can cost nearly four times as much as shipping by pipeline. For example, it will cost Southern Pacific Resource Corp, a small Alberta producer, $31 a barrel to move its Canadian oil sands-mined heavy crude by rail to the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to company estimates. The comparative pipeline cost would be around $8 a barrel.

        but yet it is happening, already:

        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.

        Read more:

        all without the evil, evil Keystone pipeline in place, I might add (rather needlessly, except a lot of DailyKossers don't seem to be able to grasp this point)
      •  I might add, that an increase in energy (0+ / 0-)

        costs in the US heartland would probably be a good thing insofar as it would spur development of alternative energies .. . . (wind, solar, and that type of thing).

      •  You said: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy, AoT
        the point of the pipeline however is to get the product to a point where it can be refined and then shipped to where the demand and higher prices exist - outside of the us.
        Where does this idea come from that somehow what the Keystone XL Pipeline matter is "really" only about exporting refined petroleum products?

        What this is only about is 830,000 barrels/day of synthetic tar sands crude direct to the south central U.S. refinery sector.  Export of tar sands crude isn't going to the primary disposition of that synthetic crude, and the Keystone XL Pipeline is not the initiation of a giant market in international refined petroleum products that you're claiming.  Finally, it isn't possible to separate out refined petroleum products produced from synthetic crude as opposed to those same products produced from conventional crude on a status-only basis.

        If the Keystone XL pipeline is built, most of the synthetic crude oil transmitted with be refined in TX and LA petroleum refineries in the same manner as the market penetration by tar sands synthetic crude in the midwest refinery sector.

        •  why do you suppose that it is... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action, joanneleon, Agathena

          that all of the pipelines that transcanada has been trying to build seem to wind up at an ocean port?

          those refineries are not idle now.  currently they are processing heavy crude from somewhere else (venezuela is a key source of heavy crude).  demand in the us is dropping and will continue to drop.  where do you suppose that product is going to go as it just happens to be in a seaport in a country with dropping demand.  it seems pretty obvious that that additional supply is going to be going somewhere other than the us where demand is higher.

          i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

          by joe shikspack on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:29:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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