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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 455603  
Subject: Re: Good News on Keystone XL Date: 4/20/2014 3:39 PM
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In fact, to my way of thinking, the only reason to support the pipeline is if it is a significant step in the fight against global warming, or if it is an unarguably safer and cheaper source of less harmful fossil fuels than fracking. Doubt that to be the case.

It definitely IS the case... but the grayling is looking in the wrong place.

He's pretending that the choice is between developing the tar sands and building the pipeline, and not developing the tar sands.

The tar sands WILL be developed. Absent something on the order of global thermonuclear war. And probably even then, although they might be developed later rather than sooner.

The question is ONLY how to get the resulting oil to market. And there are going to be multiple answers, likely including strictly-Canadian pipelines going both east and west.

The Keystone pipeline would carry the oil directly to the best complex of refineries in the world for refining the heavy crude that comes out of the tar sands.

Carrying oil on more-or-less the same route by train would be substantially more dangerous AND would consume more energy.

Carrying oil west in a Canadian pipeline would, I think, consume slightly more energy because of the need to push it over the mountains. Also, there isn't a suitable complex of refineries (complete with a plethora of interconnecting pipelines) on the Canadian west coast, so the crude would have to be shipped by tanker to refineries - creating extra cost and risk (particularly if the refined products would also be shipped by tanker). Given the location, the crude would probably go mostly to Japan and/or China.

Carrying oil east in a Canadian pipeline would probably be about equal in transport cost but again there isn't an existing pipeline complex there so the stuff would be shipped by tanker at additional cost and risk. The most likely primary destination for those tankers is the US gulf coast - the same place the Keystone pipeline would take it. In other words, the tanker route would be additional expense and hazard as compared to the Keystone pipeline.

There is no justification in either energy cost, CO2, or total safety for rejecting the Keystone pipeline.
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