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September 1, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

President has no grip on oil crisis

Give me a break! President Barack Obama vetoes the construction of the XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S. and then tries to blame Republicans because they put an “unrealistic deadline” on the decision? This pipeline has been studied for over three years and was approved as environmentally safe. And now he comes to Las Vegas to promote his jobs program? In November, I hope the unemployed workers in America and all of us who have to fill up our gas tanks with expensive oil imported from the Middle East remember where this president’s priorities really lie.

Perhaps Obama can mobilize the environmental tree hugger voting bloc and have them hug an unemployed construction worker instead.

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  1. How much of the tar sands oil from Canada will ACTUALLY be used by AMERICAN consumers? As for gas prices, unless you use premium unleaded in your tank, no one is paying anything near $4.00 per gallon. The oil companies have now lulled everyone to accept the new paradigm of well over $3.00 per gallon. Pipeline or not, prices will never again be below $3.00 per gallon. Get used to it. I remember .25 cents per gallon gas, but I don't expect to see prices that low again either.

  2. The letter writer is misinformed. Before writing that "the pipeline was environmentally approved", he ought to have at least glanced at the letter of July 2011to the U.S. Department of State from the EPA rating the project as Environmentally Objectionable and setting forth in detail the reasons for that. I understand that there is a further letter from the EPA dated in November 2011, which refers to the Environmental Impact Statement submitted for the project as "inadequate."

    If I want to start a project and have my own Environmental Impact Study done and label it "approved" (since I approve of my own project) then has my project been "environmentally approved"? That is what seems to have happened here. And it seems to be what letter writer means by "environmentally approved."

    And what, exactly, is the rush on this -- besides the all-important rush for members of Congress to secure campaign contributions?

  3. The failure to approve the Keystone Oil Pipeline project is another travesty emanating from the Oval Office. Another example of a failed policy by this administration. While we must be willing to protect the environment, the needs of the nation have to be prioritized and there is no question that both job creation and energy independence from the Middle East are at the top of the list of the nation's critical priorities. In this case the President is placing the complaints of the envirnmental community above the highest priority needs of the nation for his own political interests. This is an outrageous case of the President pandering to a loud part of his base, while the nation suffers from joblessness and energy dependence on the Middle East.

  4. Obama is plain wrong on this. Besides the Canadian oil, which money given to Canada for oil will come back to the US in forms of exports to Canada, there is a big oil shale field in ND that will need infrastructure to get the oil to the refineries which I am sure the XL will play a part in. Presidents do dumb things, with Bush it was the wars, with Obama it will be sticking it to the people with high energy costs while further enriching our Arab "friends". What about the carbon footprint of moving that oil across the world? Potential catastrophic things that can happen in transit? Brazil is so pissed off about this it will not sell the oil out of thier big offshore field to USA because of Obama's decision, it will be sold to China instead, how is that better for us?

  5. 1. All of y'all ought to go look at a map of the Keystone pipelines before you opine. You will see: (a) that there is more than one Keystone pipeline; (b) that many of these send Canadian oil shale "crude" (it is really more like an asphaltic slurry) to U.S. refineries; (c) the XL project is one phase of an entire network; (d) the XL project phase you are opining on would have crossed the Ogallala aquifer which is a key water supply.

    2. The letter writer believes this is a "crisis." A crisis is an event which will lead to an unstable or dangerous situation. Iran getting nukes would be a crisis. The collapse of Pakistan allowing its' nukes to fall into the hands of terrorists would be a crisis. The delay of one oil pipeline route is NOT a crisis. It might be poor policy (or it might be wisdom) -- only time will tell.

    3. Everyone ought to look at the price of producing a barrel of oil and at the prices producing countries have to get to sustain their governments (the "Political Price" of oil). It costs $17/bbl to for oil produced in Kuwait. Most of the Arabian and Iranian oil costs less to produce than oil from the Canadian tar sands which costs about $33/bbl. But when you look at the political price of oil, Canada's would be very low in comparison to many other sources. Three points follow from this: (a) The Canadian tar sands product already flowing to landlocked midwestern U.S. refineries results in lower costs per gallon petroleum products than if the oil were imported from other producing countries; (b) The XL project will open up big exporting Gulf Coast refineries, allowing the Canadian product to flow out to a higher-priced stronger demand for petroleum products in other countries rather than be "trapped" in lower-priced U.S. Midwestern markets; and (c) The difference between a $100/bbl world price for oil and $33/bbl cost of production is huge and strongly motivating the building of a pipeline to existing refineries that can handle it and refine it for export -- refineries that exist only on the U.S. Gulf Coast. That pipeline isn't going anywhere else because anywhere else would involve too much capital and cut ROI and operating profit too much.

    4. The only "crisis" might be one perceived by members of Congress who continue to seek funds for their perpetual re-elections. If they don't get those contributions, it might cause them to lose -- and we all know just how unstable and dangerous that condition might be for them.

  6. So whats the deal? Is the south the only place a refinery can be built ? Seems like all the environmental concerns could be eliminated by building a refinery close to the oil supply. What am I missing ? Is it too cold to refine oil in the north?

  7. The pipeline will be built after the environmental impact is judged over the new route.

    A fact for you Obama haters. According to the WSJ oil drilling in the United States is at it's highest rate, ever. I'll bet the increase in prices is due to speculation, people playing on the Wall St. casino market.

    Number of the Week: How Many Rigs Are Drilling for Oil?. 1,069: The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. this week. The figure reflects a huge surge in U.S. oil drilling, up nearly 60% in the past year and the highest total since at least 1987, when oil services company Baker Hughes Inc. began keeping track.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/08/2...

  8. A letter was published recently stating very little of the XL oil would make it's way to US consumers. That Canada wanted to send it to the gulf and ship it to the rest of the world.
    Does anyone know if this is true???? I don't have a clue.

  9. Walker's job creation 13,500 after six months of steady private sector loss:

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/prom...

  10. GOPReallySux,

    If we stipulate that the oil from the XL pipeline will add to the overall amount of oil but will not be reserved for America. And if we agree that an oil spill could happen with the XL pipeline, even though we have thousands of miles of oil pipelines all over the US and almost no spills, isn't is also true that the 20,000 jobs connected to the XL Pipeline would be a good thing?

    Michael

  11. The reason oil is so expensive has nothing to do with supply and demand. It has everything to do with the speculators on wall street who play games by trading a single barrel of oil 6 thousand times to create the illusion of high demand. As for the keystone pipeline do you believe that the right wingers are telling the truth That 20 thousand jobs will be created? Where do you think the pipe is manufactured? China or India?

  12. GOPReallySux,

    20,000 or 6,000, they are jobs and we do need jobs. Actually, I would consider legalizing both pot and prostitution, since we do an awful job of trying to prevent access to either and each is a personal choice. Oil is transported all over the world and this country, all at some risk. Why arbitrarily draw the line here? Is it because of an agenda?

    Michael

  13. GOPReallySux,

    We agree to disagree. I suspect that if it were possible to use existing lines, Canada and the Canadian company would do so because it probably would be much less costly than building a new pipeline. I understand you just don't want any more oil pipelines in the US and that's your call, but you may regret that stance one day. Time will tell.

    Also, unlike you, I find private industry numbers and studies questionable but I also find government numbers and studies questionable. Let's face the fact that the people providing the number and studies are all human beings and that all sides have an 'agenda'.

    Michael

  14. Three years in office and does absolutely nothing to help get America back to being stable. One year left and suddenly he feels the urge to do something. Anything. And that includes talk one thing and do another.

    He likes to take the credit for killing Osama (Thank you GW) and opening up a natural gas fueling corridor that has been under construction for over 10 years. (Thank you GW) but feels its too soon to start blaming him for the failures under his watch.

  15. Does a wheat farmer need wall street speculating on there business to survive and prosper. The answer is no.
    Does wall street speculators need a wheat farmer to make a living. The answer is yes. So it quite obvious that the speculators like shrillmoeller are in fact parasites they cannot survive on there own they need someone else to produce a product for them.

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  21. Well, Michael, the jobs created DURING the construction of the XL segment MIGHT be a good thing, but if the tar leaks into the Ogallala, the lost production of wheat, corn, and soybeans and the products that incorporate them (and the jobs that go along with that) would be LOST PERMANENTLY. So I guess whether on balance it would be good or bad depends on (1) how you rate temporary construction jobs as against permanent ag-related jobs, (2) whether we can make up any lost production by growing these crops elsewhere, and (3) the cost of moving a population that no longer has a water supply or, in the alternative the cost of building and operating treatment plants to remove the contaminants.

  22. http://omrpublic.iea.org/
    oil consumption has gone up by 4 million barrels per day in the last YEAR. China put nearly 19 million cars on the road last year. The US 12 million units. Refining capacity is limited around the world. Those who think oil is NOT a supply and demand driven commodity are living on fantasy island.
    As the world economy continues to grow you will see $6.00 a gallon gas before you can blink. Without refineries the oil does us no good.
    The world needs refineries and Saudi Arabia is the only country building up capacity to any degree. According to T Boone Pickens the world refining capacity is 91M/BPD. That is where we are at currently. Next stop MUCH higher prices.

  23. Wah!!! Wah!!! Waaaah!!!
    "I want my Oil Pipeline! Waaaah!"

    "The debate over whether Keystone XL creates jobs is a convenient diversion from something oil company backers don't want you to know: this is an export pipeline to help them access foreign markets and bypass the United States. Oil companies will make bigger profits and oil prices for Americans will increase. That's not a project that helps Americans. It's a project that helps Big Oil."

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/01/13...

    CNN Shatters Supporters' Claims That Keystone XL Would Create Thousands Of Jobs

    http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/20111111001...

    "If the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline were approved, even more oil will flow to the Gulf Coast and then to international markets and not provide the United States with energy security. And building Keystone XL would very likely lead to even higher oil prices according to IHS CERA. This confirms the findings of Oil Change International's report. Keystone XL has always been about increasing US oil prices and finding a route to export tar sands on the world market."

    http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ddroit...

    According to the State Department, only 20 permanent jobs will be created by the pipeline. Even the pipeline company acknowledged that only "a few hundred permanent jobs' will be created.

  24. Zippert

    Maybe I interpreted your 8:16 link wrong but I believe the demand for oil contracted in the fourth quarter. Seems the problem is not that there is not enough oil as in there is not enough refining capacity? Why would the merchants of oil not want to build anymore refineries? Perhaps to manipulate oil prices to increase profit?

  25. 1976 was the last one built in the USA. You can't get them built. Who wants a refinery in their back yard.

  26. zippert

    Texas