Tag archives for tar sands

Oil has begun flowing on the southern segment of North America’s most controversial pipeline project: the Keystone XL. TransCanada announced Wednesday that it had begun operations to send crude from the congested pipeline and storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma to the refining center of the U.S. Gulf Coast. (See related Interactive: Mapping the Flow of…

U.S. officials are weighing a wide range of actions to address what they view as the increasing public risk due to oil trains. Thanks to the booming oil production in North Dakota’s Bakken shale, and the ramp-up of ethanol production throughout the Midwest, U.S. railways now are carrying an unprecedented volume of flammable liquid—and the…

The words in the title above came from Pogo, and they have bounced around in the back of my brain since the 1970s when I first heard them. Many times I’ve been confronted with the truth of that quip by Pogo, the beloved character of former Disney cartoonist Walt Kelly (1913-1973), in a poster he created for…

President Obama will soon have to decide whether he will be the “all of the above” president or the “respond to climate change” president.

A proposed new route for the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska has sparked renewed debate over whether it is environmentally safe — and it could be early next year before a final decision is made on the project. Republican lawmakers tried to expedite the TransCanada pipeline extension’s approval this week, attempting to link the project…

The State Department announced Wednesday that it will reject the proposed $7 billion expansion of the Keystone pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada’s tar sands to refineries in Texas. “The Department does not have sufficient time to obtain the information necessary to assess whether the project, in its current state, is in the national…

In November, the Obama administration decided to delay a decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to bring tar sands from Canada to the United States. But in December, Republicans attached a provision to a tax bill, which President Obama signed, that urges the administration to decide on the pipeline within 60 days,…

The Obama administration delayed deciding whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which has been proposed to carry tar sands from Canada to Texas’s Gulf Coast. The administration said it should consider alternate routes and wait until early 2013 to decide. Industry officials in Canada thought the delay may derail the pipeline, and threaten…

The world population reached seven billion people around October 31, according to United Nations estimates. The actual date is a bit fuzzy, but the milestone has nonetheless had great symbolic power, triggering a stream of articles on population issues. Nicholas Kristof, in the New York Times, argued family planning is the solution to many of…

Although Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard had promised before to not enact a carbon tax, floods, bush fires, heat waves, and drought reawakened discussion about putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions. This week, Australia’s House of Representatives narrowly passed a carbon tax, sending the bill to the country’s Senate, where observers say it is…

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which could carry a diluted form of tar sands from Canada to Texas, has attracted the ire of many environmentalists, including Bill McKibben, who spearheaded protests in front of the White House last month. This week, McKibben argued the Obama administration is practicing “crony capitalism” and that e-mails obtained through…

When the State Department released its environmental impact statement for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline expansion, which would carry oil from the tar sands of Canada to refineries in Texas, its general conclusion was that the project would have “no significant impact” on most surrounding resources. The pipeline’s proposed path across sensitive ecosystems and the…

The fight over the Keystone XL pipeline, designed to bring Canadian tar sands to U.S. refineries, is being billed as a make-or-break moment for energy: Will America place its bets on fossil fuels, or we will turn instead to more reliance on renewable energy? It’s an important debate, but one crucial point that’s often missed…

Obama: A No-Go on Ozone

A tactical retreat or an abdication? It’s a scant 14 months to the 2012 elections. The economy’s in the tank, as are the president’s poll numbers. (See here, here, here and here.) The pundits tell us (for instance here and here) that Obama will pivot to jobs, jobs, jobs in an effort to rehabilitate his…

More than 200 people were reportedly arrested Saturday at the White House on the final day of a two-week stretch of sit-ins against the planned Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from the tar sands of Canada to refineries in Texas. (Related: “Is Canadian Oil Bound for China Via Pipeline to Texas?“) Tar Sands…

Hundreds of protesters—including famed climate researcher James Hansen—have been arrested in protests in front of the White House over the past two weeks, in an attempt to stop the construction of a pipeline from Canada to Texas to carry diluted tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries, mainly over concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and risks…

Nearly two months after a rupture at ExxonMobil’s Silvertip oil pipeline spilled at least 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River, there is no end in sight to the cleanup efforts. The company recently said that the process has been more difficult than expected, and estimated that cleanup would continue for several months…

If there’s a single idea that the oil industry has peddled to persuade the Obama administration to approve the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, it’s this: tar sands oil might be more polluting than even dirty old regular oil, but it’s better to get our energy from our ally Canada than from unstable oil…

Hillary Clinton is in the tar sands hot seat. Is she asking the right questions? The U.S. State Department is in the rare position of having to decide on an environmental issue. TransCanada wants to expand an existing pipeline to bring tar sand oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas. Because it’s an international project, the…

In a planet running out of resources, the most important public policy tool may be the measuring stick. This becomes important to remember amid the remarkable swings of pessimism and guarded optimism we’ve seen over the past two years on the ability of individual nations to scale-up the sustainable energy agenda. COP15 in Copenhagen 2009…