On October 30, TransCanada filed a plan to build a new pipeline from the oil sands projects in Alberta east to St. John, New Brunswick.  Even though the company says otherwise, Transcanada’s Energy East’s pipeline, with a capacity of 1.1 million barrels of oil per day, provides a direct substitute for the XL extension to the Keystone pipeline which has be in political limbo for 3 years.

Energy East Pipeline Keystone Killer: TransCanada Files for New Pipeline Project

The $12 billion pipeline construction project will involve the conversation of an existing natural gas pipeline as well as construction of approximately 900 miles of new pipeline.  Along with the pipeline, a new deepwater terminal for export will be constructed at St. John.

Most important for Transcanada, since the project is wholly contained within the borders of Canada, the project cannot be delayed or used as a political football by US politicians.  So, what’s happened is exactly what markets and economics cause to happen; the XL project has been delayed by US politicians for the benefit of themselves so long that Transcanada has developed a more expensive, but likely more certain alternative that provides a market for crude produced from the oil sands in Alberta.

The lesson here, at least for us?  It is long past time for us to adopt a comprehensive energy policy around weaning ourselves from heavy hydrocarbons and developing more sustainable cleaner fuels to power our future.  The XL pipeline debacle should be another one of those moments in time with which we are occasionally presented that should be used to change our national direction.  Perhaps, one day, we’ll actually take advantage of those opportunities to improve the future for our kids, grandkids, and their kids.

If only that was at the front of our collective consciousness.

 

 

Keystone Vote: Three Years Late, and for the Wrong Reason

The Keystone XL pipeline extension, proposed by TransCanada Pipeline to increase capacity of oil from Canada to refining centers on the Gulf Coast, has become a political football over the last several years, a victim of hyperbole and demagoguing, is coming up for a vote on Capitol Hill maybe as early as today.  The reason?…

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50 Years Ago in Texas – Through the Eyes of a Ten Year Old

I was sitting in Miss Chambliss’ 5 grade classroom at Oakhurst Elementary School in Fort Worth.  It was a beautiful, crisp late autumn day, one of those days we cherish, living in the oven that is often Texas.  We had just come in from lunchtime recess and were getting back to studying when one of…

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UN Climate Report Confirms Human Role in Global Warming

A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists sponsored by the UN, concludes that the rate of climate change is certainly caused by human activity.  Talking about their findings, chairman of the panel, Thomas F. Stocker said, Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. In short, it threatens our planet,…

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Defending Healthcare Reform

This week, President Obama sat down with President Clinton to talk about healthcare reform.  The setting was the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, which was founded by Clinton in 2005 to provide a forum for global leaders to tackle the challenges of today.  The annual meeting is held each year in New York…

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“I Am a Sinner”

By now you’ve likely heard about the interview given by Pope Francis to America, a magazine published by the Jesuits in the US.  In this history-making interview, Francis begins to re-orient the church from the corrupt political organization it has become in recent decades to its original purpose, providing the literal body of Christ on…

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The Case for Building the Keystone Pipeline

Loren Steffy, formerly with the Houston Chronicle, is now writing for Forbes.  He’s just published an article laying out the case for building the Keystone pipeline, with which I agree.  The key points are: Oil from the pipeline will not be exported, which is actually illegal under federal law. Refined products, like gasoline, are being…

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