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In our opinion: Lessons from Quebec

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  • Edgar Samaria, ID
    July 11, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    “Pipeline opponents argue the extraction and refining of tar sands comes with significant environmental risks, particularly in the form of increased greenhouse gas emissions. These short-sighted concerns are premised ...”

    The risk of increased greenhouse gases is a short-sighted concern? Is that in comparison to oil company profits?

    And why is Keystone needed. The Eldridge Alberta Clipper line already exists and the pipeline’s Phase I, which opened in June 2010 runs a zigzag pattern south to a major pipeline hub in Oklahoma fairly close to Texas refineries.

    “There is...the macro argument that energy policy should ... deter the development of "dirty" sources in favor of clean and renewable energy. But such a transition must come gradually and be propelled mainly by market forces...”

    Are you really suggesting that our current situation is based solely on market forces? The powerful and wealthy oil industry has managed to limit our choices of energy for years and only now, with “market forces” demanding more options with fewer environmental risks, have those companies started to embrace those alternatives.

  • djc Stansbury Park, Ut
    July 11, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    So you are saying that we should approve this pipeline, that allows Canada to ship oil to China easier, because the pipeline is a better deal than having more train cars carrying the oil through the USA? Where is the benefit? We get to have pipeline leaks and explosions instead of train leaks and explosions! Seems to be a no win proposition to me, but I don't make money of the petroleum industry, so I wouldn't know.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 11, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    Take off your tin foil hats, put down your kool aid and look at the realities we face, your job, your food, your clothing your homes, your lives are totally dependent on fossil fuels! Green energy is not yet and may not be for decades, if then. In the meantime, the world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released recently.
    The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    July 11, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    The railroads would LOVE to be the key transport for Canadian oil! Watch them come out against Keystone, along with environmentalists and foreign oil interests.

    Some things to consider: There are only FOUR major railroads in America, charging high rates on farmers and coal mines to transport their commodities. The railroads love their oligopoly status in North America (consider how Warren Buffett even invested into old-fashioned railroads not long ago, simply because of their powerful and profitable position in the supply chain).

    If anything, railroads will further drive up the cost of Canadian tar sands oil -- as they already do with coal and agricultural goods.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    July 11, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    Pipelines never leak.

    Trains always crash.

    I saw it on Drudge.

    Go with the pipeline.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 11, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    IMO...
    Energy policy should seek to deter the development of "dirty" sources in favor of clean and renewable energy AFTER the renewable energy sources are available (not BEFORE they are available).

    Cutting off the energy supply in hopes of inflicting enough pain to encourage people to move to alternatives (that are not yet available or affordable to most Americans)... is NOT good energy policy.

    Develop the alternatives and THEN deter the development of "dirty" sources of energy. I'm all for that!

    But cutting off the supply NOW (before affordable alternatives are available to all Americans)... would be as smart as tearing down an old bridge and telling Americans to drive across a new bridge (that is not built yet). It's as smart as cutting off the blood supply to a living organ and just hoping it will develop it's own alternatives, or somebody will implant an alternative later (when the organ may be dead).

    We have energy needs now... every day... we can't just tell people to drive across the unfinished bridge as our "energy policy"!

    When green alternatives are available and affordable... people will have no problem switching. Till then... give us a break!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 11, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    Some very foolish people want us to continue to buy oil at $1,000,000,000 a day from the Middle East where a good portion of that money is used to buy arms and munitionsto fight against America and to create unreset throughout the rest of the world. Those people can't comprehend that we depend on oil and that we will continue to depend on oil for at least another generation. They can't comprehend that this whole world depends on oil and that, except for nuclear power, there is no alternative that is widely available or cost effective. They continue to think that way even though they drive cars that depend on fossil fuels for the gasoline or to generate the electricity to charge their batteries. They depend on fossil fuels to cook their meals and heat their homes. They need electricity to send their comments to the DN.

    We have three choices. We can build a pipeline, haul oil by rail or truck it. Spending $1,000,000,000 a day in Canada is far superior than spending money in Saudi Arabia.

    Drilling in America would be the best option.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    July 11, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    I got a better idea....

    Let's NOT pursue an even dirtier, more expensive, and even less environmentally friendly energy policy chasing the last few remaining drops of oil from rocks and sand.

    The ONLY people interested in this are the Big OIL Companies, and the lemmings who like being addicted to their products and believe them anyway.
    [Like Big Tobacco told us tobacco doesn't cause cancer, and smokers believing them.]

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 11, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    Open minded. Lemmings? Ok, you show us how its done! Shut off your electricity because coal might have produced it. Never drive a car again and grow all your own food, make all your own clothes without any energy from fossil fuels. If your job depends on fossil fuel, you must give that ups too. Teach "Big Oil" a lesson! Otherwise, doesn't it make you a hypocrite to bite the hand that feeds you, employs you, clothes you and keeps you from freezing in the winter?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    July 11, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    We have three choices. We can build a pipeline, haul oil by rail or truck it. Spending $1,000,000,000 a day in Canada is far superior than spending money in Saudi Arabia.

    Drilling in America would be the best option.
    9:29 a.m. July 11, 2013

    ======

    Thanks Mike,
    For once again showing your closed minded myopic view of the world
    by not even considering simply using less or pursing alternatives.

    Only 3 choices?
    Hardly...

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    The oil is based on a company in Alberta with the extraction of resources from Alberta. Just look up the number of spills they've had in Alberta (they just had a 9.5 million litre... or roughly 2 million gallon, spill a month ago, along with many other smaller spills) and you can see the risk involved.

    Oil is a global commodity. The price is set by the global market because after all, if the US demanded lower rates on what we purchase, our own companies would just sell it elsewhere (of course you could have the gov't completely take over the energy sector... but that'd be socialist and heck even I wouldn't support that). So oil prices are based on global supply, where it doesn't really matter who drills it or not. So first things first... any small changes in oil prices because of this drilling would occur regardless of whether Canada sends it here to refine or sends it to Vancouver and whether Canada sells it to us, Europe, or China. There's no need to have it here.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    @Mountanman
    "In the meantime, the world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released recently."

    Odd, I had just noticed yesterday that we've set/tied 32 record highs since I first moved to Salt Lake City while we've only set/tied 4 record lows. Oh and stop cherrypicking the strongest El Nino in half a century as your starting point.

    "Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years."

    Largely due to anthropogenic aerosol use which has a cooling (and "global dimming") effect. It gave us a pollution problem that we worked to clean up around the late 1970s.

    @Mike Richards
    "Those people can't comprehend that we depend on oil and that we will continue to depend on oil for at least another generation. "

    You people can't comprehend that "drill baby drill" does nothing but eliminate our own oil supply, making us more vulnerable when we get to a future generation and have done jack all to shift to alternative energy because investment gets blocked.

  • Edgar Samaria, ID
    July 11, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    Has anybody asked why this pipeline needs to be built across 2000 miles of the United States' heartland when a much shorter route - a few hundred miles - would be to pipe the oil to Canada's west coast? Why has Transanada chosen that route rather than the shorter one? Is it because they want to create jobs in the US? Answer that question honestly and we might have the truth necessary to make an informaed decision.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon,
    Of course using less is an option. I think everybody knows that. I THINK he was talking about the options of TRANSPORTING the fuel (remember... the topic of the letter)?

    I for one am doing everything I can to use as little gas and coal as I can. But no matter what I do... I still need it (and so do you).

    Like he said... let's see YOU go without any coal (that would be impossible IF you live in Utah and use Electricity). Let's see YOU go without any gas... impossible if you drive a car or use mass transit. Your car either uses gas, or electricity (which means you are running your car on gas or coal). All mass transit I know of still uses gas or electricity (which means they still need gas, or coal).

    Using less is obviously and option (and a good option). But I think we are already doing that. So can you get off our back?

    BTW... are you really all those other people JSF said yesterday (airnaut, LDS Liberal, Treehugger, etc, etc)? That would REALLY present a credibility and integrity problem if it's true.

  • Unclefred Ticonderoga, NY
    July 11, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    Interesting, I'm a tech, been one for 46 years.. I spend a lot of time in the real world, and this article is spot on. It's kind of like gravity, like it or not, if you step off the porch and miss that top step, bad things are likely, and this accident was becoming more and more likely. I see trains like this go through my town every day. My wife goes out to watch them.. If this had happened here, and she were watching, she would be dead now.. The pipeline is a huge win for everyone who believes in gravity, and jobs for our children... Money comes from the earth...

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 11, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    To Mountanman: "from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years."

    You have posted this before so here is some data from the World Meteorological Association for you to ponder:

    Average global temperature by decade:

    2001-10 14.47
    1991-00 14.26
    1981-90 14.12
    1971-80 13.95
    All figures in Centigrade
    You have to go back to the 1950s to find a decade that was cooler than the previous decade.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 11, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    Okay, OpenMinded, show us your spreadsheet. Show us how spending $1,000,000,000 a day on oil for the Middle East is helping solve our economic problems. Show us how spending another $2,500,000,000 a day on a military to protect those oil lanes is solving our economic problems. Show us how filling highly toxic batteries with energy gleaned from the sun and then converting that power from those batteries is cost effective. The Institute for Energy Research tells us that 2/10ths of 1% of our energy needs is met by solar. The NRDC tells us that 6% of our energy is met by wind.

    I don't know about you, but I can't travel 6.2% of the way to work and be counted "present". I can't heat my home 6.2% of the time. I can't cook meals 6.2% of the time.

    You like to shoot everybody else's ideas down. Stand up in front of us and give us the solution. Show us something that thousands of scientists who spend all their time searching for a substitute for fossil fuels haven't been able to discover.

    We're waiting . . .

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    July 11, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    Mountanman
    Hayden, ID

    Open minded. Lemmings? Ok, you show us how its done!
    9:55 a.m. July 11, 2013

    [I have super-insulated my house and use a geothermal heat pump. We have solar, wind, and some PhotoVoltic.
    My car is a Mercedes Benz [Diesel] - I run SVO [straight vegetable oil, waste oil from local restaurants] in it.
    I grow most of my families vegetables year-round [pioneer style],
    I've worked for Boeing for over 23 years - and developed AlGas [algae based] fuels for all Boeing planes [commercial and Military] which are now FAA certified for alternative fuels.
    I attend LDS Church in a 100% Green Energy building right here in Farmington, Utah.
    and you have the audacity to call me a Hypocrite? Indeed.]

    =======

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    ALL energy on this planet derives from the Sun.
    [Wind, Hydro, Solar, Fossil, even nuclear]
    Something I learned in college physics.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 11, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    Sorry, OpenMinded, but you get an "F" for that answer. Men since Adam knew that all energy originated from the Sun. So, why are we still using fossil fuels? Obama wasted $535 million dollars trying to harness energy from the Sun. He failed. You and I are paying for his failure. Solyndra is bankrupt.

    Until you can show us how EACH of us can afford to harness that energy, until you can show us you're driving to work, heating your home, cooling your home, cooking all meals and generating all power that you need at a lower cost using sunlight or windpower, then we'll still assume that you have no applicable knowledge on how to solve the energy crisis that is worldwide. That's too bad. The whole world was hoping that YOU had the answer.

    Meanwhile, Canada has oil that it needs to get to a refinery. Your pie-in-the-sky ideas about wind and solar will supply 6.2% of our needs. Canada, by itself, can easily handle 100% of our needs. WE can easily handle 100% of our needs for 200 years using just the oil in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 11, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    Open Minded Mormon,
    There's a credibility issue here. If you would post as several different people, claiming to live in several different locations... why would you tell the truth in your posts?

    Do you really run your car only on vegi-oil? Did you really invent algae-fuel for jets? How do we know if you would be dishonest about other things?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    I am going to make some arguments that some will be amazed I can make with a straight face given my socialist leanings. America's private freight rail network is the envy of the world. Freight rail's return to prosperity is nothing short of miraculous given where it was in the 1970's. Rail freight is a true common carrier hauling all kinds of stuff with much lower energy consumption than truck. If you want rail freight to continue to thrive we may want to let it have some more of the crude oil revenue. BTW, lots of crude is moving by rail from newly located fracking sites. Most ethanol moves by rail because ethanol rots pipe.

    That said, moving crude by pipeline is overall probably safer. I say probably because a pipeline accident can permanently destroy an aquifer. We have had several serious pipeline accidents here in Utah. Remember Red Butte. These are tough calls.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    July 11, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" nice rant, but it just detract from the question.

    If "Big Oil" is so evil, why do you keep buying their products? You want us to stop buying the raw material that makes so much of your life possible.

    Your car most likely has rubber and plastic components, those come from the imported oil, are you ready to give those up?

    How about the plastics that went into the wind turbine, or the plastics used as part of your solar power system?

    If you are not a hypocrite, why do you continue to buy so many fossil oil products?

    How about the plastic pipes used in your geothermal system, those are also oil derivatives.

    Your church building is not 100% green energy. According to the church press release, on sundays your building produces about 50% of its power needs. The rest comes from the power company. Plus the heating system is still run on natural gas.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "I don't know about you, but I can't travel 6.2% of the way to work and be counted "present". I can't heat my home 6.2% of the time. I can't cook meals 6.2% of the time."

    Pretty sure we get something like 25% of our energy from oil so should we not use oil because you can't travel 25% of the way to work and be counted present?

    We're not stupid, we know solar/wind can't replace other fuels for now... what we do know though is that if we really wanted to we should be able to do something similar to that whole "putting a man on the moon" thing where we can develop the tools by which it can be affordable enough that the private market can take it and run with it to speed up the inevitable transition.

    "Obama wasted $535 million dollars trying to harness energy from the Sun. He failed. You and I are paying for his failure. Solyndra is bankrupt."

    Many alternative energy companies are doing well. Tesla's doing great (Texas needs to stop blocking them from selling vehicles). You sure didn't care about any Bain Capital failures.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 11, 2013 3:55 p.m.

    Atl123,

    What would you do TODAY? The pipeline needs to be built TODAY, not ten years. Canadian oil is available today. Our oil is available today. That oil would decrease payments to the Arab States that partially funds terrorism. Which is more important to you: Making a statement that the world needs to learn how to harness other forms of energy or paying money to nations that support terrorism? That is TODAY's choice.

    You and I both know that nobody but the very rich can afford to own and operate a Tesla automobile. A "charge" costs $50 to $65. A single replacement battery costs $5,000. Motor Trend lists the cheapest model at $77,400 and the Performance Sedan at $105,400. That's hardly something that the average family in Utah will ever afford.

    Just in case you've been out of the loop, Bain Capital did not use income tax revenue to fund anything.

    Today, I can travel 100% of the way to work in a car using fossil fuels. I don't have to buy a $5,000 battery nor do I have to pay $50 to $65 for a "charge" to go to and from work.

  • Utahhikerdad TOOELE, UT
    July 11, 2013 5:06 p.m.

    Sadly, the Deseret News editorial staff has once again come down on the side of the fossil fuel energy plutocracy instead of calling for real progress in ending our addiction to this planet-destroying stuff. Tar sands are NOT competitively priced with respect to other fossil fuels; they are the marginal source that drives the cost of oil over $100/barrel. The free market does NOT exist for fossil fuel companies, who cause incalculable damage to our environment and health for the sake of record profits, yet bear little of the social costs. They are the poster children for privatized profits, socialized costs. We can only take advantage of alternatives when they are developed, and that will not happen as long as fossil fuel companies are coddled and supported with our health, future, and treasure. We can, and must, end this plutocracy NOW.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 7:56 p.m.

    No nuclear reactors, no fracking, no pipelines, more train disasters, more wind farms that kill migratory birds and provide occasional energy production, and more electric cars depending on dirty electricity. Is a hunter-gatherer society, without guns of course, our ultimate goal?

  • Mickey Kovars Tampa, FL
    July 11, 2013 8:46 p.m.

    There is no good reason for Obama to delay the pipeline any further, but he will. Environmentalists have made of this a cause celebre in which the facts matter not at all. The Quebec disaster reminds us that there are choices to be made between less-than-perfect alternatives, but Obama does not respond to that sort of rational thinking.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 12, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    The only people who want this pipeline are the Chinese and Europeans and Oil companies.

    That oil will be sold on a global market.

    Americans will have to be willing to pay the Global price.

    Currently $6 a gallon.