- About Us
- Community Guidelines

Advertising on BOR
- Advertise on BOR


We're Counting On You.

Burnt Orange Report is redeveloping our website for the first time in almost a decade.

We're counting on your support to continue providing you free and frequent coverage of progressive issues that matter to Texans.

Help us build a website that is as great as the content we publish on it.

Obama Kills Keystone XL, But Tarsands Fight Just Beginning

by: Adam Schwitters

Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 01:00 PM CST


Environmental activists gathered in front of President Obama’s Austin campaign headquarters yesterday to applaud his decision to deny Transcanada’s bid to construct the Keystone XL pipeline which would have brought diluted bitumen, a nearly solid form of petroleum, from the tarsands region of Alberta to the Texas Gulf coast.

Adam Hammick, a volunteer with 350.org, was ecstatic, describing the decision as “the only time in decades big oil has been put in its place.” He added, “against all odds we won.” He acknowledges, however, that the fight to keep tarsands oil, which is profoundly nasty substance, out of the United States has just begun, and that there are more pipelines already planned, including the Seaway Pipeline which would bring existing stocks of tarsands oil from Oklahoma to Texas.  That there are so many new projects planned means “environmental groups can’t afford to spend this much energy on one project in the future.”

The President was forced to make this decision due to a cynical political ploy from Republicans in Congress who attached a rider on the Payroll Tax Cut Bill that stipulated he must make a decision on the pipeline within 60 days of the bill’s passage.  The State Department had previously determined that their environmental impact study for the project was insufficient, and needed approximately 18 months to fully study the pipeline’s proposed route. Congressional Republicans believe that they can use this as leverage in the November elections by painting Obama as a job killing tree hugger who killed a project that would provide energy security to America and, in the words of Transcanada’s economic review “hundreds of thousands of man-years of employment.”  Well, their math is just dead wrong.

Two non-idealogical reviews of the project, by the State Department and by Cornell University, show that Transcanada is wildly inflating job creation numbers.  The DOS review puts the total number of jobs at 5000-6000, while Cornell estimates that no more than 4650 temporary jobs would be created by the project.  Thinkprogress.org’s review of the Transcanada report showed “Among the list of jobs that would be created: 51 dancers and choreographers, 138 dentists, 176 dental hygienists, 100 librarians, 510 bread bakers, 448 clergy, 154 stenographers, 865 hairdressers, 136 manicurists, 110 shampooers, 65 farmers, and (our favorite) 1,714 bartenders.”

The notion that these pipelines would somehow improve America’s energy security is also erroneous. Tarsands oil already flows to market in the US.  What it does not do, at the moment, is reach overseas consumers in the burgeoning markets of China and India.  If it were to be refined close to major export terminals along the gulf coast, it would actually raise gasoline and diesel prices “10 to 20 cents per gallon,” according to the Cornell study. “These additional costs (estimated to total $2-4 billion) will suppress other spending and will therefore cost jobs.”

The Sierra Club is planning a large rally on February 18 to begin the fight against future tarsands pipelines, and I will keep you up to date on these events as they near.

To read the President’s statement on the Keystone decision, and thank him for protecting our environment and economy, visit whitehouse.gov.


Copyright Burnt Orange Report, all rights reserved.
Do not republish without express written permission.

Tags: , , , , , , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Tar sands (0.00 / 0)
The RepubliCANT's  thought they could pull a fast one on President Obama but they "outsmarted" themselves.   They actually made it easy for President  Obama and the State Department to deny the Keystone XL Permit.  The RepubliCANT's are jobs killers, they refused to work with President Obama on a jobs bill that would help OUR country  They are willing to do whatever it takes to bring Obama down and they don't care what it does to OUR country.  They forced the layoffs of teachers, firefighters, postal workers, etc...with their revolting partisan politics.   Yet the RepubliCANT's have no trouble peddling TransCanada's false jobs claims for the Keystone XL pipeline.  TransCanada's own CEO Russ Girling admitted to the Washington Post that they double counted the jobs and that the State Department estimates are more accurate.  
Just follow the money trail back to the RepubliCANT's to find out who is behind their actions...it's big Dirty Oil's  bought an paid for PoliTicians in DC ...the RepubliCANT's.
Dirty Oil puppetmasters pull on the strings of their bought and paid for puppets in DC and the puppets dance and do their bidding.  And their number one puppet is John Boehner.  


According to Boehner's financial disclosure forms, he invested $10,000 to $50,000 each in seven firms that had a stake in Canada's oil sands,  The firms include six oil companies - BP, Canadian Natural Resources, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Devon Energy and Exxon - along with AUSTIN'S OWN  Emerson Electric, which has a contract to provide the digital automation for the first phase of a $9.4 billion Horizon Oil Sands Project in Canada.
TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline is a export pipeline that would use the US as a vessel to pump highly carcinogenic and toxic bitumen slurry down to Texas Gulf Coast refineries so that it could be refined in Foreign Trade Zones in Pt. Arthur, TX and be refined and exported free of taxes.   The US would get all the risks and no benefits from a hazardous tar sands pipeline.
TransCanada refuses to disclose the chemical nature of the diluent used to "liquify" the tar sands (bitumen)...the reason is because they don't want anyone to know the highly toxic nature of the tar sands slurry in the pipeline.  Just ask the victims of the Enbridge Line 6B 1.1 million gallon tar sands spill in Michigan about their exposure to 15,000 ppb of benzene, the illnesses, the deaths and the abuse by Enbridge in regards to the failed cleanup of the 35 mile spill and the blatant refusal to address health and safety issues cause by the spill. They are being lied to by Enbridge and offered chump change settlements to buy their silence.  
Fact check bitumen is heavier than water so when it spills it sinks and it CAN'T be cleaned-up.  Enbridge has spent close to $700 million on th ecleanuip and it's nowhere near being cleaned up.  Whistleblower John Bolenbaugh has informed the nation about attempts to coverup the fact that the spill can't be cleanedup.  Whistleblower Mike Klink has testified to Congress that safety shortcuts were taken on TransCanada's Keystone 1 pipeline - that's th epipeline that spilled 12 times in it's first year of operation/
Texans can live without tar sands byt we can't live without clean water, clean air and our health.
President Obama's denial of the Keystone XL Pipeline permit shows that he will not be bullied by Big Oil or Republicans.  
The US needs to wean itself off dirty oil and make a commitment to clean, green, renewable energy. Dirty tar sands is not the way to go.  

Thank you President Obama (0.00 / 0)
This was a bold decision.

It wasn't necessarily smart politics, but it was smart policy. President Obama isn't just thinking about the next election -- he's thinking about the next generation. Tar sands will pollute our land, air and water and won't serve our national interest. Down the road, our children will thank us for laying the foundation for a clean energy economy and rejecting this toxic tar sands pipeline. Thank you President Obama for taking a strong stand!

Check out this video, minute 3:17 -

"Good morning, I'm Randy Thompson, I'm from Martell, Nebraska. I'm here as a Nebraska citizen and landowner.

History will be the old ultimate judge of this project, and we are about ready to write that chapter of our history. Will our descendents look back and say, 'Thank god our great grandfathers had the foresight to protect the resources that we're now depending on?'

Or will they say, 'What were the damn fools thinking about?"

Not only are Nebraska farmers and ranchers worried about the impacts of the KXL tar sands pipeline, but Texans are also concerned about the impacts of a toxic spill on the Carizzo-Wilcox aquifer. It's the 3rd largest aquifer in Texas, and it provides drinking water to over 10 million Texans in 60 counties across Texas.

In addition to this threat to our water, the tar sands refineries in our Houston and Port Arthur communities will further pollute our air. We must act now to protect our public health.

Our next rally is February 18 at 1:00pm at the Capitol. We'll talk about the next phases of the campaign and keep organizing for clean water and clean air.

XL-ent scamola (0.00 / 0)
The Republicans did shoot themselves in the foot, but I bet they think Obama shot himself in the foot.

It will be interesting to see if people wise up to that fact that the resultant refined gas was not reserved for the US market anyway.

The pipeline was going to funnel money to a select few at the expense of the environment of many others.

tar sands, keystone xl export pipeline, valero,total,motiva pt arthur foreign trade zone, hydrocraker (0.00 / 0)
Excellent article about how Valero postured Pt Arthur tar sands refining for export:


Straight from Valero:

"to process over 150,000 barrels/day of high-acid, heavy sour Canadian crude," and which produces "high-quality diesel and jet fuel for growing global demand for middle distillates, and is "located at large, Gulf Coast refinery to leverage existing operations and export logistics."

Total and Motiva also located in Pt Arthur Foreign trade zone have also expanded to be able to accept tar sands for processing and refining.  

BTW Valero had to spend over 1.604  BILLION to add a hydrocracker plant to it's Pt Arthur Refinery just to be able to chemically concert the extra long carbon chained tar sands into shorter chained carbons so that it could go through distillation.  New hydrocracker plant is big 13 acres in size!  

Valero's latest statement on the denial of the permit:

"Valero Energy Corp., a refining giant on the Gulf Coast, also backs Keystone, despite this week's setback. Bill Day, a spokesperson for the company, declined to elaborate on its contract with TransCanada."




[ Parent ]
Connect With BOR

2014 Texas Elections
Follow BOR for who's in, who's out, and who's up.

Candidate Tracker:
-- Statewide Races
-- Congressional Races
-- State Senate Races
-- State Rep. Races
-- SBOE Races
-- Austin City Council

Click here for all 2014 Elections coverage


Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?

Texas Blue Pages

Texas Blue Pages
A career network for progressives.


Shared On Facebook

Burnt Orange Reporters
Editor and Publisher:
Katherine Haenschen

Senior Staff Writers:
Genevieve Cato
Joe Deshotel
Ben Sherman

Staff Writers:
Omar Araiza
Emily Cadik
Phillip Martin
Natalie San Luis
Katie Singh
Joseph Vogas

Byron LaMasters

Blogger Emeritus:
Karl-Thomas Musselman

Read staff bios here.

Traffic Ratings
- Alexa Rating
- Quantcast Ratings

Powered by: SoapBlox