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An email from 350.org warns that the Keystone XL pipeline project is already being revived. You can sign a petition against that action here. While we follow the unfortunate death of Whitney Houston or the trial from the unfortunate death of Yeardley Love, or even the GOP Primary follies, oil interests are trying to pull a fast one:
Senate Trying To Sneak The Keystone XL Pipeline Onto Obama's Desk Through An Unrelated Bill
After last month's decision by the Obama administration to reject the 1,700-mile-route of the Keystone XL Pipeline, Republican lawmakers are trying to revive the controversial project by attaching it to transportation legislation.
Another email, from the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and natural gas (ASPO), invites me to attend a debate in Madison WI tonight (can't make it, sorry) between an ASPO VP and a former president of Shell Oil who now heads Citizens for Affordable Energy a foundation that supports pragmatic solutions towards cleaner energy. At a cursory glance, CAE's featured news items slam a wind farm for killing golden eagles, but endorse leases for offshore drilling in the Atlantic, so I get the feeling that pragmatic is code for using fossil fuels instead of some thorough evaluation of energy vs environment.
Former Shell Prez John Hofmeister's contention is that increasing oil demand in Chindia and dwindling oil supply from OPEC will lead inexorably to $5.00 a gallon gas, therefore we must exploit local resources to increase domestic supply. ASPO VP and Petroleum Engineering Chair at UT Austin Tad Patzek counters that "no realistic U.S. increase will offset declining yields from other nations."
[ASPO posted a one-hour video of the debate.]
US Gasoline prices have risen to around $3.50 per gallon. Admitting all the uncertainties with Israel vs Iran and Greek austerity, Tom Whipple suspects that Americans may be looking at another 60 cents a gallon by May, which would put the US price around $4.10 per gallon—slightly above the $3.97 that GasBuddy charts showed for last summer.
But here is Hofmeister, a former oil exec, waving around a flaming $5.00/gallon price just as the Senate is trying to revive Keystone XL. As if Keystone is going to lower US gasoline prices. Keystone is all about selling Canadian synthetic oil on the world market at the higher Brent price, instead of to the US at the lower WTI price.
And the risk to the Ogallala aquifer—just a nuisance to be glossed over by a compliant government.