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    The World's Dirtiest Oil

    TransCanada is moving ahead with the Southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline that would take oil, and synthetic oil from tar sands, from Cushing, Oklahoma to the refineries and ports near the Gulf of Mexico. A White House press release stated:

    The President welcomes today's news that TransCanada plans to build a pipeline to bring crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf of Mexico. As the President made clear in January, we support the company's interest in proceeding with this project, which will help address the bottleneck of oil in Cushing that has resulted in large part from increased domestic oil production, currently at an eight year high. Moving oil from the Midwest to the world-class, state-of-the-art refineries on the Gulf Coast will modernize our infrastructure, create jobs, and encourage American energy production.

    Many expect a reelected Obama to approve some version of the Northern portion that shortens the current route from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

    TransCanada gave the State Department advance notice of its intention to submit a new application for the cross-border segment of the Keystone XL pipeline, from Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, once a route through Nebraska has been identified. House Republicans forced a rejection of the company's earlier application in January, by not allowing sufficient time for important review or even the identification of a complete pipeline route. But as we made clear, the President's decision in January in no way prejudged future applications. We will ensure any project receives the important assessment it deserves, and will base a decision to provide a permit on the completion of that review.

    Mining the tar sands seems destined to ravage Canada. Keeping the pipeline away from the Ogallala Aquifer may be about the best we can hope for at this point.


    Keeping the pipeline away from the Ogallala Aquifer may be about the best we can hope for at this point.

    To the extent that I have followed this story, it would seem that was always the most anyone could hope for.  Had it not been for the aquifer issue, the pipeline would have been a done deal by now.  I haven't seen any other issue about the pipeline that would have the ability to override not only the big oil company support but the push from the public for the jobs the pipeline would create.

    They are pushing for fracking in Western MD based on jobs, too.

    In light of this story, which frankly breaks my heart, and as I watch my children's world grow ever hotter, dirtier, uglier, and less biodiverse, I keep asking myself how much water should I carry for Obama when his only argument is that his opponents are that much worse than he is.

    I frankly wonder the same thing, but I can't help but reflect that I am still part of the problem that feeds the forces that push Obama to approve this pipeline.

    Clinton: Build Keystone Pipeline on Alternative Route

    Former President Bill Clinton took a stand between Democrats and Republicans on the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline Wednesday. At an energy conference in Maryland, he said the pipeline should be constructed, but he blamed the system’s builder, TransCanada, for the fact that it hasn’t been built yet, Politico reports.

    "One of the most amazing things to me about this Keystone pipeline deal is that they ever filed that route in the first place, since they could have gone around the Nebraska Sandhills and avoided most of the dangers, no matter how imagined, to the Ogallala [aquifer] with a different route,” Clinton said.

    The alternative route likely will be utilized now, “because the extra cost of running is infinitesimal compared to the revenue that will be generated over a long period of time," he said, according to Politico. "So, I think we should embrace it and develop a stakeholder-driven system of high standards for doing the work."

    We may have lucked out as TransCanada has overreached on  eminent domain claims to get access to the land it needs.  This undercuts support for the project with the very conservatives who are its base.  Just a few days ago the House passed legislation meant to discourage Kelo-style eminent domain takings, but exempted Keystone from the legislation.  That's not going to fly.  A Canadian company kicking Texans and Nebraskans out of their homes?  Where's the Tea Party when you need them?

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