Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Bad week for tarsands astroturf

"British Columbians for International Prosperity is an independent group of concerned citizens looking to promote practical resource development, international trade expansion, manufacturing development, and other initiatives bringing prosperity to British Columbia, Canada, and our Global partners."

Dear retired oil execs*: Don't run astroturf ads under the rubric "independent group of concerned citizens" unless you feel like disclosing who those other concerned citizens are and who made and paid for the glitzy ad you just shot in my back yard. 

Also, about your claim that Canada pipeline companies have a 99.9% safety record :
"A pipeline that ruptured and leaked at least 80,000 gallons of oil into central Arkansas on Friday was transporting a heavy form of crude from the Canadian tar sands region, ExxonMobil told InsideClimate News. 
Local police said the line gushed oil for 45 minutes before being stopped,according to media reports."

 A 2010 spill in Michigan, which released a million gallons of dilbit in the Kalamazoo River and has cost pipeline operator Enbridge more than $820 million, continues to challenge scientists and regulators as they work on removing submerged oil from the riverbed."

"The [Arkansas] Pegasus tar sands pipeline rupture adds to growing evidence that tar sands poses additional risks to our nation’s pipelines and communities.… While U.S. regulators don’t differentiate between tar sands pipelines and conventional crude pipelines, states with pipelines that have moved the largest volumes of tar sands diluted bitumen for the longest period of time – North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan – have spilled 3.6 times as much crude per pipeline mile as the national average.
Tar sands diluted bitumen is substantially different from the conventional crude historically moved on the U.S. pipeline system. It is a combination of heavier than water bitumen tar sands and light, toxic natural gas liquids or other petrochemical diluents. Together, this mix is called diluted bitumen, a substance that is fifty to seventy times thicker than conventional crudes like West Texas Intermediate (North America’s benchmark crude) and moves at higher pipeline temperatures "
British Columbians for International Prosperity Executive Director Bruce Lounds really is a concerned citizen of course. His concern is that approval of TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL pipeline running from the tarsands to Texas will cut BC out of Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline action :
“B.C. stands to lose a lot should the project go ahead,” Lounds said. “If Keystone is approved, our province will be left on the sidelines, looking in on prosperity and job creation from the outside. Make no mistake, B.C. stands to be a big loser if this project goes ahead.”
A Bad Week for the Tarsands :  Shit Harper Did
4 pm Update : Whoa! Aerial footage of Arkansas pipeline spill from videojournalist Adam Randall.
[h/t Toe at Bread and Roses] Go to full screen.

Well so much for keeping the dilbit out of the lake. Plus ...

Think Progress : "A technicality has spared Exxon from having to pay any money into the fund that will be covering most of the clean up costs of its Arkansas pipeline spill. ... A 1980 law ensures that diluted bitumen is not classified as oil, and companies transporting it in pipelines do not have to pay into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. "


Jim Parrett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
West End Bob said...

No doubt their "concern" has much more to do with their bank account balance than the balance of nature.

There's also the little matter of the train derailment in Minnesota a few days ago carrying tar sands sludge. At least it's equal opportunity pollution: Pipelines, trains and tankers. They're covering all the bases quite well.

Great post, Alison . . . .

Anonymous said...

So you know what Keystone proponents will say - that the Arkansas pipeline was 60 years old and that's why we need a new one fro Koch to Texas.

West End Bob said...

The line in the vid: "Look! Pipelines really do create jobs!" pointing to the clean-up crew is classic!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Oil spills affecting white people in tony nabe, that's serious.

Anonymous said...

Why would Obama approve the Keystone pipeline? There is a huge oil field, 40 miles from Rifle Colorado. That field holds more oil than all of OPEC. The U.S. can outsell Saudi. With these recent oil spills? Obama could just say no. He has more than a few oil spills, to contend with. Besides which? Premier Redford was hiring American War Vets to build the Keystone, on both sides of the border.

Purple library guy said...

Oh, I'm sure they have at least a 99.9% safety record. That is, at any given moment no more than 0.1% of the pipeline is leaking. On a thousand kilometer pipeline, say, that's only one kilometer of it spilling oil on any given day.

Anonymous said...

Quite a good week for the tarsands actually- Redford has just appointed Encana's Gerry Protti, founder of CAPP and vice-chair at EPIC with Bruce Carson, as the new Alberta energy regulator.

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