This is just in from Michigan:Conservatives form group favoring renewable energy
This is just in from Michigan:Conservatives form group favoring renewable energy
I don't want to feed an ugly dog!
I am still not sure why the pipeline is a good idea? Permanent job numbers will be very low, the low grade oil is going to be exported, and there will be no impact to US gas prices?
But for many Americans, the issue closest at hand is how a finished Keystone XL pipeline would affect gasoline prices at the pump. The answer, say industry experts, is minimally, if at all. "It has no material impact on gasoline and diesel at the end of the day," said David McColl, an equity analyst at Morningstar.
Curt Launer, a managing director at Deutsche Bank, agreed, saying that there's no real reason to suspect that direct economic benefits shared by Transcanada, Canadian oil producers and U.S. oil refiners would be passed on to individual gasoline consumers.
"The question is, what impact would this have on consumer prices?" said Launer. "The answer is none."
"Keystone wouldn't have a significant impact either way on overall North American energy prices," he said. "The real impact would be a higher price received by the producers of oil who would ship their oil through the Keystone pipeline. There would not be a change in any major way for the price of oil in the worldwide market."
I understand the Canadian Company, Transcanada will make lots of money, but that will positively impact our country how?
McColl said the section of Keystone XL extending from Cushing to the Gulf Coast, expected to be opened by the end of this year, would help to reduce the glut and increase Canadian crude prices.
"The price of Western Canadian would move up," said McColl. "It's very enticing for Canadian markets."
The most obvious economic beneficiary of the Keystone XL pipeline is its builder, Transcanada. The company says it has already secured revenue for Keystone through long-term commitments from oil companies.
Oil train derailment raises questions about safety
Number of oil releases is rising
By Dave Kolpack and James MacPherson
A fiery oil train derailment’s near-miss of a small North Dakota town had its mayor angrily calling for federal officials to do more to guarantee the safety of the nation’s growing shipment of oil by rail.
Government regulators defended their record on moving hazardous materials by rail, noting that 2012 was the safest year in the industry’s history. But oil trains have bucked that trend, thanks in part to the massive amount of oil being moved out of western North Dakota, where the industry’s rapid growth is far outpacing pipeline development.
No one was hurt when the mile-long BNSF Railway train derailed Monday afternoon near the eastern North Dakota town of Casselton, but the overturned tankers — exploding and engulfed in plumes of flames and black smoke for more than 24 hours — burned so hot that emergency crews didn’t even attempt to put out the blaze. Most of Casselton’s roughly 2,400 residents agreed to evacuate temporarily due to concerns about unsafe air.
“This is too close for comfort,” Casselton Mayor Ed McConnell said Tuesday.
While the overall rate of oil train accidents remains low — less than 0.1 percent of crude-carrying tank cars have suffered accidental releases this year — there has been a sharp increase in the number of releases over the past several years. That’s driven by a surge in drilling for unconventional shale oil in North Dakota and other western states.
Through early November, the most recent data available, crude releases have been reported from 137 rail cars in 2013, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal accident records. By comparison, only one release was reported in 2009, before the boom got well underway.
The rail tracks in eastern North Dakota run through the middle of Casselton, about 25 miles west of Fargo. McConnell estimated that dozens of people could have been killed if the derailments had happened within the town.
The mayor said it was time to “have a conversation” with federal lawmakers about the dangers of transporting oil by rail.
“There have been numerous derailments in this area,” he said. “It’s almost gotten to the point that it looks like not if we’re going to have an accident, it’s when.” Gov. Jack Dalrymple visited Casselton, his hometown, to view the scene. He called it a “ major catastrophe” that would prompt concerns no matter where it happened.
“People will be asking a lot of questions about the safety of equipment, the safety of railroad operations, and why did the derailment occur in the first place,” Dalrymple said.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which is heading the investigation, said it would examine the train recorder, the signal system, the condition of the train operators, train and tracks, as well as the response to the derailment.
NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said the tankers involved were older-model DOT-111s, which have shown a tendency to rupture in other accidents. Tank car makers have been rebuilding the DOT-111, the workhorse of the oil-by-rail industry, to tougher safety standards since a 2009 crash of an ethanol train near Rockford, Ill., but most of the nation’s fleet has not yet been retrofitted.
Sumwalt said a westbound BNSF train carrying grain derailed first, and a portion of it fell onto an adjacent track carrying the eastbound BNSF oil train. Sumwalt said both lead locomotives of the 106car train were destroyed. BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said 18 cars on the oil train derailed and burned.
Officials canceled the town’s voluntary evacuation recommendation Tuesday afternoon after air quality tests, and a Red Cross shelter set up at the high school was shut down.
Government regulators noted their record on moving hazardous materials by rail, saying they’ve conducted unannounced spot inspections to make sure crude oil is being properly handled, issued rail safety advisories and worked to update rules, including for the DOT-111s.
Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, said the state’s drillers increasingly are using trains to reach more lucrative markets because of the lack of pipelines and difficulty in securing permits for them.
Sheldon Lustig, a rail expert who consults with local governments on accidents and hazardous materials, said oil train explosions underscore that not enough is being done by either government or industry.
“The evidence speaks for itself,” he said. “I’ve talked to some of the crews and they refer to them as ‘ bomb trains.’”
Never trust a dog to watch your food!
From Wednesday's brief:
Mr Sumwalt updated the press and local residents on the progress of the investigation. Key take aways:
--reviewing the event recorder from the DPU of the oil train. The front oil train recorders are toast, although they have streaming video
--signals appear to be fine for five miles
--grain train derailed at a switch point, less than a minute before the collision. No indication the switch was not properly aligned
--codes on the oil cars were 1267 (crude), 3 (flammable) and 1 (least volatile). NTSB is examining oil in the remaining cars to determine the validity of the 1 coding
--oil will be removed by trucks as 18+ cars are now alongside the main track
--crew to be interviewed on Thursday
--expect the line to be open around midnight on Wednesday, change from 7am Thursday
--the cracked axle is of interest
--NTSB expects to wrap up by Saturday
--future updates from NTSB in Washington
Details on the U tube, or on NTSB.gov
WRC HR Lennoxlove's Run with Wolves JH, WCX ("Cheyenne") ... still so fondly remembered
HRCh Struan's Devil's in De Tails SH, WCX ("Lucy") ... as is her daughter
SR CH Struan's Flight of Fancy JH ("Muse")
Struan's Master of the Hunt JH, WC ("Charlie")
Struan's Just Plain Perfect ("Jane")
Struan's Driving Us Crazy ("Daisy") ... the baby in charge
Oil is a finite commodity. Light Sweet Crude which is preferred for oil production is an even more limited commodity. Expanding on that base is beneficial. The largest benefits may not be a lower price but an availability at all.
This is all long term projections, but without proactive action on infrastructure and technology it will not be in place when we need it.
It is important that the pipeline is developed intelligently with a minimum effect on the environment and I am trusting that within our regulations that will happen.
“A faith that does not know how to grow roots into the lives of people stays barren. And instead of an oasis, it creates more deserts.” — Pope Francis
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M&K's SHR Prime Black Angus
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Sir Jacob of Lakeview-Jake
Feds say Bakken oil may be more risky
Finding follows train crash, explosion
After a string of explosive accidents, federal officials said Thursday that crude oil being shipped by rail from the Northern Plains across the U.S. and Canada may be more flammable than traditional forms of oil.
A safety alert issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation warns the public, emergency responders and shippers about the potential high volatility of crude from the Bakken oil patch. The sprawling oil shale reserve is fueling the surging industry in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, which is now the nation’s second-largest oil producer behind Texas.
Thursday’s announcement declares that the Bakken’s light, sweet crude oil may be different from traditional heavy crudes because it is prone to ignite at a lower temperature. Experts say lighter crudes, which contain more natural gas, have a much lower “flash point” — the temperature at which vapors given off by the oil can ignite.
The government’s warning comes after a huge explosion on Monday caused by a crude train derailment near Casselton, N.D. No one was hurt, but worries about toxic fumes prompted the evacuation of hundreds of residents from the small eastern North Dakota town.
The oil boom in the Bakken has reduced the nation’s reliance on imported oil and brought thousands of jobs to the region. But as companies increasingly rely on trains instead of pipelines to get that oil to lucrative coastal markets, public safety in communities bisected by rail lines has become a major concern.
In July, 47 people were killed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, when a train carrying Bakken crude derailed. Another oil train from North Dakota derailed and exploded in Alabama in November, causing no deaths but releasing an estimated 749,000 gallons of oil from 26 tanker cars.
By comparison, there was no fire when 10,000 gallons of oil that originated outside the Bakken region leaked after a Canadian Pacific Railway derailment in Minnesota last March. Cleanup crews were able to scoop up much of the spilled crude, which the railway said came from western Canada.
Whether the government’s response to the latest derailment will help stave off another accident is uncertain. While safety advocates welcomed the move, others said the warning didn’t offer new information.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Bakken oil is a high-quality crude with a lower flash point — that’s what makes it a desired commodity for all these coastal refineries,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, a Bismarck-based group that represents hundreds of oil industry companies.
Ness added that companies shipping oil from the Bakken already were adhering to federal regulations.
After the Lac- Megantic crash, federal officials issued an advisory for companies to properly classify their crude oil according to a scale that ranks hazardous materials as a great danger, medium danger or minor danger.
Officials have now gone a step farther, declaring that the Bakken’s light oil — extracted from shale formations through the drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” — may be different.
Kenneth Medlock, senior director at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University in Houston, noted that the volatility of crude varies from one oil field to the next and is driven largely by how heavy it is.
Never trust a dog to watch your food!
So, does this mean it would be safer to have oil like this in a pipeline, rather than on a train?
I thought "light, sweet crude" was the more desirable crude oil for refining purposes of getting the better bang for the buck. Was our original US oil from "traditionally" drilling also "light, sweet" type? My recall may be faulty on this.
"Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim
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There are pipelines crisscrossing South Texas like so many game trails. Seems like practically anyone you talk to has one or more running under their property. They are always warning folks to call the pipeline registry before doing any digging. Doesn't seem to be much of a problem. The right of ways provide habitat diversity with thousands of acres of grassland in the middle of the native chaparral. The pipelines are flown regularly and constantly to check for leaks. I don't have any statistics, but I get the feeling that pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to move liquids or gasses around. After all, when was the last time most of us had our household water delivered by a tank truck?
Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
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Gig'em Aggies!! BTCO'77HOO t.u.!!