High Gas Prices Result of Huge U.S. Oil/Gas Exports; New Drilling/Pipelines Obviously Not Meant for U.S.

 

U.S. oil and gas exports are at their highest in 62 years! http://sfgate.bloomberg.com/SFChronicle/ Story?docId=1376-M03ZSG0YHQ0X01-5JR0G692MBGTE60AIHP5SP9EJ8.  Demand for oil/gas from foreign countries has increased tremendously while the U.S. has drastically reduced demand over a short period of time. What does this mean? It means that the big push to open up drilling in pristine Arctic wildlife areas, or to abscond land from private citizens in order to run a new pipeline, or the rounding up and slaughter of our free range wild mustangs, bison, wolves, etc., in order to clear them from the land like scooping up garbage instead of living creatures has nothing at all to do with our own energy welfare but for foreign countries.  It means we’ve pretty much gained energy independence from terrorist nations.  It means that we’re not running out of oil for our own consumption or that we need to drill baby drill. It simply has to do with big oil supplying that which we no longer need to foreign nations for big profits because there is demand out there. And when supply keeps up with increasing demand prices go up everywhere. It’s economics 101 http://www.investopedia.com/university/economics /economics3.asp#axzz1ny6hzw4F plain and simple that has little to do with us, except the fact we pay for it dearly at the pumps, while we still subsidize big oil. http://thinkprogress.org/green /2012/03/01/436001/obama-tells-congress-to-eliminate-outrageous-big-oil-tax-breaks/.

Now do we understand why there is such an outrage among some of us over subsidies, over the destruction of wildlife, and over the destruction of land for drilling/pipelines for a private, wealthy industry like big oil? Subsidies are taxpayer dollars to help big oil find new places to drill, places we do not want them to drill, places we do not want pipelines, yet we help these mega, mega rich private entities with our money. Feels like some sort of investment to me. We helped the U.S. auto industry out one time with a finite sum of money, most of which has been paid back, but not before there was a huge outcry that we’d better get it back and we shouldn’t have done that. Yet our taxpayer dollars consistently fund big, mega rich entities like big Ag and big Oil. Our payback right now from big oil is a continual increase in gas prices at the pumps. One would think that we should have some say so over that. Oh that’s right in most of the commercials about taxing big oil, or stopping subsidies, the people on the street remark, “Oh, don’t do that. That would mean a big increase for us and we can’t afford it.” So who’s the bully here and why is the bully so free to raise prices whenever? Oh that’s right too, we’re told those pesky government regulations/interference hinder big business and jobs. What’s happening at the gas pumps is what unfettered capitalism looks like. If Obama stepped in on our behalf, all hell would break lose. http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2012/01/oil-lobbyist-publicly-warns-president-obama-xl-pipeline-or-lose-presidency/.

Now that we’ve seen the proof that there is enough U.S. oil/gas to export so much of it, we must also be aware that any new pipelines from new sources of oil, like Canada’s tar sands via the XL pipeline, isn’t destined for us either. As I explained in another blog the XL pipeline will be carrying filthy tar sands to China mostly http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2011/11/xl-pipeline-looks-to-be-a-good-deal-for-china-not-americans-alternate-route-through-british-columbia-being-considered/.  It will cause demand for the stuff to go sky high, with a huge supply in the waiting, and we’ll see another hike at the pumps.

It’s almost as if this is big oil’s payback to us for declining use of their product for environmental reasons. It looks that way in congress too with lackeys for big oil stifling any incentives for wind projects even though wind looked like the most promising alternative for the U.S.  The U.S. mid-section is a corridor of constant wind, as well as, our huge shoreline. But congress stifled wind subsidies/incentives http://www.democraticunderground.com/101454189. And solar, well, solar is quiet right now after the dragging of feet to get Solyndra going before China flooded the market with their cheap, incomparable products http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2012/01/solyndra-a-model-of-why-the-u-s-wont-be-a-contender-in-the-new-world-order/.  All of these scenarios–threatening commercials to raise prices if subsidies decline or taxation increases, stamping out the competition through congress, and creating more and more demand abroad, look as if we’re being coerced back to using oil. And if demand for our oil gets too outrageous, a shortage crisis will emerge—MARK MY WORDS—where it will be imperative that we drill everywhere and anywhere. We will be told our own resources are dwindling and there just aren’t enough alternatives to take up the slack. What a setup. If incentives to create and nurture a new green sector for the U.S. are cut out of the picture what choice will we have though? Looks like a plan to me.

Throughout my previous blogs I made comments about the progression of control I was seeing relative to energy and the environment. I began in the Bush era by saying, “The kings are polishing their crowns. From there it was, “The kings have donned their crowns but just haven’t announced it yet.”  When SCOTUS announced corporations are considered citizens, my comment was, “This is the announcement (new kings).” Now we’re seeing a little more clearly those that are sporting crowns and one of them is big oil, king and ruler of U.S. energy, whether we want to move away from it or not.

Read more about U.S. oil exports:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/story/2011-12-31/united-states-export/52298812/1

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/30/column-us-exports-energy-independence-idUSL5E7MU6OT20111130

 

 

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Solyndra a Model of Why the U.S. Won’t Be a Contender in the New World Order

Going green has lost quite a bit if traction in the U.S. because of some really outrageous spin and it would appear the oil/gas industry and their lackey’s in congress to be the culprits. Despite the fact we can see climate change with our own eyes, and that some of the giants in the oil industry admitted greenhouse gas contributes to climate change, we’re heading toward more fossil fuel production with gas fracking and tar sands oil at the top of the list. Friends of fossil fuel have jumped on the Solyndra bandwagon of failure as some sort of omen that green start-ups are too risky, and therefore, unworthy business models in the U.S. during a time of renewed “drill and frack” mentality. But Solyndra is a model of a much more ominous nature. Solyndra’s failure is not due to an innovation that had no place in the market, or mishandling of funds, or was too costly compared to the competition, or because it was a vehicle of some underhanded exchange of money for political gain. While conspiracies abound around the name “Solyndra” the biggest problem Solyndra had to overcome was CHINA, one of the four new and fastest growing world economies. No the U.S. is not on that short list.  We’ll never make it at all if we continue on the path of fossil fuel for energy and stall moving forward quickly with green innovation.

Don’t get me wrong. China is indeed destined to get most of that tar sand oil from Canada, and so it is in the big fossil fuel burning category of nations. But China also continues to be a mixed bag for its energy sources and moving more and more quickly into the green foray. China recently emerged as KING of solar panel producers exporting its solar panel wares worldwide in numbers far greater than its competitors. But how did this happen you say and so quickly? And how come a company like Solyndra that barely came out of the ground went under so quickly? Surely there was a market for solar just look at China.

Just about all the reporting relative to Solyndra from ABC, to Fox, to numerous websites has been false and totally out of context, the main one being that it is Obama’s baby. Truth is Solyndra began in 2005 with a sound standing in the field of solar panels. Solyndra was the leader in innovation for solar. While standard solar panels look like flat screen monitors and utilize costly silicon in their photovoltaics (sun’s energy converted to direct current), Solyndra’s solar panels sported a tubular design that didn’t utilize silicon chips at all.

Solyndra’s solar panels are made up of 40 individual modules, wired in parallel for high current, which capture sunlight across a 360-degree photovoltaic surface capable of converting direct, diffuse and reflected sunlight into electricity. Using innovative cylindrical copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS modules) and thin-film technology, Solyndra systems are designed to be able to provide the lowest system installation costs on a per watt basis for the commercial rooftop market. More than 1000 Solyndra systems are installed around the world, representing nearly 100 Megawatts.

Lightweight: Low Distributed Load of 2.8 lbs. per Square Foot

Designed to Last for More than 25 Years

Easier and Cheaper Installation

Superior Wind Performance: Ideal for Windy Locations

Greater and More Effective Rooftop Coverage

Design Keeps Panels and Roofs Cooler

http://www.solyndra.com/technology-products/

From 2005 to late 2009, Solyndra panels were in the ballpark cost wise with standard solar panel manufacturers. Solyndra’s  founder  Dr. Christian Gronet earned a Ph.D. in semiconductor processing and a bachelor of science degree in Materials Science from Stanford University and was Vice President and General Manager of the Transistor, Capacitor and Gate product group at Applied Materials for 11 years. http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=54334387&privcapId=33681528.   According to their website, “Applied Materials is the global leader in providing innovative equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display, and solar photovoltaic industries. http://www.appliedmaterials.com/.

Solyndra had no problem raising over $78 million in venture capital quickly. From Climate Progress and verified by the DOE: “Solyndra raises its first round of venture financing worth $10.6 million from CMEA Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and U.S. Venture Partners. In October, Argonaut Venture Capital, an investment arm of George Kaiser, invests $17 million into Solyndra. Madrone Capital Partners, an investment arm of the Walton family, invests $7 million. Those investments are part of a $78.2 million fund.”

Funding came from the Right, the Left, and everywhere in between.

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/09/13/317594/timeline-bush-administration-solyndra-loan-guarantee/

At about the same time Solyndra began, the Bush Administration’s Energy Policy Act of 2005 was initiated. Section 1703 seemed an ideal match for a company like Solyndra as follows: “Section 1703 of Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorizes the U.S. Department of Energy to support innovative clean energy technologies that are typically unable to obtain conventional private financing due to high technology risks.” https://lpo.energy.gov/?page_id=39. The emphasis here is on the word “risk.”

In 2006, Solyndra applied for a DOE loan under Section 1703. Late 2007 the loan program was funded and Solyndra was on the list for a loan. According to Energy Sec’y Sam Bodman at that time: “The Energy Department had received 143 pre-applications for the guarantees and narrowed the list down to 16 finalists — including Solyndra.” Why was Solyndra mentioned that way, as if singled out? According to WashingtonMonthly.com, “Bush’s Energy Department apparently adjusted its regulations to make sure that Solyndra would be eligible for the guarantees. It hadn’t originally contemplated including the photovoltaic-panel manufacturing that Solyndra did but changed the regulation before it was finalized. The only project that benefited was Solyndra’s.” Hmmm—heavy Republican investors or what? The Bush Administration, as I often blogged about back then, was not exactly green by any stretch of the word. However, it was late 2007 and 2008 meant a new presidential race. Being able to tout investment in alternative energy might appeal to some independent voters. Whatever the case, this loan program and its admittance of Solyndra on the list was a decision made during the Bush Administration.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_09/solyndras_republican_paternity032460.php

By 2008, Solyndra planned on building 2 new facilities in the U.S., and private investment in Solyndra reached an accumulated $450 million. It still looked like a great venture. Prices for silicon remained high and Solyndra’s costs were still competitive. But by late 2008, the loan still hadn’t been approved. According to themoderatevoice.com:

January 2009: In an effort to show it has done something to support renewable energy, the Bush Administration tries to take Solyndra before a DOE credit review committee before President Obama is inaugurated. The committee, consisting of career civil servants with financial expertise, remands the loan back to DOE “without prejudice” because it wasn’t ready for conditional commitment.

March 2009: The same credit committee approves the strengthened loan application. The deal passes on to DOE’s credit review board. Career staff (not political appointees) within the DOE issue a conditional commitment setting out terms for a guarantee.

Once taxpayer money was involved, the Obama administration was reluctant to let Solyndra fail.

http://themoderatevoice.com/122532/solyndra-and-bush/

Cleantechnica.com reported:

June 2009: As more silicon production facilities come online while demand for PV (photovoltaics) wavers due to the economic slowdown, silicon prices start to drop. Meanwhile, the Chinese begin rapidly scaling domestic manufacturing and set a path toward dramatic, unforeseen cost reductions in PV. Between June of 2009 and August of 2011, PV (photovoltaic) prices drop more than 50%.

http://cleantechnica.com/2011/09/15/solyndra-advanced-by-bush-for-2-years-solyndra-timeline/

Some reports suggested that President Obama was warned several times via email that the deal was risky. On the contrary, Media Matters stated:

There was no email to Obama that the deal wasn’t ready for prime time relative to financial risk. Instead Email Concerned Timing Of Announcement, Not The Merit Of The Loan Guarantee.[] The email argued that ‘This deal is NOT ready for prime time’ because there were more steps to be completed before the loan guarantee could be finalized — namely, OMB had to review the credit rating and Solyndra needed to raise an additional $200 million in private capital. [House Energy and Commerce Republicans,9/14/11]

The merit of the loan guarantee lies with the OMB or Office of Management and Budget.

  • OMB reviews and must approve credit subsidy cost estimates for all loan and loan guarantee programs, including the credit subsidy cost estimates generated by DOE for the Title XVII program, to ensure that costs are accounted for appropriately.
  • OMB assesses cost estimates on a loan-by-loan basis because the Title XVII program provides relatively large-dollar guarantees and because their characteristics, terms, and risks vary greatly from project to project.
  • OMB delegates the modeling of credit subsidy costs to agencies, and issues implementing guidance to ensure consistent and accurate estimates of cost.
  • OMB works closely with agencies to create or revise credit subsidy models for new programs or programs issuing their first loans or loan guarantees, such as the Title XVII program in 2009,
  • Based on these models, OMB reviews and exercises final approval authority over credit subsidy costs to ensure that the costs of direct loans and loan guarantees are presented, and reflect estimated risks, consistently across Federal agencies so that taxpayer funds are invested in a prudent and effective fashion.
  • The final decision on whether to issue the loan or guarantee rests with the agency implementing the applicable program – DOE in the case of Title XVII.

http://mediamatters.org/research/201109190020.

By September 2009 Solyndra raised the money, an additional $219 million dollars and the $535 million loan from the DOE went through. Around one billion dollars had been invested in Solyndra, the bigger portion coming from the private investment sector. The Walton’s (the Wal-Mart family) Madrone Capital Partners and the Kaiser Foundation’s Argonaut Venture Capital, the Right and Left money respectively, being the biggest investors.

At this point, early 2010, China trumped everyone in the solar game “dump[ing] $30 billion into its solar industry. That is a lot of money for infrastructure as well as research and development. There is little doubt that the companies making solar panels in China benefited from the money.” http://www.solarcompanies.com/news/china-and-united-states-to-enter-trade-war-on-solar-panels

However, China did so in violation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which prohibits government subsidies for corporations/businesses that plan to export. To do so allows that country to possibly corner the worldwide market in any segment, which China has done with solar panels. The thinking goes this way. A corporation is limited in growth if all its goods and services remain in the country. In the U.S., a corporation is limited by the fact that we only have 300 million people and consumers are only going to buy so many goods/services over a period of time. But if that same corporation decides to export—the sky is the limit. So for any government to heavily subsidize a corporation that also plans to export, tips the playing field badly on competition that can’t possibly keep up. Since China has over 3 times our population the playing field is already tipped to say the least. The $30 billion dollar Chinese “illegal” dump into the solar industry was a death knell for Solyndra. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/09/business/global/09trade.html?pagewanted=all

It’s not unforeseen or unusual that from December 2010 through February 2011, the two largest private investors, DOE, and Solyndra “negotiated the terms and conditions of an agreement to restructure the Solyndra loan guarantee. Throughout this process, DOE consulted with OMB about the proposed terms and conditions of this arrangement.” NY Times: Experts Said DOE’s Decision To Restructure “Is Routine In The Commercial World.” From a September 16, New York Times article

By the end of February 2011,

  • Both Argonaut and Madrone added a combined $69 million in emergency funds to Solyndra.
  • DOE agreed to extend the term of Solyndra’s loan guarantee from seven to 10 years, and to postpone the first repayment installment by one year, from 2012 to 2013.
  • In addition, the agreement provided that, in the event of the company’s liquidation before 2013, the investors have the senior secured position with respect to the first $75 million recovered. In this case, it is not the full $75 million but rather the $69 million in emergency funds as stated, “The two firms gave the company a total of $69 million in emergency loans. The loans are the only portion of their investments that have repayment priority above the U.S. government. [Associated Press,9/16/11].
  • DOE has the second senior secured position with respect to the next $150 million recovered in liquidation. This is taxpayer money
  • If Solyndra had not liquidated or declared bankruptcy by 2013, the investors would have lost their senior secured position to DOE. [House Energy and Commerce Committee, 9/12/11]

Media Matters further stated that the decision to fund Solyndra, which in turn built brand new state of the art facilities, is in much better shape to garner more when they liquidate. “DOE determined, as part of the restructuring, that the facility would be more valuable, even in the event of a future liquidation, once complete.” He went on to say that “DOE determined that restructuring the loan guarantee gave the U.S. taxpayer the best chance of being repaid”

http://mediamatters.org/research/201109190020

So there you have it. Advanced solar technology like Solyndra had a foothold in the industry when it began 7 years ago, but failed during the slow, slow process of funding during which time a giant like China decided to dump an “unforeseen” 30 billion into the solar panel industry in a very short time. Did they know about Solyndra? China’s panels are ho hum standard cheap, nowhere near the innovation of Solyndra. It’s a shame we have segments of our population that scream about government helping new industry get a start when our competition does it all the time. It’s not socialism by any stretch, especially when it’s about energy and infrastructure. It’s investment in the U.S. future if we’re going to compete with the likes of China, India, Russia, or Brazil—the top 4 economic powers now. Government certainly needs to rethink  trade agreements too now that we know how China plans to play the game.

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In Spite of the Fossil Fuel Industry Push for More Filthy Fuel, California Completes One Gigawatt of Solar Power

Kudo’s to California. Despite adversity from the deep pockets of the fossil fuel industry out to stall progress for a sustainable energy future, California completed the installation of one gigawatt of solar power capable of powering 750,000 homes the equivalent of 2 coalburners.

http://cleantechnica.com/2011/11/11/california-now-has-1-gigawatt-of-solar-power-installed/

 

 

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Oil Lobbyist Publicly Warns President Obama; XL Pipeline or Lose Presidency?

I just wrote about the GOP holding the payroll tax bill hostage for the XL Pipeline, http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2011/12/congressional-allies-of-big-oil-hold-payroll-tax-bill-hostage-to-extort-xl-pipeline-deal/.  And now an oil industry lobbyist, Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, warns President Obama, “It would be a “huge mistake” (very Soprano like), for President Barack Obama to reject the 1,700-mile, Canada-to-Texas pipeline. Obama faces a Feb. 21 deadline to decide whether the $7 billion pipeline is in the national interest.” He went on to say that some 15 unions were backing the pipeline because of jobs, which I assume will be the issue—JOBS vs. ENVIRONMENT.  However,  many union members are against the pipeline, and especially Hoffa of the Teamsters:

Global warming is for real. Air pollution is killing people and making our children sick. And you know what? We share some of the blame. In the past, we were forced to make a false choice. The choice was: Good Jobs or a Clean Environment. We were told no pollution meant no jobs. If we wanted clean air, the economy would suffer and jobs would be sent overseas. Well guess what? We let the big corporations pollute and the jobs went overseas anyway. We didn’t enforce environmental regulations and the economy still went in the toilet. The middle class got decimated and the environment is on the brink of disaster. Well I say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! No more false divides. The future, if we are to prosper as a nation, will lie in a green economy.

http://www.labor4sustainability.org/articles/pipeline-climate-disaster-the-keystone-xl-pipeline-and-labor/.

Gerard reiterated that it was in the national interest to erect the pipeline (just like Hoffa stated happened before) and, “Gerard said the oil group has teamed up with at least 15 unions to support the pipeline, which would create thousands of jobs.” So let’s see the roll call on those unions. Are Teamsters involved after all and speaking from both sides of their mouth too?

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2012/01/04/oil_
industry_chief_warns_obama_on_canada_pipeline/

Um, someone really should tell both the oil industry and politicians involved that we are in a technical age and cannot lie about jobs lost from not erecting the pipeline. It was  just 1 ½ months ago Trans Canada retracted their statements about all the direct and indirect jobs created. The Washington Post broke the story:

TransCanada chief executive Russ Girling said Friday that the three-year review process has already imposed costs on his company, including $1.9 billion on pipe and other equipment stored in warehouses.

The carrying costs on those are material, and we continue to incur those costs,” he said, adding that further delays beyond the end of the year could force U.S. refineries that have signed contracts with TransCanada to look at alternatives, either other sources of supply or other transport means.

[]A key question for the administration is how many jobs the Keystone XL project would create. TransCanada’s initial estimate of 20,000 — which it said includes 13,000 direct construction jobs and 7,000 jobs among supply manufacturers — has been widely quoted by lawmakers and presidential candidates.

Girling said Friday that the 13,000 figure was “one person, one year,” meaning that if the construction jobs lasted two years, the number of people employed in each of the two years would be 6,500. That brings the company’s number closer to the State Department’s; State says the project would create 5,000 to 6,000 construction jobs, a figure that was calculated by its contractor Cardno Entrix.

As for the 7,000 indirect supply chain jobs, the $1.9 billion already spent by TransCanada would reduce the number of jobs that would be created in the future. The Brixton Group, a firm working with opponents of the project, has argued that many of the indirect supply jobs would be outside the United States because about $1.7 billion worth of steel will be purchased from a Russian-owned mill in Canada.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/keystone-pipeline-debate-heats-up/2011/11/04/gIQA824rpM_story.html

On top of the admission that the jobs just aren’t there, I already posted that the oil is not meant for us but China and that Canada wants more money from the U.S. for its tar sands oil but has to create demand to do so and that means getting it to Asia.

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2011/11/xl-pipeline-looks-to-be-a-good-deal-for-china-not-americans-alternate-route-through-british-columbia-being-considered/

So there you have it. Lies about jobs relative to the XL pipeline have been resurrected, as well as, lies about boosting the U.S. economy through our supply chain. I read a comment on one blogsite by a Canadian that stated they felt bad the U.S. was falling for the jobs claim when Canadians were promised the most jobs from the project, not Americans. Hmmm. Pushing for jobs wouldn’t be as bad if some of the biggest leaders in our oil industry had not already admitted greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. They know perfectly well that pushing for the pipeline will more than likely cause a magnitude of natural disaster down the line but hey money comes first and apparently China.

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2011/12/xl-pipeline-gets-new-commitments-although-top-oil-companies-admitted-greenhouse-gas-causes-climate-change-a-travesty-for-our-future/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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XL Pipeline Gets New Commitments Although Top Oil Companies Admitted Greenhouse Gas Causes Climate Change; A Travesty for Our Future

The XL Pipeline appears to be a done deal if you search the Internet. The links I’ve referenced below are all pretty much the same with breaking news that additional commitments have been made with TransCanada to deliver tar sands oil via the XL Pipeline from Canada to Houston. What ALL of the articles fail to disclose is just who these “new” commitments are? Is it U.S. big oil, the Koch Brothers, China, who? Did these new binding commitments come from GOP members of our congress that attached the XL Pipeline rider to the Payroll Tax Cut bill? None of the articles relate anything about the new attachment to the Payroll Tax Cuts but it sure seems a coincidence the rider appeared a few days ago and then TransCanada made its announcement about new commitments.

An article in the Vancouver Sun http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Keystone
+pipeline+delay+tragedy/5868403/story.html
about TransCanada’s CEO Russ Girling
pretty much says the same but that he wants no part of the wrangling going on in congress over it. Suuuuuuurrrrre. Liar. TransCanada has been lobbying big time for this pipeline. After the demonstrations against the pipeline TransCanada knew it would more than likely come to an act of congress to get their wish. That 100 million dollar sucker their dangling in front of us as a big benefit to the U.S. will never make it to the average citizen. Any profits will go to big oil’s coffers and fuel a backlash for more dirty energy. As for us, the gas at the pump will go sky high. Truth is Canada has been rubbing its palms together to raise prices at the pump for its oil to the U.S. for awhile. The plan is to create greater demand for the dirty crude by shipping it directly to Asia. A billion waiting consumers in China will do the trick.

Read about it:

http://dirtyoilsands.org/midwestgas.
http://stopbigoilripoffs.com/documents.
http://sierraclub.typepad.com/carlpope/2011/08/tar-sands-oil-keystone.html.
http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/10/28/356486/promoting-tar-sands-myths-cnns-steve-hargreaves-bets-keystone-xl-pipeline-will-be-approved/.

This is going to get nasty before it gets better. Using jobs to extort new filthy energy after big oil including Exxon admitted greenhouse gases contribute to climate change is suicide. And they want to take us with them. Oh we’ll have pocketfuls of money according to the pipeline supporters. Another suuuuurrrre!!! What good will that do against the wrath of Mother Nature in the end? And the trip to that end will be filled with more strange autoimmune diseases for our children due to pollution not to mention asthma and lung related problems. If we really liked the downpours, flooding, drought, and fires we’ve been experiencing there will surely be encore productions of that too.

Not long ago Exxon Mobil stated:

The world faces a significant challenge to supply the energy required for economic development and improved standards of living while managing greenhouse gas emissions and the risks of climate change, said Emil Jacobs, vice president of research and development at Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering Co. It’s going to take integrated solutions and the development of all commercially viable energy sources, improved energy efficiency and effective steps to curb emissions. It is also going to include the development of new technology.

.
http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/07/14/14greenwire-exxon-sinks-600m-into-algae-based-biofuels-in-33562.html.

Conoco Phillips stated:

ConocoPhillips recognizes that human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that can lead to adverse changes in global climate

http://www.conocophillips.com/EN/susdev/policies/climate_change_position/Pages/index.aspx.

Royal Dutch Shell stated:

Royal Dutch Shell’s PLS chief said the implementation of climate change agreements made at Cancun last month “won’t happen overnight”, and policymakers must take action now “because the clock is ticking.

http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/you-know-climate-change-is-real-when-the-ceo-of-shell-states-the-clock-is-ticking-and-we-need-to-take-action-now/.

Links to articles about the “new commitments” to the XL Pipeline:

http://www.transcanada.com/5907.html.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/TransCanada-Announces-iw-1226478735.html.

http://www.bloomberg.com/article/2011-12-15/arEDwAwsRxw0.html.

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Congressional Allies of Big Oil Hold Payroll Tax Bill Hostage to Extort XL Pipeline Deal

That’s right. It is what it is and we’ve seen this act for quite a while. Riders that are detrimental to the environment and wildlife attached to important bills like the one that threw wolves under the bus are a regular occurrence in a far too corporate friendly congress these days. The Sierra Club, SaveOurEnvironment, and other environmental groups report that this morning congressional allies of big oil attached a rider to the Payroll Tax Cut bill “to ignore public input, good science and environmental laws and fast-track a decision on the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline in the next 60 days.”

I have to ask whether the country is ours any longer? It hasn’t been but a month since citizens showed up en masse to surround the White House protesting the XL pipeline because it’s an attack on clean air, is bound for Asia, not us, and it will ultimately hike our prices for gas at the pump when demand from a billion people happens.

I have to think this decision comes on the heels of China and Trans Canada’s inability to forge an alternate route for the dirty tar sands oil through British Columbia and exit to Asia through the ports there. As I wrote, British Columbia was being eyed as an alternate route for the tar sands pipeline as more and more resistance for it became apparent in the U.S. http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2011/11/xl-pipeline-looks-to-be-a-good-deal-for-china-not-americans-alternate-route-through-british-columbia-being-considered/. British Columbia citizens were up in arms and just recently First Nations of British Columbia, (native ancestry in the B.C. Canada area) banned the transport of tar sands oil across their land. http://www.tarsandsaction.org/bc-nations-unite-declare-province-wide-opposition-crude-oil-pipeline-tanker-expansion/.

So it appears pressure has been put back on us for “CHINA’S TAR SAND OIL.” And what is the U. S. supposed to say when we’re entangled with the communist country and a debtor to them? This is just the taste of the “nothing good” that will come of relations between us and China in the future when China infringes more and more on our land, wildlife, and citizen’s property. Remember eminent domain can happen anywhere along that XL pipeline meaning a U.S. citizen loses part of his/her property for the good of China and the profit of big oil. The citizen will only get the going market rate on his/her property that he/she didn’t want to give up to begin with. It’s treasonous to me that a citizen can lose his/her U.S. property to a foreign country.

Send a message to your senators now to stand strong against the XL Tar Sands Pipeline. It’s Canada’s problem.

https://secure.sierraclub.org/site/Advocacy?alertId=7587&pg=makeACall&autologin=true&s_src=211BLOUN02&JServSessionIdr004=p4d1zvnxl2.app223a

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While XL Pipeline Stalls, Gas Fracking Comes Under Closer Scrutiny for Contaminated Aquifer

According to Credo and a host of other environmental organizations, “The State Department and Obama Administration announced today that they will re-evaluate the route of the Keystone XL pipeline, and restart their environmental assessment, which take until at least the beginning of 2013 to complete.” So the new XL pipeline is stalled—for now. But in another email I received from Pro Publica, the EPA found a fracking compound in a Wyoming aquifer in an area plagued by citizen’s complaints their water was contaminated.
ProPublica’s article stated:

The Pavillion area [in Wyoming] has been drilled extensively for natural gas over the last two decades and is home to hundreds of gas wells. Residents have alleged for nearly a decade [1] that the drilling — and hydraulic fracturing in particular — has caused their water to turn black and smell like gasoline. Some residents say they suffer neurological impairment [5], loss of smell, and nerve pain they associate with exposure to pollutants.
The gas industry — led by the Canadian company EnCana, which owns the wells in Pavillion — has denied that its activities are responsible for the contamination. EnCana has, however, supplied drinking water to residents.

This information is based on raw sampling data but the article went on to say:

The chemical compounds the EPA detected are consistent with those produced from drilling processes, including one — a solvent called 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) — widely used in the process of hydraulic fracturing. The agency said it had not found contaminants such as nitrates and fertilizers that would have signaled that agricultural activities were to blame.
The wells also contained benzene at 50 times the level that is considered safe for people, as well as phenols — another dangerous human carcinogen — acetone, toluene, naphthalene and traces of diesel fuel.

I would say the people in that area and other fracking areas across the U.S. have a “legitimate” complaint now. This discovery will certainly open a big can of worms for the fracking industry.

READ THE WHOLE STORY at ProPublica’s website:
. http://www.propublica.org/article/epa-finds-fracking-compound-in-wyoming-aquifer.

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XL Pipeline Looks to be a Good Deal for China Not Americans; Alternate Route through British Columbia Being Considered

I did some research into the XL pipeline and reputable sources outlined a trail that leads back to China. China is investing in oil, gas, and alternative energy projects around the globe for its huge population and Canada is getting a lot of Chinese investment. According to an article from October this year by Senator Ron Wyden (OR), “Just last week, the New York Times reported that Sinopec, a Chinese oil company owned by the Chinese government, bought Daylight Energy, a Canadian oil and natural gas producer. This is the third major acquisition of a Canadian tar sands oil company by the Chinese government in recent months.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sen-ron-wyden/is-the-keystone-xl-pipeli_b_1016203.html. Just last year, “ConocoPhillips…agreed to sell its stake in Canadian oil sands producer Syncrude to a Chinese petroleum company for $4.65 billion. This marks the largest energy deal in North America by a company backed by China’s government.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/bc-politics/battle-brewing-over-pipeline-plans-in-bc/article2223417/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Home&utm_content=2223417. With the latest scandal about conflict of interest between lobbyists for Trans Canada who propose the pipeline and officials in the State Dept., plus growing dissent among Americans, President Obama has taken over the decision of the pipeline. It will come somewhere around January and will take into account both economic and environmental factors.

The economics relative to the XL pipeline as far as I can see are this:

China benefits. Trans Canada benefits. U.S. Big Oil benefits.

The jobs are negligible. Information straight from TransCanada stated:

Construction of the proposed Project, including the pipeline and pump stations, would result in hiring approximately 5,000 to 6,000 workers over the 3 year construction period. As indicated above, it is expected that roughly 10 to 15 percent of the construction workforce would be hired from local labor markets, thus 500 to 900 local workers throughout the entire region of influence would be hired.

http://www.labor4sustainability.org/articles/pipeline-climate-disaster-the-keystone-xl-pipeline-and-labor/.

After construction of the pipeline there won’t be any jobs. To do what? Watch it? All the pumping stations are monitored electronically. Even oil job websites make the statement that pipeline jobs are temporary, “To build a pipeline takes a huge initial investment, but once it’s built, the cost of labor and pipeline maintenance are fairly low. Contrast this to the cost of building and running tanker ships, another popular means of oil transportation. It costs far less to build a tanker than a pipeline but over the long run it’s more expensive due to fuel costs, staff, and maintenance.” http://www.jobmonkey.com/oilindustry/html/pipeline_jobs_overview.html

Lower prices at the pump will simply not materialize once the tar sands oil is shared with a nation of 1 billion plus consumers like China. I shouldn’t use the term shared. The pipeline for tar sands is predestined for CHINA whether through the U.S or Canada. Demand will go up and so will prices and Canadian Oil is all for it. It’s in the plans to get prices up on dirty tar sands oil. As Senator Wyden also commented in the same article from Huffington Post cited above:

[]There is plenty of evidence to suggest that Canadian oil producers view the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline as an opportunity to charge more for their oil. According to TransCanada, Canadian oil shippers could use the pipeline to add up to $4 billion to U.S. fuel costs. As I indicated in a letter to the FTC earlier this year, seven Canadian oil producer have already shown signs of having colluded to raise prices on gasoline for American consumers.[] Building the KXL pipeline would also mean that we would be helping our county’s biggest global competitor — China — meet its energy import needs at the expense of our own. Sounds like a great deal for China, but not such a good deal for the United States.

That’s quite a twist on what we’ve been told about the merits of the XL pipeline. We’re lied to once again by Big Oil advertising. There will be no hundreds of thousands of jobs and growing. It will not boost our economy but for Big Oil’s pockets and will possibly serve to raise prices at the pumps instead. And in the grand finale of it all we’re helping our biggest competitor with nothing in it for us.

Meanwhile a video of the environmental impact from developing a project like Alberta Tar Sands speaks a thousand words. We should not have done this. We should not perpetuate this practice any longer.

Canada’s Dirty Oil: Breaking Our Addiction – General audience (long version) from Dirty Oil Sands on Vimeo.

It’s time to move on to the 21st Century and away from fossil fuel. There is no need to tap INTO the earth when the environment has readily available, renewable sources for energy that have never been harvested in a big way. We’ll never switch to alternatives, if we continue our addiction to fossil fuels and enable other countries to use what will ultimately create more climate crisis worldwide.

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Kudos to Michigan State Students for Protesting Fossil Fuel and Participation in 100 Actions for 100% Clean Energy

It’s not well known that Michigan State University is home to the largest on campus coalburner in the country. Students there see the hypocrisy in a big Go Green campaign on campus when their coalburner burns 200,000 tons of coal per year and the opposite of anything green.

The students are mad. They know their future is being destroyed because of unfettered pollution. They also know that outcries by the American public to follow science, not politics or business, in making decisions for the environment and therefore our health are being overlooked because of the political clout big energy carries in our nation.

I haven’t run across much mainstream press over this protest yet but give a big, big KUDOS to State students for bringing the environment and their future to the forefront. Watch:

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Oil Industry Earnings Leap

Even though less oil was produced, higher prices at the pump resulted in a leap of earnings for the U.S. largest oil companies.

We encourage oil companies by subsidizing them to produce more. The claim is we have to get away from HOSTILE foreign sources of oil. Hell, we get half our oil from HOSTILE CANADA.

So let me get this straight. Subsidies went in but production was down anyway and what did come out were higher prices at the pump for us and a big, big profit for Exxon. And besides big profits, taxes are basically non-existent for big oil. How?

A subsidy works like a tax cut and clearly contributes to the oil industry’s big profits. The Becker-Posner blog (and other sources) claim big oil pays little to no taxes because: “The aggregate values of the subsidies to the U.S. oil industry is approximately $5 billion a year, almost as much as the industry pays in federal income tax ($5.7 billion).” It’s a wash!

Doesn’t it occur to anyone that independent companies should be paying for their own production, and when it’s a bust, they eat the loss like the rest of the little businesses do? But then again the little guys are still subject to a free market, which depends upon close competition. The little guys can’t raise prices too much or they lose buyers. But we consumers have little to no alternative choices for gas that’s economically and environmentally viable at this point. Therefore, big oil is not subject to a truly free market. They have no competition other than foreign vs. domestic oil. And what about the competition that just never seems to get off the ground as far as new fuels like algae, hydrogen, etc. No one seems to be curious about that fact even though our military is thoroughly enjoying algae fuel. The U.S. used to be a big innovator but all of that seems to have stopped especially when it comes to energy.

Warnings about too big to fail should be “TOO BIG TO TAKE DOWN NOW” for many U.S. corporations especially big oil. They call the shots when it comes to cutting out their subsidies that would save us billions. Attempts have been made to do that back to Reagan without success. The threat to us from big oil is evident in commercials where supposedly normal citizens are interviewed and warn: “Increasing taxes (cutting subsidies) on big oil is not a good idea. We’ll pay for it at the pumps and we can’t afford that now.” Plus with our jobs problem there is the added leverage of declaring “it will hurt jobs too.” Am I wrong here or do these warnings smack of for-lack-of-a-better-word “extortion” because the definition for that fits: “The practice of obtaining something, esp. money, through force or threats.” Regular citizens in commercials or not, big oil pays for those “warnings” to be aired. Raising prices at the pump is the threat if we the people continue to pursue cutting subsidies to big oil.

How about force? Oil companies just arbitrarily raise prices across the board for their profit. Oh we might find a 10 to 15 cent per gallon variance at this pump or that but that’s it. We’re forced to pay the price. There is no “taking business elsewhere.” Outside of buying an old diesel car and filling it with dollar store veggie oil, we’re forced to pay big bucks for hybrid cars, electric cars, etc. too. And I can already see our U.S. automakers falling behind because our mindset is stuck on petro. U.S. automakers were punished for producing gas guzzlers that the public kept demanding. Meanwhile we allow foreign automakers to unveil their cheap all electric cars here. Enter Mitsubishi: http://i.mitsubishicars.com/?cid=PS_100611_GoogleiMiev_201110&gclid=CO2AxdzeiawCFUYBQAodQEf2mA.

The powers that be no longer represent us when we read about enormous profits for Exxon/Shell knowing we subsidized them dearly with nothing for us in return. We’ll see alternatives like algae fuel when big oil decides we’ll see it even though Exxon admitted long ago:

The world faces a significant challenge to supply the energy required for economic development and improved standards of living while managing greenhouse gas emissions and the risks of climate change,” said Emil Jacobs, vice president of research and development at Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering Co. “It’s going to take integrated solutions and the development of all commercially viable energy sources, improved energy efficiency and effective steps to curb emissions. It is also going to include the development of new technology.

I posted that Exxon admission in a blog March, 2010, http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2010/03/exxon-mobil-and-algae-biofuel-research-wonders-never-cease/.

See the date of the link for that quote–2009. Nothing new in commercially viable energy sources has been introduced yet. There has been nothing but stalling on that front. Now the XL Pipeline that will carry oil that burns 6 times dirtier is causing controversy as it should while most GOP contenders for 2012 don’t “think” humans and our pollution are affecting climate change. Someone needs to let them know Exxon let that cat-out-of-the-bag long ago.

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/07/14/14greenwire-exxon-sinks-600m-into-algae-based-biofuels-in-33562.html

http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2011/05/the-us-tax-subsidies-for-oil-companiesposner.html

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