Koch Industries, Keystone XL Pipeline… A BP On The Prairie?

As CPAC has grow to be latest history, various stories starting from Ann Coulter’s shrill demand that more journalists ought to be sent to jail, to Andrew Breitbart denouncing Code Pink activists as “long on the tooth,” growling his traditional acerbic sexism, to Donald Trump making an attempt to speak sensibly to the politically rabid tea party aristocracy — one truth was by no means far from the floor, particularly that the ruling Kings of the Tea Celebration motion — David and Charles Koch had been the ‘puppet-masters’ guiding the occasions.

Except for bankrolling the assume tanks like FreedomWorks and People For Prosperity — the Koch brothers are the virtual sugar daddies for this erstwhile movement based mostly on scapegoating any group or individual daring to disapprove of the marriage between unbridled corporatism to religious fundamentalism.

Every part the Kochs touched — from disbanding the federal reserve and resurrecting the gold commonplace, to repealing the 14th amendment had been featured in the mainstream media — apart from one small merchandise: the proposed TransCanada Pipeline. Hidden from public sight like an illegitimate pregnancy on the Brady Bunch, the tar sands pipeline is within the process of gaining regulatory approval from the US authorities.

TransCanada, the Keystone XL Pipeline and Koch Industries…

Project developer TransCanada seeks approval from US authorities companies to build the brand new ‘tar sands’ pipeline from Alberta, Canada by way of the midwest United States to Texas as a part of a proposed fossil gas tremendous-freeway.

Koch Industries could be a giant winner if this pipeline is approved. Presently, Koch imports to the U.S. near 25% of all oil sands crude. Koch Industries features a facility in Calgary, Alberta known as the Flint Hills Sources Canada LP, which provides roughly 250,000 barrels of tar sands crude each day to the ‘heavy oil’ refinery Koch owns in Minnesota. Moreover, Flint Hills operates a ‘crude oil terminal’ situated right on the Keystone XL Pipeline starting point in Hardisty, Alberta.

The Koch brothers have been busy — and due to the Residents United choice, are capable of flood political campaigns with unlimited cash. The Los Angeles Occasions reported that Koch Industries and its ‘workers’ constituted the most important single donor to members of the House Power and Commerce Committee, together with the coffers of Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the new committee chair.

The Keystone XL Pipeline…

Better identified because the Keystone XL — this undertaking would travel by multiple states together with the midwest ‘bread-belt’ — slicing by the northeastern quadrant of the Ogallala aquifer in Nebraska. The plan is to construct that part of the Keystone Beneath the aquifer. TransCanada is assured that historical past will not repeat itself and the Keystone won’t suffer the identical destiny because the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe of last year. The stakes are excessive — as the Ogallala aquifer is considered one among the largest sources of contemporary groundwater on Earth — slicing by eight midwestern states.

Additionally, various parts of Ogallala in Nebraska are a part of an lively earthquake zone — with the final quake reported at four.Three magnitude in 2002. It gets worse — a report from the Nebraska Wildlife Federation cited the fact that …”some portions of the aquifer are so close to the floor that ANY pipeline leak would nearly immediately contaminate a large portion of the water.”

benzoic acid workshopA few of the major issues with this pipeline fossil super-highway embody the fact that the Keystone XL will likely be transporting ‘tar sands’ oil, which is taken into account essentially the most toxic of all petroleum products. Tar sands oil comprises the following heavy metals : nickel, vanadium, LEAD, CHROMIUM, MERCURY, ARSENIC, SELENIUM, BENZENE, and different toxic components. Tar sands oil also creates three times the amount of carbon emissions as typical oil and the act of extraction destroys forests and other viable land sources.

Tar Sands Producers Seek ‘Safety Process Waivers — Same Waivers BP Obtained…

Tar sands producers are pushing for the kind of ‘security process waivers’ provided to BP prior to the Gulf disaster of final 12 months. Additionally, TransCanada — the Keystone XL producer — is seeking permission to pump tar sands oil at pressured EXCEEDING regular safety limits, while utilizing pipes made from thinner steel than are the business standard.

Tar sands crude oil often causes ‘false stress warnings in pipelines’ making the identification of a real leak virtually inconceivable. Tar sands oil is also thicker than standard oil and has increased concentrations of heavy metals which require greater concentrations of energy and water to separate the oil from the sands. In accordance with the NRDC report ‘tar sands’ contain …

15 to 20 occasions larger acid concentrations than standard crude oil, 5 to 10 occasions as much sulfur, excessive concentrations of chloride salts, and better concentrations of abrasive quartz sand particles.

Moreover, the NRDC report explains that: “This mixture of chemical corrosion and physical abrasion can dramatically enhance the rate of pipeline deterioration.”

The Guardian Setting Community defined additional that:

…As a way to get it to move through pipelines, raw tar sands bitumen is diluted with pure fuel condensate and then moved in heated pipelines beneath high pressure. The study (NRDC report) asserts that the upper temperatures and better internal pipeline pressures can create gasoline bubbles within the pipelines, deform the metal, and lead to ruptures caused by pressure spikes.

So, while you mix the more highly corrosive tar sands crude oil with thinner steel — you could have a recipe for a blowout catastrophe. Actually… simply one other Canadian tar sands pipeline constructed by Enbridge, skilled such a rupture.

The Enbridge Lakehead 6B Pipeline Rupture…

The Enbridge Lakehead Pipeline Rupture happened along what was been benignly labeled ‘Line 6B.’ This line feeds into the good Lakes in Michigan, and the ramifications for extra water contamination are dire. The rupture wasn’t a pinhole or a few inches in diameter — it was 6.5 feet lengthy and has gushed in excess of 800,000 gallons of tar sands crude into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River system.

Enbridge requested permission to use the same sort of thinner steel that TransCanada is looking for permission to make use of. To make matters worse, Enbridge had begun making use of for a permit to operate this pipeline at larger pressures than is scientifically suggested. When it comes to government oversight relating to the engineering and scientific security questions, the agency charged with pipeline rules, namely the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), fails to differentiate between crude oil and tar sands oil security requirements. PHMSA regulation governing transport of those two compounds requiring totally different therapy–views them as identical.

Ironic how the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) frets more over a most cancers affected person sporting a colostomy bag, being a hazard to a plane of passengers — than they do regarding insufficient pipeline security of toxic tar sands oil — containing enormous quantities of recognized toxics and carcinogens.

The Nationwide Resource Defense Council Warning…

The Nationwide Resource Defense Council explained that conventional crude oil pipelines transporting tar sands oil…”seem to pose new and vital risks of pipeline leaks or ruptures because of corrosion.”

The report added that …”There are a lot of indications that diluted bitumen (tar sands oil) is considerably extra corrosive to pipeline programs than typical crude.”

Most US rules on pipeline building specs, are designed for conventional crude — with no provisions addressing further ‘wear and tear’ on pipelines from the more corrosive tar sands oil. Canada’s Energy Sources Conservation Board disputes this finding claiming that tar sands oil poses no further corrosion on pipelines. A Joint Report by the Pure Sources Defense Council, the Nationwide Wildlife Federation, the Pipeline Security Trust and the Sierra Club violently disputes this declare.

Moreover, even our now politically anemic EPA has posed critical issues relating to the security procedures of this venture and this vendor — TransCanada.

Attainable Conflict of Curiosity by Secretary of State Clinton…

Moreover, a doable battle of curiosity has emerged as a result of Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s former ties to TransCanada’s Pipeline Lobbyist, Paul Elliott. Elliott was hired by TransCanada some 2 years in the past as the key contact person to broker the special ‘security waivers’ from the State Department. The query of waivers goes by means of the State Division since that is an international deal. State, in impact, has the facility to authorize the waivers often known as ‘Presidential Waivers.’

Paul Elliott…qualified to defend this undertaking?

Elliott is an inept choice for this type of mission as he has no experience or schooling in sciences corresponding to geology or engineering. He graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and previously labored in public relations. He has no qualifications for this type of work — apart from the truth that he served as public affairs advisor to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin during the Clinton administration, and subsequently served because the national deputy director and chief of workers for delegate selection in the course of the 2008 presidential run by now Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

FOIA Request Denied…

This potential battle of curiosity would by no means have seen the sunshine of day, except for a FOIA request (Freedom of data Act) filed mid December, 2010 by three advocacy groups; Buddies of the Earth, The middle for International Environmental Law, and company Ethics Worldwide. The request particularly named Paul Elliott as a subject of the search. On January fifth, 2011 the State Division rejected the request. The explanations given by State for the rejection are the following:

“You have not fairly described the data you search in a way that somebody conversant in Department records and applications could find them.” The second reason reads: “You haven’t agreed to pay the charges associated with the processing of your request.”

Ironically before information of Elliott’s involvement and potential battle of curiosity, seven
inexperienced groups had urged Clinton to recuse herself from this resolution resulting from earlier statements of help final fall. To quote Carroll Muffett, president of the middle for Worldwide Environmental Law…”It warrants our studying extra and the general public studying extra. The fundamental goal of FOIA is to learn how the federal government is making selections. Keystone XL is a massive challenge with super environmental implications.”

Keystone XL Safety Waivers… one other BP on the Prairie… in the making?

For the reason that BP gulf disaster, authorities officials are desperate to ‘cowl their butts,’ given the truth that whistleblower testimony to congress proved that the gulf disaster was a result of large negligence married to ‘safety waivers.’ Just final summer time (June 17,2010), former BP manager Ken Abbott gave a damning testimony earlier than the House Subcommittee on Power and Mineral Sources Listening to, citing overwhelming proof of mass fraud and negligence. According to that testimony, far beyond what may constitute ‘acceptable danger’ utilizing sturdy safety precautions, BP and employed contractors not solely did not implement normal security procedures — they failed to create fundamental design documentation required for any construction (even a suburban house), earlier than shifting into manufacturing. Consequently, the manufacturing crew had no cheap device to watch security.

The disaster of the gulf was solely a matter of time. Now, we are being informed to trust authorities officials as soon as once more, after they knowingly permit non-scientific personnel to make scientific choices. Quite than depend on impartial scientists and engineers to guage the safety of a brand new Keystone XL pipeline — we are to belief attorneys and lobbyists. It is like trusting a file clerk to carry out brain surgical procedure: ‘price efficient’, corrupt — and insane.

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