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fuel fix

Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge has found ways to circumvent the obstruction to the xl pipeline by pursuing construction of new pipelines which do not require the US governments approval.  

Enbridge reached the 100,000-barrel-a-day milestone for the oil sands crude after completing a pipeline expansion last month, Enbridge President and CEO Al Monaco said Tuesday during an interview with FuelFix.
[...]
Prior to Enbridge’s expansions and changes to its pipeline system, only small amounts of crude from Canadian oil sands made it either by rail or through small pipelines to the world-class refineries along the Gulf Coast that specialize in processing such oil, Monaco said.
Map of Tar Sands Pipelines
The Seaway pipeline, which runs from Cushing to Freeport, formerly moved oil north, but Enterprise and Enbridge spent $300 million to reverse its flow because booming production from shale and Canadian oil sands created a glut of landlocked oil in the middle of North America. The reversal also incorporated modifications that increased the Seaway’s capacity from 150,000 barrels a day to 400,000 barrels a day.

Enbridge and Enterprise also are collaborating on a new $2 billion pipeline that will run parallel to the existing Seaway line and will add another 450,000 barrels of southbound oil shipping capacity from Cushing.

We must face reality. We tend to focus on reducing the supply of dangerous fossil fuels rather than trying to reduce demand for their use. We will lose this fight if we don't consider that market forces will find a way to supply if the demand exists. We must consider both reducing supply and also reducing demand in our personal lives.

my update to comments: This post is not to discourage opposition to the xl pipeline. I was in DC protesting. This is to gain full knowledge of our enemy in this fight

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Comment Preferences

  •  They were hoping we'd let them... (23+ / 0-)

    ...do it at much lower cost to them. The alternatives simply put a crimp into their anticipated profit margins and cash flows.

    They are determined to "bring their product to the marketplace" come hell or high water.

    And we'll be getting both.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:24:01 AM PST

    •  People are willing to pay a lot for gas (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nowhere Man, Lujane

      It goes to show that as long as people are willing to pay so much gas, companies will keep finding ways to transport oil into the US and still make a profit. Focusing on making it more difficult to use individual methods of moving fossil fuels around is proving to be an indirect and inefficient way of protecting our environment. The government needs to do one or some combination of three things: reduce demand for fossil fuels through increased efficiency standards, make fossil fuels more expensive through taxation or auctioned permits (eg carbon tax or cap and trade), or create broad regulatory restrictions on the overall supply of fossil fuels. Right now, President Obama probably has the power to do the first through the EPA, if he so chooses.

  •  gas tax (14+ / 0-)

    $1.00/gallon now, incrementing $0.25/year therafter.

    Been saying that for years (well, used to say increment by $0.10/year, but we've got some catch-up to do).

    Of course supply will find a way to reach demand . . . our whole economy/infrastructure is built around and for doing just that.

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:28:38 AM PST

    •  But that would fix so much so quickly. (6+ / 0-)

      We could never do that.

      "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:51:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It wouldn't be a substantial solution (6+ / 0-)

        It's another quick fix that doesn't actually address the problem.

        Diaries like this are incredibly harmful and also wrong.  We are winning on KXL and so these companies are going to try to build other pipelines, that means we have to stop them there too, not that we give up on KXL.

        This is do nothingism at it's worst.

        We tend to focus on reducing the supply of dangerous fossil fuels rather than trying to reduce demand for their use.
        Absolute nonsense.  ALL we do is focus on demand.  That's the only thing our government does and it's the primary thing that environmental organizations have focused on.  The second we start focusing on supply then the industry talking points are pulled out about how we can never stop the oil from getting to market: well, I say bullshit.  

        At the very least we need to try, because a gas tax is never going to pass with the current congress, and at best we're looking at 2017, assuming we don't have another batch of Dems like we had in 2009.  We can do nothing to push the federal government to do more on the issue of demand.  Obama seems to be doing what he can.  What we can do is force the issue on supply, and that's the point here.  We're snatching defeat from the jaws of victory on KXL, just like the Dems do so damn often.

        •  i was in DC protesting the XL. (10+ / 0-)

          We have to understand that we must do EVERYTHING we can and that includes reduce supply AND demand.

          Macca's Meatless Monday

          by VL Baker on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:56:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, didn't mean for that to be (3+ / 0-)

            an attack on you.  I'm just frustrated at this sudden push back against stopping the pipeline and the fact that none of them seem to talk about the fact that this is the beginning of the fight.

            Stop all the pipelines!!!

            •  this isn't a pushback against stopping (7+ / 0-)

              the pipeline. It's a reality based post about our obstacles in this fight.   I understand your frustration..it's overwhelming at times.

              Macca's Meatless Monday

              by VL Baker on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:10:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I just see people pointing these same things (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ginny in CO, A Siegel

                out as an excuse to give up on stopping the pipeline all the time, and recently more and more.  It was your ending that triggered it, because it simply isn't true that we focus more on supply than demand.  What happens is the second we focus on supply everyone pops up shouting about how we need to focus on demand, even though that is the primary focus of almost every climate action.  The primary focus has been on demand for years and years, and we're making progress.

                •  I'll be delighted if the pipeline is stopped (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Roger Fox, Roadbed Guy

                  but I'll see it as being only a symbolic victory.

                  I agree with (what I think is) the main premise of the diary: if the demand is there, then that oil will come to market. How are you proposing to stop that from happening? The only ways I can see to stop it would be through direct governmental regulation (which is extremely unlikely, especially since our government doesn't speak Canadian ;-) or by significant reductions in demand.

                  It's not enough to be focused on reducing demand. We have to succeed.

                  Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                  by Nowhere Man on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:34:29 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This is why these sorts of arguments (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Nowhere Man, beach babe in fl

                    are so pernicious.  If the environmental movement completely disappeared after KXL was defeated then you might be right, but this is the beginning of this fight, not the end. And what this diary does, if I'm understanding beach babe in fl correctly, is lay out what we have to deal with after we beat the pip line, not to say that we shouldn't fight it. Especially given that she was at the rally against the pipe line.

                    •  Here is my belief (0+ / 0-)

                      I do want to stress that it's my belief. I could well be wrong, but since we're talking about future events, it's hard to know whether anyone's right or wrong here.

                      I believe that too many people in the movement will not understand what beach babe is saying in the diary. I believe that if the pipeline is stopped, it will be hailed as a real step in the effort to halt climate change. I believe that when the dirty oil starts flowing through some other route -- and I believe that it will -- people are going to feel betrayed, demoralized, and/or powerless.

                      Hence I fear -- I wouldn't yet call it a belief -- that defeating the Keystone pipeline could turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory. It's very possible that I'm wrong. If it brings the movement together; if it helps to heighten public awareness that something needs to be done, and that we can do something -- these would be valuable outcomes, even if the dirty oil does flow. I'm just not that optimistic right now that it'll turn out that way. And I'm sorry about that; really I am.

                      Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                      by Nowhere Man on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:19:11 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Another time ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Eyesbright, 4Freedom

                where I see (not only me) your framing off message -- from title through to end here.

                Implication is that fighting Keystone XL is useless because the oil industry is finding other ways around.  While that is not message you want to send, w/out question it is the message that title/discussion sends.

                Second implication is that, somehow, those battling against Keystone XL aren't battling on the demand side as well. Who was a (if not the) critical NGO related to CAFE standards? Sierra Club which was one of the major supporters of Forward on Climate protest.

                Do not believe that your beliefs are the message that this diary sends to readers.

                Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

                by A Siegel on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:16:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If someone says that the tide will come in (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  A Siegel

                  that doesn't mean that they want the tide to come in.

                  I, personally, very much want the Keystone pipeline stopped. No, I was not in D.C. last weekend. But I see market forces pulling that oil to market someway, somehow, unless it's stopped by some other means. The profit potential pulls that oil to market almost as inexorably as the moon's gravity pulls on the ocean tides.

                  Our chances of convincing the Canadian government to turn off the spigot through regulation are, I hazard to guess, extremely low. Unless we can significantly reduce demand, I believe, that oil will flow.

                  I'd welcome counterarguments. But, please, don't assume that I'm your enemy, or "off message", for saying what I believe to be the truth.

                  Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                  by Nowhere Man on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:42:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  this post is relating facts. It's important to (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, Roger Fox, joedemocrat, emelyn

                  know exactly what the opposition is doing.  Do you think it's best to keep this info. under wraps?  Do you think that information released to environmentalists has to be sugar coated?  Re reducing demand see above as I stated reducing personal consumption.  My message is that we can not ignore personal consumption.

                  I don't think this crisis can be mitigated without a major change in lifestyle for everyone.  To think that won't be necessary is a fantasy.

                  Macca's Meatless Monday

                  by VL Baker on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:50:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If you look at the comment immediately above (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Roger Fox

                    yours you'll see why I have a problem with this diary.  This is good information to have, butt the way you present it clearly says to a lot of people "don't bother building this pipe line because the oil will get to market anyway."

                  •  Absolutely do not believe in cover up ... (0+ / 0-)

                    Look at the title "THEY'RE FINDING WAYS TO INCREASE DELIVERY OF TAR SANDS CRUDE TO GULF WITHOUT XL PIPELINE" (sorry for all caps, cut & paste from 'comments' look here). What could it have been:

                    "Don't fool yourself, the battle doesn't stop with Keystone XL"

                    "Keystone XL is a battle: we have a war to fight about moving Tar Sands"

                    "Keystone XL is a piece of a dirty puzzle -- don't forget the other pieces"

                    Etc ...

                    The tone of the title and how it is discussed suggests "don't bother fighting KXL as there are so many other paths to move the oil that KXL is simply an irrelevancy ..."

                    I do not think that this is your belief or passion.

                    Stopping Keystone XL will put sand in the gears of Tar Sands exploitation expansion plans.

                    ---

                    And, you could then move to the other half of "Keystone XL is only a battle in war to save humanity", which is that 'if we don't do enough to drive down demand (through conservation, efficiency, alternative supplies, etc ...), we're screwed because eventually the profit seekers will get the drug (Tar Sands oil) to the addicted users -- if we don't address the addiction, the crap will eventually be dug out of the ground.

                    ---

                    E.g., I don't disagree with you last paragraph. Again, I think that the way this is titled and written says that there is nothing to be gained from fighting Keystone XL.  Is that what you believe and want to communicate?

                    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

                    by A Siegel on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:18:05 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Stopping KXL changes the landscape (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              beach babe in fl, AoT, ozsea1

              Puts all the pressure on the western routes thru BC to the Pacific. It also effectively closes the possibility of super tanker deliveries to Western EU of light sweet syncrude.

              But we have to be aware that the tar sands partners are incredibly savvy.

              ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:05:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  2017, AKA the 1st anniversary of... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deward Hastings, AoT, Eyesbright

          ...our no longer having a Polar Ice Cap.

          Remember Savita Halappanavar!

          by Brown Thrasher on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:03:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Bad policy, suicidal politics. (3+ / 0-)

      Gas taxes are steeply regressive.  You're cutting the throats of the lower classes.

      Who will, in turn, gut your chances at the ballot box.  A gas tax, especially at the levels you propose is a recipie for handing full control over the country to the Republicans for the forseeable future.

      Thanks, but no thanks.

      "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

      by Whimsical on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:51:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cutting the throats of the poor is essential. (9+ / 0-)

        I am always told here, to get electric vehciles built.

        Or something like that.

        Always hawked by some bike-riding gen-xer who lives 2 blocks from a killer job, not somebody who bought a house years ago and has had 5 jobs in that time.

        That $10/gal gas they think is essential for change will kill the economy and those of us who want to buy electric vehicles WILL BE JOBLESS.

        We are being gouged on as prices, that is all. Real Peak Oil dynamics just aren't here yet. We're cattle being fucked for cash.

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:02:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some version of at least a partially rebated (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bronx59, Nowhere Man, Roger Fox

          carbon tax seems to hold some promise.

          And some portion of that, maybe even the better part, would seem to be a crash program on renewables.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:19:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Peak oil is at least a century away (0+ / 0-)

            There are decades of oil just in those tar sands.  The middle east is still sitting on vast reserves of oil, and the US and Russia have enough oil to supply the world for half a century, at least.  When the cost of energy gets too high for the masses, they will revolt, and put the drill-baby-drill folks in office.  Not if, but when.  Then, there will be oil derricks in your back yard.  We won't stop burning fossil fuels until there literally are none left.

            Better move to higher, cooler, ground while you can.

          •  Carbon tax? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1

            No thanks.

            We have it in the province of British Columbia, and it hits those of us on lower incomes the hardest.

            Businesses charge more for deliveries and goods because of it and the costs get passed along to consumers.

          •  Way too late for a big gas tax (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oldpotsmuggler, ozsea1

            and a carbon tax is overdue...

            ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:12:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  so propose an alternative (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Brown Thrasher, ozsea1

          how do we get middle class and the working class off of gas?  Waiting for peak oil to force inevitable change is suicidal.

          (and of course, living near work is a choice that people make to reduce impacts, so those bike riding folks are bike riders because they didn't choose to live a gazillion miles away and drive behemoths to work.  Others are less responsible, it's true.)

          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 12:45:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bike riding is facilitated by (9+ / 0-)

            a good mass transit system, which is how we get poor and working people out of cars.  What a lot of people fail to realize is that our car based society is horrible for the working class.  Cars are a massive waste of resources for society and money for the individual.  Sure, it's cheaper right now to live far away from your job and commute in your car, but that's because of the massive subsidies that go into infrastructure and all the other crap that goes into cars and car culture.  Even with those subsidies poor people spend way more than necessary on transportation.

            It's a sham.

            •  This is the kernel of it, isn't it (6+ / 0-)

              I was unclear, but you hit it out of the park here.

              We need public investment (paid for by progressive taxes, thank you) that provide economical opportunities for working people (and everyone else) to avoid the need to drive.  Carbon taxes are most regressive when people don't have any realistic alternative to paying it.

              As another possibility, if we institute strict fuel efficiency standards NOW, with carbon taxes starting low, increasing slowly, then increasing quickly, that'd mean that people can avoid taxes by buying ten year old cars they can afford by the time the tax kicks in.

              Thanks.

              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 01:08:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes. This. (0+ / 0-)

                MASSIVE increases in investment in mass transit, coupled with small increases in the carbon tax and then building is the answer.

                Something like .25 cents now, then .10 c a year for 5 years, then .25 cents a year for 5 years-

                But a dollar now, followed by .25 cents a year? Recipie for economic crash and political disastter.

                "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                by Whimsical on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:54:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  oil centric urban and surban areas (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ozsea1

              built up post WW2. See my comment about Maplewood NJ above.

              ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:24:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't choose to leave any of those jobs (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Losty, ozsea1

            Bush economy? Ring a bell?

            I was laid off numerous times.

            I am lucky to even have a job now.

            Only 20 miles away from it. When I bought my home I was only 11 miles from work.

            I'd be happy to get some 6-figure job in the downtown area and get a condo right across the street from it and never get laid off again. That could be sweet.

            And I am in more than good enough physical condition to bike, if it didn't mean "suicide mission". (Atlanta.)

            Reality interferes with a lot of the really good ideas.

            The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

            by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:49:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Urban centers and suburbia are built & designed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            for oil centric culture. Rebuild it. Bring back mom & pop business, no Home Depots, bring back local hardware stores, etc.

            A friend of mine was the Mayor of Maplewood NJ, Vic Duluca, he implemented a great development plan for the east side of town, he insisted landlords fix apartments, and bring in essential services to the area, grocers, cleaners, so that the new apt dwellers can walk to get what they needed, bus, trains were already nearby. He got grants for landlords to reface store fronts and improve buildings.

            Underutilized areas like this can be modernized fairly easily. Other areas need large scale sweeping changes.

            ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:22:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a good way to go (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roger Fox, ozsea1

              of course, some will scream "gentrification" if you do and try to stop even that.

              Probably what dooms us is that climate action has loud opponents all across the political spectrum.  Opposition to action is probably the most bipartisan policy in America.

              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 04:40:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  $10/gallon gas is all but inevitable (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1

          I can't say when, but laws of supply and demand tell me that it's very likely to happen in my lifetime (even after adjusting for inflation.)

          The question is, do you want the additional $6/gallon going to industry profits? Or would you prefer it to fund government programs that could ease the burden on the poor, and could help fund alternative fuels and mass transportation?

          I believe that holding off on carbon or gas taxes helps the economy, and helps the poor, only in the near term -- and maybe not even then.

          If a carbon tax is instituted that grows slowly over time, then the economy will have much more time to adapt than it would if a sudden supply shock -- another Hurricane Katrina, for example -- sends the price up $2.00 a gallon or more. And if the market has adapted to higher gas prices by reducing demand accordingly, then supply shocks won't perturb the market nearly as much as they could right now.

          Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

          by Nowhere Man on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:54:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The problem with this theory (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1

            Is that you think that if gas goes to $10, the $6 that goes to oil coffers will go to the government instead.

            Unless we nationalize the industry (which don't get me wrong, I'm all for) they'll keep their $6 and tag the extra $6 on top of it.

            Im not opposed to a carbon tax that grows slowly over time, but the original posters call for $1 now and .25 cents a year is a recipie for economic crash and political disaster.

            Something like .25 cents now and .10 cents a year seems much less likely to disrupt the economy- and people who don't have their economy disrupted are much less likely to make stupid mistakes at the ballot box- like electing Republicans.

            A lot of folks, in their zeal to end Global Warming dont realize the unintended consequences of their ideas- anything that makes it more likely that Republicans get put back in charge (which I would argue raising the gas tax too much too soon does) will promote Global Warming much more than discourage it.

            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

            by Whimsical on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:12:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think his point was that we (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nowhere Man

              should increase the gas tax so that gas is ten bucks a gallon so that the government gets the money and not the oil company.

              And nationalizing the industry is the best option, really. It's absurd that we haven't.  Start carbon rationing as well.

            •  The key is what's called "elasticity of demand" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ozsea1

              Why do the oil companies fight tooth-and-nail against any increase in gas taxes at the pump, no matter how small? These taxes are not levied against the corporations directly, after all, so why should they affect them?

              It's because the demand for petroleum has some elasticity: As the price goes down, consumption will go up, and vice-versa. So if taxes drop, then demand goes up, and the oil companies profit -- not only by increased sales volume, but yes, through increased prices -- they get to increase their own price to the consumer (net of taxes) in response to the increased demand.

              Likewise, if the taxes rise, then demand goes down. This means that the oil companies might even have to lower their price to the consumer (net of taxes) in order to spur demand. Of course, they can't reduce prices enough to make up for (say) a $5/gallon tax.

              The thing to remember most of all is that the oil companies don't give money to consumers, or leave money on the table. If they could charge $10/gallon right now, they absolutely would do so. But demand isn't at a level that justifies $10/gallon. If we levied a gasoline tax of $4 or $6 per gallon, that would reduce demand, which in turn would significantly postpone the time at which the supply/demand curve allowed them to pocket $6 per gallon all to themselves.

              I have to go -- I hope this is clear enough!

              Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

              by Nowhere Man on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:38:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Right - additionally, in the near future (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1

          A scooter owner is Asia can buy 2 gallons at $10 per to get to work, that lasts a week, while the SUV owner in the USA cant afford to fill the tank @ $10 per.

          ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:11:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  being "lower class" (5+ / 0-)

        does not entitle one to pollute.

        If you want to subsidize high-mileage small cars for poor people feel free, but don't subsidize environment-destroying gasoline.  Tax it.

        There won't be a country, Democratic or Republican, if we don't stop global warming . . .

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:02:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No need to 'subsidize' gas. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          progdog, oldpotsmuggler, samanthab, ozsea1

          Just find a way to prevent price gouging.

          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:05:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  being "lower class" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Voice from the Cave

          does not entitle our "betters" to sanctimoniously dictate to us what to drive. Clean up your own affairs first. Set the good example.

          The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

          by ozsea1 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:20:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can drive whatever you want (0+ / 0-)

            as long as you pay enough for the gas to cover the cost of the pollution.

            I already don't throw KFC boxes out the window . . .

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:26:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  And what of those of us who have (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1

            cleaned up our own affairs and are poor?

            Am I allowed to say what's good or not?

            Of course, I support carbon rationing, not more of these nonsense neoliberal "solutions" that won't in fact fix the problem.

          •  so let me get this straight (0+ / 0-)

            being poor is a pass on behaving in an irresponsible and immoral way?  Playing the class card in order to make life easier for oil companies is pretty low, IMHO.

            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 12:47:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  didn't say that, did I ? (0+ / 0-)

              Not at all, strawman, not at all.

              When there are affordable EVs, low or no-carbon vehicles for sale? I'm there in a heartbeat.

              Of course.

              The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

              by ozsea1 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:08:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ah, to be fair (0+ / 0-)

                the "you go first" does come across as a stalling tactic to excuse inaction.  The language about "betters" and so forth didn't seem to convey what you meant.

                However, since I'm in the same boat of scratching my head to figure out how to afford an electric car (I've never ever purchased a car that cost more than $6,000 in my life, and only one topped $3500).  

                The key has to be to make it so these technologies are affordable enough to be taken up. This is critical, you are right.

                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 04:34:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  and if we embrace policies (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1

          that will turn over the country to Republicans, the end will come that much sooner.

          In your desire to avoid Global Warming, you are advocating policies that willl have the net effect of increasing it, and doing so more rapidly then what we're doing now.

          Thanks, but no thanks, especially when there are other ways.

          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

          by Whimsical on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:57:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  there are no "other ways" . . . (0+ / 0-)

            cheap gas leads to burning more of what should not be burned at all.

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:07:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Theres no other way besides (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ozsea1

              turning the country over to Republicans? Which is the unintended consequence of the gas tax you are proposing.

              I sincerely doubt that, because if that's the case we're even more fucked than I thought.

              We can fight global warming without cutting our own throats at the ballot box and getting Republicans elected (which will increase Global warming faster than if we do nothing at all).

              "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

              by Whimsical on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:04:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Clearly we differ (0+ / 0-)

                in our assessment of the importance of global warming.

                I see it as an imminent crisis and a threat to all humanity, while you

                see it as less important than cheap gas.

                That doesn't leave much room for conversation.  Have a nice day.

                Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                by Deward Hastings on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:23:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  your alternative then, is? (3+ / 0-)

        Typically, the alternative offered with this argument is destruction of civilization, I've noticed.  

        Except for the cap and dividend, it's not clear how reducing carbon emissions can be anything other than regressive, since carbon emissions themselves are regressive as a proportion of income.  (that is, there's only so much energy one can use, so billionaires do not use 10,000 times as much as a house hold with a $100,000 income).

        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 12:42:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Carbon rationing is a more fair (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mindful Nature

          way to do it.  Although it's not perfect.  The rich can afford better cars and such.  But I bet it would push alternatives much faster than a tax.

        •  The thing that gets me (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, 4Freedom, Nowhere Man

          About the anti-carbon-tax argument is that it assumes that there will be no benefit offsetting the cost of the tax. Even without a dividend, there are benefits whose cost will outweigh the cost of the tax. Ever priced albuterol when you're too poor to afford insurance? There are indirect costs that accompany the carbon in thee air - and those indirect costs are not only regressive, they are directly, physically harmful to the poor. Ask residents in the "pollution towns" created by the fossil fuel industry which they'd rather: pay 10 or 15 cents more per gallon (which btw, is often less than the price difference between stations on the same street corner), or continue breathing the thick, chemical air that's making their children sick?

          In addition, the price is going to go up. It will go up faster without a tax, because the market will price based on demand. A tax that reduces demand forces producers to cut prices in order to maintain sales. Thus, there will be a direct, progressive balance to the regressive tax built right into the gas price. Throw in a partial dividend, with the rest going to clean tech, better transportation infrastructure, and efficiency measures, and you'll get multiple offsets to reduce the impact of the tax.

          In the long run, the poor will be much better off when fossil fuels cease to be one of the largest elements of our culture. Short term thinking hurts the poor more, for longer.

        •  Massive increases in investment (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, The Voice from the Cave, ozsea1

          in mass transit with the funds from restoring a progressive tax system.

          Couple with SMALL increases in the gas tax, rising gradually so they are not onerous until alternatives are not only viable, but everywhere.

          Increases on the scale the OP propsed is political suicide.  And given that the Republicans are insane, and gas taxes of that magntitude will put them back in charge, national sucide as well.

          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

          by Whimsical on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:01:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We need to look at this as a system (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, ozsea1

          the energy and monetary systems are part of each other and must be looked at as a whole.  Right now, wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the 1% while the 99% are being gutted by high fuel prices.  A simple carbon tax only exacerbates the problem since the wealthy can easily afford to lower their consumption while the poor cannot.

          I don't know how we can fix this in a way that works with the markets.  Cap and trade or other systems that will provide a market for carbon will end up hurting those who can least afford it.  The only way out that I see is direct socialism, the poor get the money they need to make their houses more efficient or buy a more efficient vehicle directly from the government.  In exchange the wealthy get to play around in carbon markets opening up a new casino for them.  

          We have reached a very bad place, we must do the right thing without hurting the majority of citizens and we must do it quickly.  If we had started decades ago, this would not be such a difficult problem.  But we didn't so here we are.

      •  Let's do what Republicans in VA want ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        eliminate gas taxes and increase taxes on those hybrids and EVs that DFHs love so much.

        No tax polls well.

        "Cap and Dividend" polls extremely well.

        And, the real question is whether use of raised resources helps address economic and environmental justice issues.

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:13:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  better way though (2+ / 0-)

      I recommended this but I agree hitting the poor hard when
      the top companies pay no taxes makes little sense and is
      political suicide. REpubs aren't going to make this any better.

      So step 1 all those big companies, get em to pay taxes.
      even energy companies should pay taxes.

      step 2
      have a lottery for a nice bicycle so people can pedal to work.

      •  If the companies are taxed, (0+ / 0-)

        which of course they should be whenever they realize profits, the tax is passed on to the customer anyway.  If oilfield leases are made more expensive, which of course they should be, the fee is passed on to the customer anyway.  So of course I'm for both, even though a direct tax at the pump is . . . more direct.

        Whatever it takes to raise the end-user cost of gasoline to . . . encourage . . . people to use less of it.

        Very soon we have to use none if it anyway, or we're toast.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:35:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Would be happy with ... (0+ / 0-)

      25 cents now and a 2 cent/month increase for five years, then 3 cents / month for five years, then 4 cents / month ...

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:08:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Would've been good 30 yrs ago (0+ / 0-)

      When GDP growth was better, 4-6% can absorb the economic slowdown that would cause, better than the 2-3.5% we can expect over the next decade or 2.

      Its time to bring some type of carbon tax, in fact its late.

      ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:31:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  that would do nothing but utterly (0+ / 0-)

      destroy all progress made so far

      In the time that I have been given,
      I am what I am

      by duhban on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:31:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Demand is the key n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl, hooper, Roadbed Guy

    Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

    by jsfox on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:36:23 AM PST

  •  Here is a story from Maine press (5+ / 0-)

    about the reversing flow in the pipeline between Montreal refineries and Portland (Maine).

    Be radical in your compassion.

    by DWG on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:42:08 AM PST

  •  I can't imagine New England allowing this pipeline (4+ / 0-)

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:42:47 AM PST

  •  What will remain of our civilization in 100 years? (17+ / 0-)

    Every day of my life in the United States is financed with the blood, sweat, and tears of the people who will come after me. People who might not know what it's like to have naturally clean sources of water, or energy so plentiful that we literally throw it away. People who will have to live with less food, on shrinking continents, on a planet that is already becoming inhospitable to human life.

    The terrible, soul-crushing knowledge of what is to come in the near and distant futures is paralyzing. It's easy to feel helpless. Feel good measures like CFLs and shorter showers don't work for me anymore, knowing I'm eating invasive GMOs sprayed with petrochemicals and that I've already used more than my fair share, more than a lifetime's share of planet-destroying carbon.

    I wish I could apologize to those people from the future. Even if ignorance were a defense, we have hardly been ignorant. I learned about climate change as a child in the 1980s and in the 20+ years since that time things have only gotten worse, not better.

    Pictures of glaciers, of polar ice caps, of the beautiful coast of the United States will not comfort our descendants. If I were in their shoes, I would be outraged at the past. Outraged at us.

    My one glimmer of hope is here and with those who are willing to set aside their personal desires in order to build a better future. Building a better future has always been the American dream to me, and I think a lot of people have given up on that, and even more people don't care, because it won't affect them personally.

    I don't often wish to live forever, or even longer than average. If I could get into a time machine and travel to the future we're creating, I would, even knowing I could never come back. At least I would have a chance to help the people whose lives I'm ruining, whose planet I'm destroying. I would have a chance to apologize, to make amends.

    For now, I have to fight this fight one small battle at a time. Conserve energy, conserve resources, and conserve nature, while fighting against those who would destroy it. While fighting against those who are destroying it. It's not just a fight against tyrannical corporations, it's a fight against my habits, my culture, the ignorance and apathy of my friends.

    Keep fighting.

    "...we can all shut-up and go back to our caves." - Leonard Bernstein

    by progdog on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:50:47 AM PST

  •  Looking at the large size of the map (3+ / 0-)

    it cuts right across the boreal forest and then NE Vermont.

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:51:38 AM PST

    •  it also looks like substantially more of that (4+ / 0-)

      pipeline is complete than I was aware.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:11:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's a pre-existing pipeline (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, xxdr zombiexx, 4Freedom

        That feeds refined oil from Portland, ME to Canada for Canadian heating use.

        The company wants to reverse the flow of oil in the line, claiming that there is no substantial difference between "oil" moving one way, and "oil" moving the other way.

        Of course, that claim ignores the fact that there are different grades of oil, with different impacts on natural environments, as well as different potentials for erosion with in the pipes and at pipe joints. The VT legislature isn't buying it.

        Summary of VT bill H. 27 [PDF] of 2013:

        This bill proposes to require an Act 250 permit for a new oil pipeline or for an existing oil pipeline if a physical change is made to the existing pipeline that is not solely for the purpose of repair.
        Act 250 is our relatively stringent environmental review law.
  •  drug smugglers do the same thing (4+ / 0-)

    They care about the money from trafficking (transporting from point of origin to those who distribute to the street level).

    Getting the US govt to allow the CANADIAN pipeline to be built through America so China and Europe can get that gas, is akin to traffickers getting cops on their payroll.. Cartels have the cash to bribe ossfers of the law: BIg Oil has even more money and no more morals.

    If, by some outside oddity, the XL isn't approved, of course there will be a myriad other ways sought because that tar sand oil means dollars in the pocket.

    Profits STILL mean a hell of a lot more than people.

    That oil is going to move.

    I mean I hate to seem negative, but this is a capitalist reality: that tar oil is worth money and that is the end of that in the country in which I reside.

    When Obama goes golfing with the Sierra Club..... there could be hope.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:58:46 AM PST

    •  There's a decline in consumption of oil in the US (5+ / 0-)

      at a 4 year low. Declining in Europe now at a 20 year low. The rest of the world is the problem.

      The US still guzzles too much oil per capital, 5% of the world's population uses 25% of its oil.

      My hope is not in Obama or his god-like power to make decisions that will affect the whole world. My hope is in a decline in consumption and effective protests.

      •  I have worked on cutting gas consumption (3+ / 0-)

        and I am at a point where I have to get another vehicle. Ol Reliable is now 18 years old, has nearly 250000 on it and has just seen better days. Eventually it will pass on, probably while I am in it.

        There are no feasible electric vehicles yet: The tesla shows promise but is more than half what I paid for my house. Volt and Prius just aren't interesting: not going to be saddled with years of payments for something I will hate.

        So I am looking at 4 cylinder engines.

        My wife's vehicle is turning in 30-31 mpg in heavy traffic. that;s pretty good.

        Ten years from now maybe ....

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:16:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What counts as "feasible" for you? (0+ / 0-)

          I get that current EV's won't work for everyone. But the tech is getting better each year. A Leaf will go 70+ miles on a charge and costs as little as $22,000 after tax credit. I'm considering one because my commute is about 25 miles one way and my office has a charging station. Have you driven a Volt? They can go as far as the gas in the tank will take them once the battery runs out.

  •  Supply and demand is not either/or (3+ / 0-)

    it's both. The future of the planet depends on it. Damage has already been cooked into the atmosphere. If, by chance, the humans decide to get serious, there may be some chance that enough species of flora and fauna get through this current extinction event to create a brand new earth.  If not, there will be no history to relate the bygone glories of the human species that inhabited the earth. Sort of like all we have to relate to the dinosaurs is with bones, all future sentient inhabitants of earth will have the crumbling structures to gauge our civilizations.

    •  thanks for puncturing this talking point (0+ / 0-)

      it'll be back, though.

      Actually we should probably just walk around that talking point and not engage with it. I'm smelling a deliberately constructed narrative.  Not to say that the people spreading it here are shills--lots of times a successful constructed narrative gets carried on unwitting, well-intentioned hosts.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:10:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As McKibben et al are promoting with divestment, (8+ / 0-)

    the goal must be to isolate and demonize the fossil fuel industry, just as with South Africa and the tobacco industry. Make them pariah, force them operate in ever smaller spheres of activity...

    They will constantly try to circumvent our efforts, which is why the demonization is so important, so that even when they run, they can't hide.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:21:02 PM PST

    •  true. we must use every weapon we have n/t (5+ / 0-)

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:31:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "They're demons", he said, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emelyn

      while filling his tank with gasoline.

      Well I'm in that industry and I have to tell you I don't feel so very demonic.

      Isn't that what the The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition did? Demonize? Work to convince people that someone or some thing is demonic?

      Didn't work, by the way. Won't work in this instance, besides selling books and getting people paid for speeches. You have to have complete control over your audience, which you don't even have in places like Daily Kos. As for the more general population, you'll be accepted in the same fashion as the Westboro Baptist Church.

      My suggestion? Drop the theatrics and words like "demonize".

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:30:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It certainly worked with Tabaco and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action

        S. Africa.

        And I don't see anyone with a better idea for how to deal with this.  The government sure as hell isn't moving fast enough on it, and if we trust it to them then we're screwed, ditto with your industry.

        •  Okay then, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emelyn

          please proceed.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:39:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You can stop smoking tobacco. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fishgrease

          It costs you nothing but a little enjoyment.

          People don't burn oil and natural gas for pleasure.  They burn it because it provides the energy that meets (directly or indirectly) all their basic needs.

        •  I think President Obama has a better idea (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emelyn

          for how to deal with this, everything considered. I think that, and the vast majority of Americans will agree, even once he's let KXL continue.

          We're talking hearts and minds, are we not?

          You're losing. If one of your goalposts is the successful demonization of me, then you're going to continue to lose, unless as I said before, you're paid for writing books or giving speeches.

          There are a lot of progressives in the fossil fuels business. There are a lot of progressives who are concerned about the environment, about climate change. We do what we can, when we can, as often as we can. In most cases we have reality on our side in that the very things that move our industry away from needless pollution and emissions, also save it money.

          Doesn't bother us to be called demons because we know you're just being silly. We know that is the way most rational people will see it.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:02:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He has an idea that will fail (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Words In Action

            Because it continues to release carbon.  The Dems are a failure on this issue at the national level.  Even the plans that can't get passed aren't enough.

            And I don't see a single idea coming from the oil industry that's going to help, just more bullshit about how they're going to extract everything they can and how it's totally not their fault because people are consuming it.  I don't know what you do, but you're part of the problem if you're a party to pushing oil production.

            Doesn't bother us to be called demons because we know you're just being silly. We know that is the way most rational people will see it.
            Well, I'm not sure what United States you live in, but the one I live in most people aren't rational.  Have you seen the nonsense that's been going on?
            •  Yes. Yes we have. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fishgrease, AoT
              Have you seen the nonsense that's been going on?

              I'm a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed....you know

              by The Voice from the Cave on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:14:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry, I have to ask. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              Do you USE oil? Gasoline? Natural gas? Diesel? At all? Ever?

              If so, where does one obtain such a huge tolerance for their own hypocrisy?

              It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

              by Fishgrease on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:17:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  As little as possible (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fishgrease, 4Freedom

                The majority of electricity where I am is renewables. I Haven't had a car or eaten meat in about 10 years. I minimize my energy use as best I can. Obviously, no one is perfect and given the supply chain there's always going to be some carbon in there until we fix that, but whenever I've got a choice, no, I don't use those things.

                Also, I use them for bike tires and other goods like that.

                •  I also use as little as possible (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, 4Freedom, emelyn

                  and I'll bet my personal carbon footprint is smaller than Bill McKibben's.

                  So maybe not such a demon.

                  But that's really what its all about isn't it? Maintaining our lifestyles and our economy while moving toward a more sustainable future?

                  I don't think we can. I think our lifestyles need to change drastically, immediately, and that our economy will need to slow down. I think people flying places on jet aircraft for a vacation is ridiculous. I think people driving places for a vacation is ridiculous and I think people driving and riding in motor vehicles to attend climate protests is doubly ridiculous.

                  It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

                  by Fishgrease on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:38:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  We are the alternatives? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, beach babe in fl

                That's the whole point. People would be happy to purchase wind and solar power if they had the option.

                The ONLY reason they don't have the option is that the OIL INDUSTRY has worked tirelessly for forty years to stop it from happening.

                Considering the impact on the planet, that IS demonic.

                The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

                by Words In Action on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:45:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  An industry that FUNDS DENIAL to prevent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, beach babe in fl

        the conversion to renewable energy -- which the fossil fuel industry has done for 4 decades -- is demonic, in the face of the damage it has done and will continue to do to this planet.

        The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

        by Words In Action on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:49:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not disputing facts. (0+ / 0-)
          An industry that FUNDS DENIAL to prevent the conversion to renewable energy
          That's a fact. Some people and companies in the industry and yes, virtually all its trade groups have done that.

          Just questioning the theatrics, like "demonize". That's not a fact any more than calling them Orcs or Vampires. Nor is McKibben's use of "Oil Barrons". What is this? 1915?

          But you just go right ahead. I think you'd accomplish more if you stuck to the facts. Just what I thinks.

          You're not going to prevent KXL. Hope you have a plan B which goes beyond demonizing our Democrat, President of the United States.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:12:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  There's also cutting their income (4+ / 0-)

      Investment makes it possible for them to keep growing. Cutting the money flow by divesting from their stocks will constrain their ability to fester metastasize continue growing.

  •  Could someone please (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suspiciousmind

    clear up a question I have.  Currently my all electric building is having a debate between using electric to heat your home verses gas.  Which one is better?  From what I understand electric can come from renewable resources, is this assumption wrong?

    Right now we are having problems with NIPSCO and the new electric meters being installed.  I read that electric heating, etc., produces more C02 in the air, is this correct?

    If your in an all electric building and electricity will be going through the roof will your condo building have to convert to gas heating (which could be a problem if no gas lines run into your building?  And what are our options for heating?

    How do you decide on heating options for your home?  Should one invest in a new furance now, or try to wait for newer options to come to the market?

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:23:30 PM PST

    •  It depends on where you live.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zaka1

      ....mostly I'd say. My electricity mostly comes from the nearby nuclear plant....mostly. A little bit of solar is likely pumped into my grid along with some coal and gas fired generators.

      Prices for each energy source will vary greatly depending on your location....do your research.

      I believe it's good to have options. In addition to my heat pump, I have a wood burning fireplace insert that's clean burning and carbon neutral. I also have a propane tank for my gas cooktop that could serve as a heat source in a pinch.

      Rule #7...If you supported the Iraq war, you don't get to complain about the national debt.

      by suspiciousmind on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:16:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  on the west coast, electric is pretty clean (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, zaka1, beach babe in fl

      and getting cleaner. elsewhere, it depends on the local sources of electrical generation.

    •  It depends on your power source (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, zaka1, 4Freedom, beach babe in fl

      If the electricity does come from renewables, then it's the better choice. However, that's unlikely to be the case for your building.

      Electric heat is very inefficient. It's the least efficient heating building method available. So much of the energy is lost via efficiency losses that you're likely to be creating more CO2 than another fuel source, even if part of your electricity is from renewables (ironically, it's the opposite of the case for electric cars, because electric motors are so much more efficient than internal combustion motors).

      Of the other heating fuel options, gas is the most efficient - you get more BTUs from a given volume of gas than you get from the same volume of oil.

      The best bet is to do a combined upgrade:

      1) Insulation, air sealing, and controlled air exchange for the entire building. You will save money and cut down on the CO2 emitted, no matter the heat source.

      2) If possible, add solar hot water. I'm assuming that, with no gas lines, the water is heated with electric hot water heaters. A large solar pre-heat tank will cut everyone's water heating bills significantly - between 30% and 80% depending on the time of year.

      3) If you're keeping electric heat, add solar to the building (assuming you have a suitable roof). If your state offers a feed-in tariff (you get paid for excess energy you produce), it could save you a TON of additional money. Failing that, see if your electric company offers a means of purchasing renewable energy. There's usually a slight increase in cost, but it would be more than offset by 1, above, and will be billed in your monthly bill. This supports the investment in more renewables. Alternatively, if solar isn't possible, it's worth looking into geothermal heat pumps. This will use 65 air from deep underground to pre-heat the air during heating season (and to cool the air during cooling season). Newer technology is much more efficient than old heat pumps.

      4) If you switch to gas, gas companies do these switches all the time. They know what they need to do to switch over your system - from permitting to completion.

      If can only choose 1 of the above, the biggest difference, by far, will come from #1. Do that, put the savings in the bank, then in a year or two try to fund other improvements.

      To get the most benefit, do the improvements in order of 1, then 2, then [3 or 4].

      •  Hmm, that should be 65℉, not just a random 65 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zaka1
      •  Right now that is exactly (2+ / 0-)

        what we are doing.  I just had new windows put in to stop losing heat and the furance guy is coming tomorrow.  The biggest problem is we are having trouble with our gas and electric company (Nisoure/NIPSCO) and new electric meters (and yes there is a major problem with the meters and people are getting major bills from the change over).  The other problem with NIPSCO is that they just got a electric rate increase and now there is a bill in the Indiana house that will allow Nisource/NIPSCO to increase rates on customers without the regulatory board being involved.  So Nisource, if this bill passes, will able to increase rates without the regulatory board regulating.  Honestly, this is very scary how much power is being given to a corporation.  The CEO last year made 5 million dollars and Nisource paid out 17 million in bounes and this is a public service company.

        What I find scary is that all of us have cut back, but with this new rate increase we are going without heat and it was 8 degree the other night, I woke up in a 59 degree house and I'm disabled.

        Can anyone see where I'm going with this especially if the gas and electric companies are given free well to charge whatever they want, when they want.

        People are organizing against this bill, but honestly I'm very worried.

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:18:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They've got to go through (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity, 4Freedom

    First Nations' land to do this and the First Nations' folks are working hard to keep them from it.  Another "road" to killing the tar sands extractions is to "protest" the amount of natural gas required to actually do it.  If folks start clamoring to have that gas utilized much more efficiently than turning asphalt into gasoline...  When you realize you could run as many vehicles converted to natural gas AND a couple of power plants on something like half the natural gas it might make an impression on the people who believe the crap about revenue and jobs and bring them to our side.  (And yes, I know we have to get off fossil fuels altogether - and that we are perfectly capable of doing so although we are unlikely to do so any time soon - but this particular logic might get us allies we currently don't have.)

    •  Its just a matter of money and time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bfitzinAR, beach babe in fl

      They have the money.  They will eventually buy their way to getting what they want.  One government official at a time, if they have to.

      A few years ago, DOnald Trump wanted to build a golf course on pristine sand dunes in Aberdeen, Scotland, right next to one of the great golf courses in the world, Royal Aberdeen.  His initial permit application was rejected something like 9-2.  He went away, started spending money in the right places.  "Talked" to the right people.  A few years later, he was approved something like 6-5.

      A second golf course now stands along the dunes of Aberdeen.  (A quite nice one, actually, that I'd love to play, but the point is how it got there)

      •  yes and no - the First Nations (0+ / 0-)

        won't be bribed although of course Stephen Harper's gov't is very susceptible - but the big thing to get allies in unexpected places is the amount of natural gas - and everybody loves natural gas these days, it's the "in" fuel - needed to get that crud out of the ground and liquefied enough to actually transport in a pipeline.  When you're saying 10x, 100x, and more gas in CCF than you can get gallons of dilbit you can shift the conversation.  Once you've done that, tar sands and oil shale get left behind in the garbage can of untenable/unaffordable solutions.

  •  We do both (2+ / 0-)

    since it isn't clear that either alone will work.  

    These just show us what our next fights have to be.

    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 12:39:51 PM PST

  •  Don't focus on the pipeline... (5+ / 0-)

    It's a ruse, to distract us from the tar sands oil that is already flowing:

    When it comes to the flow of northern crude to U.S. refineries, here’s the reality: No Keystone XL? No problem.

    While opponents of the pipeline have been rallying their supporters, U.S. and Canadian railroads have been hauling record amounts of oil. Last year, the volume of oil delivered by rail in the United States jumped by about 46 percent compared with 2011. According to the Association of American Railroads, oil-related rail traffic increased in Canada by 30 percent. In December, U.S. and Canadian railroads were hauling about 1.9 million barrels of oil and refined products per day, double the volume moved in 2009. Of that total, about 1 million barrels per day is being railed in the United States.

    The Keystone XL is designed to transport 830,000 barrels per day. Over the past two years or so, domestic railroads have increased their transport capacity by an amount equal to about 55 percent of what Keystone is supposed to provide.

    Where are they sending it to?
    My backyard...
    PBF officials, in contrast, nearly gushed last week when they announced that the company would spend an extra $50 million at Delaware City on its efforts to tap central Canada’s vast and cheap reserves of oil from that nation’s Bakken Shale fields and tar sand developments to the west. Company Chief Executive Officer Tom Nimbley called the heavy oils “advantaged,” with savings last week pegged at $34 per barrel over typical lighter crudes because disputes over the Keystone XL pipeline and other market factors have bottlenecked Canada’s output.
    Last week, the first extra-long train hauling crude pulled into the new, rapid-unloading terminal at Delaware City that’s visible from Del. 1 – a $50 million to $70 million project, the company said last year.
    Under a deal with railroad company Norfolk Southern, the company bought or leased thousands of cars to travel up to 2,700 miles with a 110,000-barrel-a-day haul from Alberta and Saskatchewan. Last week, PBF said it would add another 2,600 cars to its fleet and raise rail deliveries as high as 150,000 barrels a day, with some of the crude possibly relayed upriver by barge to supply the company’s refinery in Paulsboro, N.J.

    What can we do to stop it? Nothing.

    Things are more like they are now than they've ever been before...

    by Tom Seaview on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:55:45 PM PST

    •  hey tom (2+ / 0-)

      they are sending it to my backyard, too.  And sadly I agree that there is nothing we can do to stop it.

      My parents recently attended a rally to try to stop a new pipeline in Maine. They are bringing it on all fronts.

       More than 1,400 people marched from Monument Square

      to the Maine State Pier to protest the possible use of the Portland-to-Montreal oil pipeline to transport tar sands crude oil to Casco Bay.

      Billed by organizers as the largest rally against tar sands oil in the Northeast, the protest featured more than a dozen speakers, including U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, and Portland Mayor Michael Brennan.

      "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

      by onemadson on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:04:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You beat me to it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tom Seaview, Roadbed Guy

      I was about to post that story from Slate.  I just don't think all this sturm and drang over Keystone XL is the right line in the sand to defend.  Has some consciousness been raised?  Sure.

      But nowhere near as much as was raised by the insane weather we had this past winter.  It's not yet March and I'm sitting with the windows open in Atlanta.  It's over 63 outside today.  

      Frankly, the railroads will spend more upgrading their lines for oil trains.  Perhaps we'll bet an advantage from that later on for high speed rail?  I just haven't been convinced by any of the anti-Keystone arguments.  What's the point?  That oil is going to get burned.  Why pick a fight that is already lost?

      I'm a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed....you know

      by The Voice from the Cave on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:13:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  fight against xl pipeline is not lost we must (2+ / 0-)

        continue.

        Macca's Meatless Monday

        by VL Baker on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:17:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My point is that it doesn't matter (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MGross, Roadbed Guy

          Read that link.  The railroads are scrambling to help ship that oil over already existing rail lines.  They promise flexibility to the oil company that pipelines don't give.  

          And if we win, what do we "win"?  A reduction in production?  Not a bit.  A reduction carbon output from transportation of the stuff?  No, I would posit that barges and trains use more carbon to transport the same amount of oil than a pipeline.  The only benefit I'm seeing from a "win" is that we get to say "we won!"

          But what is the outcome?  More oil traveling over train tracks where some fool might park his cement truck, causing a derailment, or oil floating down rivers on barges where some fool might collide with a bridge.

          I'm just not seeing a positive outcome from this fight.  Why aren't we campaigning with all this sturm and drang for more windfarms, or more solar investment, or better public transportation?  This fight is a loser, no matter the outcome.

          I'm a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed....you know

          by The Voice from the Cave on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:26:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're wrong though (2+ / 0-)

            If this pipeline didn't matter then why would they be fighting so hard to get it built?

            •  How am I wrong? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emelyn

              What's the positive outcome if this pipeline get blocked?  The oil will still get to market, just on rolling pipelines like this one.  

              I'm a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed....you know

              by The Voice from the Cave on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:40:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You didn't answer the question (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                The Voice from the Cave

                Because you can't.  If the pipeline is so useless to the oil companies then why are they building it?

                Additionally, where does the extra capacity for all these trains come from?  They can't just magic up trains and tracks.

                Stopping the pipeline won't completely stop oil from flowing, but it sure as hell will slow it down.

                •  Here's your answer (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Roadbed Guy, emelyn

                  The companies want the pipeline because it will save them money.  They get more profit.

                  And the Railroads are already ramping up more trains for this stuff, and the tracks are already there.  Check the various links that have been posted.  Some of the right of ways they will use have been there for hundreds of years.

                  So, what do we win?  That's my question that you haven't answered.  More carbon put into the atmosphere in the transportation of this stuff, and more huge oil trains like that one, statistically leading to more accidents and spills than a pipeline that we're fighting against?  And we're doing this why?  So the oil companies lose a bit of profit or miss a production target by six months?  Insanity.  

                  There's no possible victory here.  No real one.  We either get to say "we won and don't worry about more oil barges and trains" or we get to say "we lost but the oil will be shipped safer and we looked like a bunch of lunatics".

                  I'm a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed....you know

                  by The Voice from the Cave on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:51:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So it will save money but (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    The Voice from the Cave

                    also magically not affect prices?  We win higher prices.  That's what we win.

                    There's no possible victory here.  No real one.  We either get to say "we won and don't worry about more oil barges and trains" or we get to say "we lost but the oil will be shipped safer and we looked like a bunch of lunatics".
                    Yeah, because the movement is just going to disband after this.  "Yay, we won, global warming is over!!"  That's not how this works.  As I say again and again and again, this is only the beginning.  And you want to give up before we've done anything.

                    I'm sure you'll tell me we just need to focus on demand, as if that isn't happening, and tell me that's "action" we can take without actually pointing to anything we can do.  Movements need victories, and what I see right now is a bunch of people trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

                    •  Shrugging at higher prices (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT, emelyn

                      is such a mistake by the movement.  Because it alienates people like me.

                      I've got a 05 Prius.  It's got 129k on it.  My job and my son (who lives with my ex) are 50 mi apart.  I live in Atlanta, where public transit is laughable at best.  I don't make a ton of money, and what I do is very specialized and can't be done anywhere.  So guess what?  When you cheer at higher prices, you cheer for less money in my pocket.  I'd happily buy a  more efficient car, but there isn't one.

                      I look simply at what is better for the world.  And frankly, I'm not convinced that blocking this pipeline is better for the world.  The only arguments I get, if I'm understanding you correctly, are that "Movements need victories".

                      But this victory is directly against what we should be fighting.  The oil is going to get mined/drilled.  It is going to get shipped and sold on the world market.  And we've picked a fight against the safest way to ship it.  This is like fighting against double hulled tankers because it causes more pollution to put that much more steel in the ship.

                      Yeah, we might "win."  But its a Pyrrhic victory at best.  A political one at worst.  

                      I'm a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed....you know

                      by The Voice from the Cave on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:10:58 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thank you for being so eloquent (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        emelyn

                        The short-sightedness of the environmental movement drives me into an incoherent rage, which convinces no one.

                        But you've calmly and clearly laid out the vast majority of the argument's I would use.

                        Consider yourself tipped, because due to site hypocrisy, I cant do it myself.

                        "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                        by Whimsical on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:18:51 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Oy vey (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          AoT

                          That is NOT what I was going for.

                          1) I AM a proud environmentalist.  While I don't agree with many of my fellow travelers on this issue, I believe in the movement's long term goals.

                          2) I'm looking at decisions on a case-by-case basis, and that's why I've taken the position I have on Keystone.  What's the best long term outcome given current conditions and reasonable long-term expectations?

                          3) I've enjoyed the give and take of this conversation with those that are against the pipeline.  I hope that I've helped them with their arguments when they face others that are unconvinced, because we share the same overall goals.  

                          4) Frankly, I'd like to see a guarantee in law from Keystone on the number of jobs and a much bigger cut to the United States for allowing this pipeline across our territory.  If we magically don't get that benefit, they have to pay.  

                          I'm off to start my commute.  Have a great day, everyone.

                          I'm a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed....you know

                          by The Voice from the Cave on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:27:33 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Im confused. (0+ / 0-)

                            I agree with you, and consider you well spoken, and that's not what you were going for? :)

                            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                            by Whimsical on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:15:43 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah, so fucking wait for the politicians (0+ / 0-)

                        That's what all of you folks want us to do.  You continue to ignore the fact that this is that beginning, how many time do I have to say it.  We deal with other forms of transportation later.  They aren't going to be able to transport as much and they aren't going to make as much money and they aren't going to "pump" as much out of the ground.  You want us to sit and wait for the politicians do wave a magic wand and pass a bill they're not going to pass because it will cost us more money.  

                        Well, too bad.  This pipeline isn't going to happen.  It's not a pyrrhic victory(where did this talking point come from BTW?  I've seen it regularly now.) it's the first major victory of a campaign.  You're giving up before we even start.

                        And I'm sorry if less oil production and higher prices alienates you.  Maybe environmentalists should advocate for free gasoline for everyone, that would win their hearts and minds!!!!

                        And I'll end with the same question I keep asking everyone who says stopping this pipeline is a horrible thing: What is your suggestion.  What can people do besides changing their light bulbs.  We face what is potentially an existential threat and you're telling people they just need to wait for the politicians to get over their arguing and fix the problem.  It's bullshit and people know it.

                      •  Sorry for the tone in my response (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm frustrated and it's really coming through.

                    •  Also, tipped (0+ / 0-)

                      all your comments this thread for rational, non-screaming debate.  Good will is hard to find on this site sometimes.

                      I'm a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed....you know

                      by The Voice from the Cave on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:29:22 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, something we agree on! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tom Seaview

      But I'm too weary to get into this 3 days in a row.

      Except for this comment, which I guess renders the sentence just above untrue.

      •  Yeah, when I'm not defending the RKBA... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        I'm down with more traditional liberal causes.

        I'm opposed to laying down pipeline, because it's a new path for dangerous oil through relatively unspoiled wilderness. I merely point out that the oil is coming through in significant quantities today (I left the house at 4:30 and saw a half-mile of tanker cars at the Delaware City terminal). If we defeat the pipeline, there will be millions of tank cars moving through residential areas on our deteriorating rail infrastructure... what could possibly go wrong?

        Things are more like they are now than they've ever been before...

        by Tom Seaview on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:08:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, building pipelines is incredibly (2+ / 0-)

          stupid.

          But OTOH, it might be even stupider not to build them, because the oil's coming out either way if there is demand for it.

          The Bakken is an excellent example of that - there is no megapipeline to get that shit shipped out of the local area, but yet in just the past year or two railroad shipment has gone from zero to 340,000 /bbl a day - that's half a Keystone pipeline right there (projected to continue growing at the same pace for a few more years) that no one is protesting in a "game over" way.

          I'm not sure why really there's broad acceptance of this, espeically considering that the growth in domestic oil production under Obama (not his fault, really, unless you look at it from the POV that he refuses/chooses not to regulate fracking at all for some reason) is on pace to exceed the output from the Alberta Tar sands - with most of it being as enviromentally damaging if not worse.  But again, virtual silence from all the anti-tarsands people.

          For people like me who have access to a search engine and can find out about all that, it is really, really, really baffling behavior on the part of environmentalists.

  •  Sure, as long as you don't (0+ / 0-)

    go to the "only work on demand, working on supply is useless" place. Lately that's been a talking point for industry defenders, so watch out.

    That said, of course we should work on demand. Frankly, that's the easy part (CAFE standards, increased vegetarianism/veganism, energy efficient appliances and buildings, weatherization, etc.) We're kind of already working on demand. With an actual media, we would be unstoppable, though it's harder to get people to change habits in a shrunken economy. Meat eating being the exception to that, as meat is expensive. You'll see people eating less meat over the next couple of years for sure, b/c fewer people will be able to afford it.

    And equally of course, it would be easier to scale up our reductions of demand across a wider swath of the population if we had the government more thoroughly on our side (i.e. willing to spend money on making changes).

    if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:00:27 PM PST

  •  trains (5+ / 0-)

    I live in Albany NY.  We have a sleepy little port here. Never saw any big ships at the docks.  Never heard of any plans to start using the port to ship Bakken Crude via tankers on the Hudson.  The oil is brought in by train.  Seems like a pretty big deal in a little city. Of course, we finally did hear about it when the first tanker to leave the port ran aground.

    "A double-hulled oil tanker carrying nearly 12 million gallons of North Dakota crude oil — the first such shipment from the Port of the Albany — was damaged Thursday morning on the Hudson River near Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Reports as to how and why the vessel began taking on water were conflicting."
    They will find a way to extract and move every last bit of the stuff in the ground.  And now we hear a lot more train whistles.  And I actually had to stop at the local tracks and wait for a train to pass. First time in ten years.  It was all shiny new tanker cars filled with North Dakota oil.  

    "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

    by onemadson on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:01:09 PM PST

  •  D'uh! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Voice from the Cave

    Of course they are. Blocking the XL will have zero effect on the grand scheme of things. The oil is going to be sold, transported and burned somewhere. XL pipeline or not.

  •  The truth (0+ / 0-)

    YUP!

    We must face reality. We tend to focus on reducing the supply of dangerous fossil fuels rather than trying to reduce demand for their use. We will lose this fight if we don't consider that market forces will find a way to supply if the demand exists. We must consider both reducing supply and also reducing demand in our personal lives.
    Want to reduce demand? The only way is through higher prices. People will not change their behavior unless pushed to do so. Not nice, but true.

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:16:56 PM PST

  •  Movement by rail (4+ / 0-)

    The other issue is that if a pipeline is blocked, rail will largely take its place. The idea is to move the oil/bitumen  in insulated and heatable railcars or reduce its viscosity by mixing it with condensates or diluents currently in oversupply in the US.

    From an environmental perspective, oil movement by rail is clearly worse than by pipeline. Historically more likely to get spills, and energy use is also higher.

    Here's some more discussion on the issue:

    http://www.desmogblog.com/...

    The Canadian National railway system is also building capacity.

    The idea that simply halting the Keystone pipeline will stop development of the tar sands is simply wishful thinking. It might make a few dollars difference in cost, but that impacts only a very few of the most marginal developments.

    Paradoxically, the biggest threat to the tar sands is a weak oil price stemming mostly  from increased fracking in the US, which in a few years will likely transform the US into a net exporter of oil/propane/LNG. Fracking has also served to drop natural gas prices dramatically, substantially reducing the use of coal in the US. That in turn has dramatically dropped US carbon emissions.

    A carbon/methane tax would sort all this out best, but that's not going to happen any time soon.

  •  the problem with "reducing demand" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, 4Freedom

    is that this tar sand oil is being shipped to sea ports for export, not american or canadian domestic consumption. as americans cut their oil consumption - and we have! - the oil just shifts to markets abroad.

    so yes, we should definitely try to crash our consumption of fossil fuels of all sorts, but that alone will not solve the problem. for that we will need to do everything in our power to frustrate transportation of that oil to sea ports, and shut down  fossil fuels at the point of production as well.

    so both-and, not either-or.

    •  exactly, we must do both. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:32:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  bbif, there's a lot more to know about Enbridge (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        beach babe in fl

        I added a comment downthread with some links, but you can just google "enbridge kalamazoo" to get the whole sordid story.

        Which is worse, a catastrophe or a disaster? That's what Enbridge as an alternative to KXL is.

        I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

        by 1BQ on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:25:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Only by everyone reducing demand do we get there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beach babe in fl

      oil is like water in that if flows downhill by the easiest path.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:53:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you have a plan for reducing demand (0+ / 0-)

        in China, where this oil is headed?

        Because otherwise we might as well give up.

        I mean, if we can't stop extractions or transportation and the government clearly isn't taking any significant action then we might as well give up.

        Unless you have some other suggestion. I've yet to hear anything but a carbon tax, which is so far from realistic it isn't even funny.

        •  easy! driving up the cost of coal and oil exports (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, beach babe in fl

          to china by blocking expansion of the infrastructure necessary to bring them to ocean shipping is the best way we have to reduce chinese demand for these commodities, especially given that their oil and coal resources are in the process of peaking just as their demand is increasing.

          eventually, china signing on to international agreements to reduce carbon in earnest, and the continued growth of renewable energy industries in china will also provide some pressure, but at the moment those are still a ways off.

        •  well ya, that's exactly what I've been saying for (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          beach babe in fl

          a long time. Calling someone else evil when all they are doing is giving us what we demand of them is crazy, and ya, we should give it up.

          When our consumption shrinks to that of China we'll be doing a lot better. China is building high speed rail everywhere, and we are doing nothing. They commute on electric bikes, we have Toyota gas guzzling hybrids so we can sleep with a clear conscience.

          Obama made the biggest change in fuel standards in more than a generation, maybe we could help out a little on the demand side.

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:27:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So nothing except waiting for politicians to act (0+ / 0-)

            That's unacceptable to me.  That basically means inaction for the next four years, unless the Dems take back the house by some miracle in 2014, and maybe even longer.  There's no way to pressure the GOP into doing this stuff. They absolutely hate everyone who cares even a little bit about the environment and will never pass any sort of basic legislation.

            The government has failed and while there are a few bright points on that front at the state level, which we should definitely fight for, at the national level there isn't any more we can do about demand. Obama has done some good things on that, but there isn't much more he can do, and protests aren't going to change that. Pushing people to have a lower carbon foot print is the other side of that, but we should be doing that anyway. Localism is limited, we need broad scale action.

            •  I don't think I said wait for pols to act or do (0+ / 0-)

              nothing. Maybe you're responding to someone else's comment.

              How big is your personal carbon footprint?

              by ban nock on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:52:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, but when I ask, as I have again and again (0+ / 0-)

                people who say that we shouldn't be focusing and acting against KXL what we should be focusing on the only substantive thing I hear is "carbon tax" and your comment was no different. I just want to know what action you think we can take on a national level. I keep asking this question and I keep getting no answer, and it's frustrating. I'm not singling you out, I just really want to know what the alternative is.

                •  I and many others have been saying and many have (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  beach babe in fl

                  been doing at a national level.

                  REDUCE DEMAND

                  I don't know any way of saying it simpler or with a description that covers all of the different ways to reduce better, carbon tax is only one of many ways. Increased cafe standards?????? Mass Transit, weatherization, power plant emissions, the list is absolutely endless. How about this.... buy less dogone stuff!

                  The difference is that it might actually require you to experience changes in the way you use energy. No more blaming big oil or the Chinese.

                  How big is your personal carbon footprint?

                  by ban nock on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:39:14 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's not an action, it's a goal (0+ / 0-)

                    And none all of it is based on government action, which is exactly what we can't rely on here. We can take personal actions and make choices, but those have a minuscule effect. Once people have stopped driving and stopped eating meat(and yes, I know, you eat elk and it isn't a problem, that isn't true of the vast majority of meat eaters) they want to do more and what you're saying is that they just need to wait for the politicians to get around to dealing with the problem. That's a tactic that's not only guaranteed to fail, but also guaranteed to encourage doom and gloom. And you are in fact saying we should wait for politicians to act.  Limiting supply can be effective as part of a larger plan.

                    The difference is that it might actually require you to experience changes in the way you use energy. No more blaming big oil or the Chinese.
                    Please don't lecture me about my energy usage. There is pretty much nothing I can do to significantly reduce my carbon footprint further at this point. I'm ready for the post carbon world. It can't get here soon enough as far as I'm concerned.
  •  I've long worried if XL has been over-stressed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, beach babe in fl

    I just worry that so much emotion is being invested in stopping this one project. That is being advertised as win-this-battle-or-lose-the-war. That should this battle be lost mass demoralization will follow.

    I've had it explained to me that stopping this pipeline can have a dramatic effect in reducing the scale of tar sands exploitation. But it does not strike me as going towards the root problem. (As this diary mow proves.) A carbon tax strikes at the root problem.

    We will need mass protests across the country, not just in DC from time to time, in order to impress upon politicians the interest people have in going green. But I can't help think that should such mass protests become reality, would not it be more productive to agitate for a carbon tax instead of this XL project?

    A carbon tax would stunt growth of the tar sands regardless of how many pipelines were built. But OTOH maybe it is a better strategy to go after a smaller bite first (i.e. XL). I just dunno. I do wish there wasn't so much emotion invested in this one project though.

    •  Are protests going to pass a carbon tax? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beach babe in fl, Quicklund

      One of the things about this issue specifically is that we can use direct action against the building of the pipeline.  Symbolically and practically it's much more powerful than a protest.  Although protests have their place.  But we're looking at 2017 before we can even consider a carbon tax.  In terms of rallying people stopping something tangible is far more of a victory than passing legislation.  Stopping this gives the environmental movement a gravitas it lacks now.

      •  Political action will be needed to pass anything (0+ / 0-)

        Direct action / protests ... I put them in the same category of citizen activism. Good points about XL is now and a carbon tax is super-unlikely to arrive until later. As I said, my only concern here is demoralization.

    •  This worries me about as much..... (0+ / 0-)

      ....as all this talk about the "inevitable" collapse of civilization or supposedly possible extinction of humanity, IMHO. We've been doing many of the wrong things for at least the past decade or so and it's bitten us in the collective ass many times.

  •  Fifteen years ago, my town adopted a general plan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, The Voice from the Cave

    to end a quarter-century of suburban sprawl and pave the way for infill development, higher density housing and construction up to four stories high (six at major intersections) along existing boulevards that could serve as mass transit corridors.

    About seven years ago, a "movement" to "protect scenic views" sprung out of nowhere to undermine and overturn that general plan.

    Their leader was a retired businesswoman (with political ambitions) who emulated the worst kind Rovian double-speak to frighten voters into believing that we'd all wind up living in concrete canyons and never again see our beloved ocean horizon or foothill skyline again.

    She conflated "New Urbanism" with the now-discredited "urban renewal" of the fifties and sixties, and she painted urban planners as the worst sort of marxist appartchiks that ever lived.

    Her group (which included some starry-eyed environmentalists) got a measure onto the ballot to enact a moratorium on all construction projects over 26 feet in height (!) and create - in essence - a second planning commission, to veto projects with "impacts on scenic views".

    I fought long and hard to oppose this "neighborhood activist",  first because she was so blatantly dishonest (and I'd had my fill of that from Bush/Cheney Inc.) and because land use planning is a crucial component of fossil fuel reduction.

    The voters, thankfully, rejected that ballot measure. But now our city council has abruptly fired and replaced the city manager who was a champion of the "smart growth" principles in our general plan. The city is desperate for money and the new council seems more willing to cut corners for the quick-buck tract home developers.

    This too, is part of the battle against global warming. We have to fight it on many fronts, and all at the same time.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:33:56 PM PST

  •  Sigh ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Unbozo

    Of course they are finding multiple ways. Stopping Keystone XL doesn't stop Tar Sands exploitation. What it does do, however, is throw sand in the gears of planned pipeline expansion.  

    And, by the way, how many of those working to fight the pipeline are also trying to cut demand signals as well?

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:07:10 PM PST

  •  Other pathways will be opposed too. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl, AoT, Unbozo

    Anything that makes it slower and more expensive for the oil industry is a win. So, defeating Keystone XL is still a big victory.

    Reducing oil consumption is one of Obama's biggest accomplishments so far, and we should push for more in his second term. We need another round of high speed rail funding and infrastructure for alternative vehicles, bikes, walkable communities etc.

    •  Obama hasn't reduced oil consumption (0+ / 0-)

      if anything, high prices during Bush 2 did that: Why has US Oil Consumption Steadily Fallen since 2004?

      Instead, the massive increase in US domestic production (more than the entire TarSands output just last year and this, for example) are likely to be dampening global crude oil prices (again, if anything - they're definitely countering any increase that might be happening!).  

      And thus leading to the recent uptick in oil consumption in the USA.

      •  Domestic production is not consumption. (0+ / 0-)

        You're conflating two different things. Domestic production of oil is unrelated to how much oil Americans are actually using. If we weren't extracting more oil right now, we'd just be importing it from somewhere else instead. The price of gas at the pump is determined more by international markets than domestic production.

        The recession and the price of oil reduced consumption, but those are short-term trends. Obama took the absolute most important long-term action: three rounds of new car and track mileage and emissions standards, high speed rail infrastructure, pushing electric cars and other alternatives, having DOT promote walkable cities, etc.

        Obama took steps that will still be reducing oil consumption two decades after he leaves office. The price of gas this month doesn't negate those long-term decisions.

        •  You didn't read my link, did you? (0+ / 0-)

          not that I blame you, I don't often click on links either - heck, that's why I come to DailyKos, to have all my thinking done for me in a one-stop manner.

          •  Yes, I did. (0+ / 0-)

            And your argument is weak. Using a short-term trend to somehow dismiss important long-term action taken to reduce oil consumption is a weak argument. Once again, the price of gas at the pump is determined more by international markets, making an increase in domestic production only marginally relevant, at best.

            •  The link did not deal with the increase (0+ / 0-)

              in domestic production - but focused on the steep run-up in prices during the Bush Administration that led to Americans to use less gasoline.  Mainly by driving fewer miles per person.

              This happened long before Obama was on the scene in any substantial way.

              Whether the halting actions he has taken will have any effect remains to be seen.  

              What we do seem to agree on is that the price of gas at the pump is determined by international markets.  And as this article suggests, the massive increase in US production (equivalent to a fully developed Alberta Tarsands) will (probably!) depress global prices.

              Although the price at the pump in my neck of the woods has skyrocketed the past couple of weeks (up about $0.50).  I really don't know why except that maybe the vaunted "winter driving season" is kicking in . . . .

              •  So what point were you making? (0+ / 0-)

                You wrote: "Obama hasn't reduced oil consumption"

                If your point is that some of Obama's actions will take time to reach their full impact, that's obvious. I wasn't arguing that Obama reduced oil consumption while Bush was still in office.

                One can only speculate whether increased domestic production will lower gas prices at the pump, since we know that increased supply does not always equal lower prices in the gas market. The information you're throwing out isn't relevant to the fact that Obama's policies will reduce oil consumption for years to come.

  •  told you so (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, beach babe in fl, emelyn

    I know your personal carbon footprint is probably pretty low, but we as Americans are energy hogs.

    MB made a post today about how lopsided the scores are from the LCVers by party. Legislatively things are going to be very hard to do. We need to make it easy for our representatives to vote for green solutions, we need to make it in their best interests.

    I know that using cloth bags and energy saver bulbs does little, but it does create a mindset. We need to change the way we think about our energy use. Cars, houses, electricity.

    Unemployment for many sectors of society is still very very high, wouldn't a functioning high speed rail be nice? I'd use it.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:50:19 PM PST

  •  not a surprise (0+ / 0-)

    this will make a lot of wealthy and powerful people money hence they're going to try and find a way to get it done which is why I'm more on the fence about keystone

    I don't disagree that in the long term it's not in our best interests but we have to balance the long and the short and if (and I repeat if) we can know that there will be no enviromental impact then I am for it. And while it gets built we need to push more for renewables. Who knows even if it gets built it could be useless by the time it's finished

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:30:18 PM PST

  •  ENBRIDGE? These (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:19:47 PM PST

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