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 Keystone XL pipeline not safe 
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Post Keystone XL pipeline not safe
JournalStar.com wrote:
Mike Klink: Keystone XL pipeline not safe

By Mike Klink JournalStar.com | Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 11:50 pm

There has been a lot of talk about the safety of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

I am not an environmentalist, but as a civil engineer and an inspector for TransCanada during the construction of the first Keystone pipeline, I've had an uncomfortable front-row seat to the disaster that Keystone XL could bring about all along its pathway.

Despite its boosters' advertising, this project is not about jobs or energy security. It is about money. And whenever my former employer Bechtel, working on behalf of TransCanada, had to choose between safety and saving money, they chose to save money.

As an inspector, my job was to monitor the construction of the first Keystone pipeline. I oversaw construction at the pump stations that have been such a problem on that line, which has already spilled more than a dozen times. I am coming forward because my kids encouraged me to tell the truth about what was done and covered up.

When I last raised concerns about corners being cut, I lost my job — but people along the Keystone XL pathway have a lot more to lose if this project moves forward with the same shoddy work.

What did I see? Cheap foreign steel that cracked when workers tried to weld it, foundations for pump stations that you would never consider using in your own home, fudged safety tests, Bechtel staffers explaining away leaks during pressure tests as "not too bad," shortcuts on the steel and rebar that are essential for safe pipeline operation and siting of facilities on completely inappropriate spots like wetlands.

I shared these concerns with my bosses, who communicated them to the bigwigs at TransCanada, but nothing changed. TransCanada didn't appear to care. That is why I was not surprised to hear about the big spill in Ludden, N.D., where a 60-foot plume of crude spewed tens of thousands of gallons of toxic tar sands oil and fouled neighboring fields.

TransCanada says that the performance has been OK. Fourteen spills is not so bad. And that the pump stations don't really count. That is all bunk. This thing shouldn't be leaking like a sieve in its first year — what do you think happens decades from now after moving billions of barrels of the most corrosive oil on the planet?

Let's be clear — I am an engineer; I am not telling you we shouldn't build pipelines. We just should not build this one.

Pipelines can and do stand the test of time, but TransCanada already has shown that they cannot. After working on engineering projects all over the world, I can tell you that a company that cared about safety would not follow these types of practices.

If it were a car, the first Keystone would be a lemon. And it would be far worse to double down on a proven loser with Keystone XL.

The stories of how TransCanada has bullied landowners in Nebraska rings true to me. I am living it, as well. After repeatedly telling the contractor and TransCanada about my concerns, I lost my job.

But I couldn't watch silently as a company put innocent people at risk with a haphazardly built pipeline. I am speaking out on behalf of my children and your children.

Oil spills are no joke. We need to do all we can to protect our water and our food. I am glad the Nebraska Legislature stepped up to protect Nebraskans. I can only hope that they stand up to TransCanada. We should all take a hard look at the damage that this pipeline will do. I should know; I've seen it in person.

Please do not sell out to foreign oil and foreign suppliers. There is no guarantee the product will stay in the United States, only the toxic waste. God bless the United States and those of us who still believe in the fact that her people matter.

Mike Klink of Auburn, Ind.., is seeking whistleblower protection from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Read more: http://m.journalstar.com/news/opinion/e ... z1jvVZk3P5

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January 19th, 2012, 1:37 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
Quote:
Pipeline Inspector-Turned Whistleblower Calls Keystone XL a Potential Disaster
By Stephen Lacey

By forcing the White House to make a decision on the politically and environmentally-toxic Keystone XL pipeline as part of an agreement reached in December to extend the payroll tax cut, Republicans are being lambasted by environmental groups for undercutting the federal environmental review process.

Now a whistleblower is claiming that the company overseeing the development of the proposed project, TransCanada, also has a track record of undercutting quality at the expense of the environment -- further calling into question the decision by Congress to prevent a new federal environmental impact study for Keystone XL.

Mike Klink is a former inspector for Bechtel, one of the major contractors working on TransCanada’s original Keystone pipeline, completed in 2010. Klink says he raised numerous concerns about shoddy materials and poor craftsmanship during construction of the pipeline, which brings tar sands crude from Canada to Midwestern refineries in the U.S. Instead of actually addressing the problems, Klink claims he was fired by Bechtel in retaliation. He filed a complaint with the Department of Labor in March of 2010, and made his story public last fall.

Klink, who says he’s speaking as an engineer and not an environmentalist, has just published a scathing op-ed in the Lincoln Journal Star criticizing Keystone XL, a proposed extension of the current tar sands pipeline network that would bring crude down to refineries in the Gulf Coast, crossing a major aquifer along the way:

Quote:
As an inspector, my job was to monitor the construction of the first Keystone pipeline. I oversaw construction at the pump stations that have been such a problem on that line, which has already spilled more than a dozen times. I am coming forward because my kids encouraged me to tell the truth about what was done and covered up.

When I last raised concerns about corners being cut, I lost my job -- but people along the Keystone XL pathway have a lot more to lose if this project moves forward with the same shoddy work.


A recent environmental impact statement -- outsourced by the State Department to another major TransCanada contractor -- found that there would be "limited adverse environmental impacts" associated with the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline. Opponents of the pipeline cried foul, saying it was yet another major conflict of interest between the State Department and TransCanada.

Klink’s assertions about poor management of the first Keystone pipeline provide yet more ammunition for critics of the pipeline:

Quote:
What did I see? Cheap foreign steel that cracked when workers tried to weld it, foundations for pump stations that you would never consider using in your own home, fudged safety tests, Bechtel staffers explaining away leaks during pressure tests as "not too bad," shortcuts on the steel and rebar that are essential for safe pipeline operation and siting of facilities on completely inappropriate spots like wetlands.

I shared these concerns with my bosses, who communicated them to the bigwigs at TransCanada, but nothing changed. TransCanada didn’t appear to care. That is why I was not surprised to hear about the big spill in Ludden, N.D., where a 60-foot plume of crude spewed tens of thousands of gallons of toxic tar sands oil and fouled neighboring fields.

TransCanada says that the performance has been OK. Fourteen spills is not so bad. And that the pump stations don’t really count. That is all bunk. This thing shouldn’t be leaking like a sieve in its first year -- what do you think happens decades from now after moving billions of barrels of the most corrosive oil on the planet?

Let’s be clear -- I am an engineer; I am not telling you we shouldn’t build pipelines. We just should not build this one.


White House officials say the 60-day timeline forced by Congress on the Keystone XL pipeline will force the Administration to deny the project. This is exactly what Republicans want -- but only to make the pipeline an election issue, not to consider the myriad environmental issues being raised.

http://www.onearth.org/blog/whistleblow ... l-disaster

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January 19th, 2012, 1:38 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
Quote:
Mike Klink, Keystone 'Whistleblower,' Alleges Shoddy Materials Along Original Pipeline

WASHINGTON - A former inspector for a company that did work on TransCanada's original Keystone pipeline is accusing the Calgary-based company of a cavalier disregard for the environment.

Mike Klink was an engineer for construction company Bechtel Corp., a contractor that worked on the first portion of the Keystone pipeline that carries Alberta oilsands crude to refineries in the American Midwest. It was completed in 2010; the controversial Keystone XL would extend that pipeline to Gulf Coast refineries.

In an opinion piece published over the weekend in Nebraska's Lincoln Journal Star, the 59-year-old Klink says he raised a series of concerns about alleged sub-standard materials and poor craftsmanship along the Keystone pipeline.

The Indiana man says he was fired by Bechtel as a result, and filed a complaint about his dismissal with the U.S. Department of Labor in March 2010. In his formal complaint, also sent to the U.S. Office of Whistleblower Protection Program, Klink says the company began treating him as a "problem inspector" culminating in one supervisor angrily ordering him to quit before he got fired.

"Let's be clear — I am an engineer; I am not telling you we shouldn't build pipelines," he wrote in the Nebraska newspaper.

"We just should not build this one."

His job as an inspector, Klink said, involved monitoring the construction of pump stations along the first Keystone pipeline.

"I am coming forward because my kids encouraged me to tell the truth about what was done and covered up," he wrote. "When I last raised concerns about corners being cut, I lost my job — but people along the Keystone XL pathway have a lot more to lose if this project moves forward with the same shoddy work."

TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha disputed Klink's assertions, saying he "appears to have made a number of allegations against his previous employer and others, none of which have been proven."

Cunha added that whenever safety concerns are raised by inspectors, TransCanada takes them seriously.

"If a concern is raised, we investigate immediately. If corrective action is required, we act .... Safety is top priority for us. We monitor our Keystone pipeline system through a centralized high-tech centre 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

Klink says, however, that he noticed substandard building materials, construction methods and safety standards as he inspected the pipeline.

"Cheap foreign steel that cracked when workers tried to weld it, foundations for pump stations that you would never consider using in your own home, fudged safety tests, Bechtel staffers explaining away leaks during pressure tests as 'not too bad,' shortcuts on the steel and rebar that are essential for safe pipeline operation and siting of facilities on completely inappropriate spots like wetlands," he wrote.

He said that he shared his concerns with his bosses, who passed them along to "the bigwigs at TransCanada, but nothing changed. TransCanada didn't appear to care."

Keystone remains in the spotlight in the U.S. capital after Republicans succeeded in having a provision inserted into legislation to extend payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance benefits to Americans hard-hit by tough economic times.

The measure would force the Obama administration to make a decision on Keystone XL within 60 days. White House officials and Democrats say the provision has all but killed the pipeline since a thorough review of a new route for Keystone XL — around a crucial aquifer in Nebraska — cannot be conducted in such a short time period.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/01/03 ... 82195.html

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January 19th, 2012, 1:40 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
Fox News wrote:
Six reasons Keystone XL was a bad deal all along
By Sally Kohn

Published January 18, 2012 | FoxNews.com

In announcing his decision to not grant permission for the Keystone pipeline extension, opponents of President Obama argue the president gave in to pressure from environmental activists.

In reality, the president was resisting an artificial deadline from Republicans trying to force his hand.

But the fact is, for the good of our country and our economy, rejecting the Keystone XL deal was the best decision possible.

Here are six facts about the proposed Keystone XL deal that make clear why the pipeline was a bad deal for America and why it deserved to be rejected:

1. Keystone XL Would Not Reduce Foreign Oil Dependency

The oil to be sent through Keystone XL pipeline was never destined for US markets. In its own presentation to investors about the proposed pipeline extension, TransCanada (the company behind Keystone XL) boasted that most if not all of the extracted and refined oil would be exported --- sold in oversees markets where oil fetches a higher price (and thus turns a higher profit for the company).

2. Keystone XL Would Have Increased Domestic Oil Prices

Currently, Canadian oil reserves stored in the Midwest help suppress gas prices in the United States, particularly for farmers in our nation’s heartland.

In its permit application for the pipeline, TransCanada noted that the Keystone XL pipeline would allow the company to drain these reserves and export that fuel as well. According to TransCanada’s own statements, this would raise gas prices in the United States, especially in the Midwest.

3. Keystone XL Overstated Number of Jobs to be Created

In 2008, TransCanada’s original permit application to the State Department said the Keystone XL pipeline would create “a peak workforce of approximately 3,500 to 4,200 construction personnel” in temporary jobs building the pipeline.

By 2011, now facing growing opposition to the pipeline, TransCanada had inflated these numbers (using undisclosed formulas) to 20,000. Supporters of the proposal, backed by big oil, have since trumpeted these trumped up numbers.

4. Current Keystone Pipeline Leaked 12 Times in Last Year

The pipeline that the Obama administration has rejected the permit for would be an extension of a pipeline that has already leaked -- not just once, but 12 times in the last year.

While TransCanada tried to dismiss these leaks as “minor” averaging “just five to 10 gallons of oil” each, the leak on May 7, 2011 near Millner, N.D., spilled about 21,000 gallons of oil in total.

5. The Environmental Concerns About Oil Leaks Are Justified

Nebraska’s Republican Governor Dave Heineman strongly opposed the Keystone XL project because the pipeline would run through a massive and vital aquifer in his state the supplies clean drinking water to over 2 million Americans plus water that fuels the region’s agriculture industry.

Building the pipeline might have created a few thousand temporary jobs but even a minor oil spill in or near the aquifer would have jeopardized hundreds of thousands of jobs, not to mention the health and safety of millions.

Meanwhile, in Michigan where a similar tar sands pipeline spilled over 840,000 gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in 2010, residents are still complaining of headaches, dizziness and nausea while studies continue to look at the long-term effects of just being near such an oil spill when it happens.

6. Mining Tar Sands Would Worsen Global Warming

Assuming you believe, like the vast majority of the world’s scientists, that climate change is both real and of concern, the Canadian tar sands are the second largest carbon reserve in the world.

Mining these reserves would release all of that carbon into the atmosphere, to detrimental effect on our environment. Sure, Canada might go ahead and mine the tar sands anyway, but the United States doesn’t have to help pollute the planet and our own states in the process.

No matter how you look at it, the Keystone XL proposal was a slimy, scam of a deal. America is better than that.

We can create good-paying jobs that build our families and our economy for the future without hurting our environment today.

We can invest in innovative energy technology that not only reduces our dependence on dirty fuel but also puts us in the lead in critical, emerging markets.

We can prioritize good jobs and a competitive economy of the future, with all the upsides of American energy production and innovation and far, far fewer of the downsides that Keystone carried.

Let’s focus on more of those deals going forward.

Sally Kohn is a Fox News Contributor and grassroots strategist. You can find her online at http://sallykohn.com.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/01/ ... z1jvXfjMP2

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January 19th, 2012, 1:43 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
It wouldn't make sense for us to pay "higher foreign oil prices" here, and not give that same price to Canada, less whatever fee it would cost to deliver the stuff. That argument seems bunk. Secondly, the Republican Bill, as I understand it, was only to force Obama to say whether or not he WOULD build the pipeline BEFORE the election. Obama wants to put every major decision that he needs to make off until AFTER the election, conveniently. The Republican Bill wasn't asking for approval of any site, or any "plan" there isn't even a proposed plan by Nebraska as of yet, it was only a commitment to build or not to build the pipeline.


January 19th, 2012, 3:30 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
Wow Wags, did you really need to post three articles in a row all quoting the same guy? You would think that if there were legitimate problems with the pipeline that more than one of the 800 inspectors would have said something. Also, if there were serious issues with it, the State Department bureaucrats surely wouldn't have approved the project in the first place.

Here's more from the Vice President of Keystone Pipeline TransCanada:
JournalStar wrote:
Local View: TransCanada does not compromise on safety
BY ROBERT JONES JournalStar.com | Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:57 pm

I want to take this opportunity to respond to claims made by Mike Klink in a column (LJS, Jan. 1) that referenced TransCanada and the safety of its Keystone pipeline.

TransCanada is clear to every contractor, supplier and employee we do not compromise on safety — ever.

On the Keystone pipeline, if issues were brought to our attention about construction practices, they were immediately investigated. If corrections were needed, they were made.

Every fitting, valve, pump, weld, section of pipe and equipment is inspected at numerous points by independent inspectors. In fact, there were over 800 inspectors involved in monitoring the construction of the Keystone pipeline.

There is no issue with the safety or integrity of the pipeline in the ground. As we've said before, there were oil releases above ground at a few pump stations during the first year of Keystone's start-up.

The average amount of oil that was released was five gallons, and in all cases, the oil was cleaned up quickly. Each pump station is designed with special liners, clay barriers, gravel, berms and highly monitored shutdown valves to minimize off-site impacts if an event does occur.

This past summer, TransCanada spent two months inspecting thousands of fittings and valves at pump stations along the entire pipeline and made any necessary safety modifications to prevent similar events from happening in the future. These learnings will be used if Keystone XL is ultimately approved.

Since beginning operation in 2010, Keystone has safely transported 160 million barrels of oil that is critical to supplying refineries in America's heartland to maintain the quality of life and economic recovery for all of us.

Klink's colorful description of one event in North Dakota ignores the fact that only five barrels of oil mist went off of our pump station site. In fact, this event demonstrated TransCanada's safety systems work as the pipeline was remotely shut down within minutes of detecting the above-ground leak. TransCanada is able to do this through 24 hour a day monitoring, using satellite technology and 21,000 sensors — refreshing data every five seconds.

TransCanada has been in the pipeline business for over 60 years and is a leader with one of the best pipeline safety and operating records in the industry. We think it is important for people to carefully analyze what is being said about our pipeline and the motives behind claims that have not or cannot be proven.

Read more: http://journalstar.com/news/opinion/edi ... z1k1O8YZxr


As for the "fair and balanced" Fox News article, all you really need to know is that it was written by Sally Kohn. One should stop reading at that point since she's about as uberliberal as they get. I love it when libtards talk about job creation though. There are hundreds of thousands or millions of secondary jobs created by extending unemployment benefits, but none of those types of jobs are created by projects they don't agree with. Figures.

Also, because there might be a pipeline leak that might pollute water supplies, we shouldn't build any pipelines. Well, since airplanes might crash, we shouldn't fly them any more either. Better yet, since the Chevy Volt might catch on fire hours or days after being in a crash, we shouldn't make any more of them either. Since wind turbines might behead birds, we shouldn't build any more of them either. See how that works?

As for the fraud known as Global Warming, or Climate Change, or Lining Al Gore's Pockets, or whatever they're calling it these days, let's assume for a minute that it's real. Canada is going to produce these oil sands whether we build this pipeline or not, so stopping it isn't going to improve the environment one bit. In fact, it will only make it worse. Instead of shipping that oil through pipelines to the USA, they're going to ship it to China via tankers, which use even more oil as they sail across the ocean. Furthermore, there is an even greater danger to the environment from an oil tanker accident than there is from a pipline mishap. But since that doesn't fit their narrative, they refuse to mention that inconvienient truth.

Her statements that the pipeline wouldn't reduce dependency on foreign oil or would increase domestic oil prices is so outlandish, they don't deverve comment.

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January 20th, 2012, 2:24 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
Hmm...what would I expect a VP of TransCanada to say...would I expect them to admit their wrongdoing or would I expect them to come out and say they're innocent..... :-k

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January 20th, 2012, 3:58 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
TheRealWags wrote:
Hmm...what would I expect a VP of TransCanada to say...would I expect them to admit their wrongdoing or would I expect them to come out and say they're innocent..... :-k


Look at who else SHOULD be jumping up and down though... The govt., the EPA, other engineering firms that didn't get the work, the construction workers that did the job, etc.

This is ONE rouge engineer that thought the job could have been done better/better materials could have been used. Big deal... Talk to an auto engineer about design flaws/a wish list for items that they would want to put into a car.


January 20th, 2012, 4:03 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
NatGeo wrote:
Will Tar Sands Pipeline Threaten Groundwater?
Proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry diluted bitumen, or “dilbit.”

Mason Inman

for National Geographic News

Published September 19, 2011

This story is part of a special National Geographic News series on global water issues.

For two weeks in late August and early September, environmental activists staged sit-ins in front of the White House to protest a pipeline that would carry a slurry of tar sands from Alberta, Canada, to Texas.

Their objection? Because the gooey mixture of oil and sand that comprises tar sand must be broken down to form normal crude, extracting it is a messy business that produces far more carbon emissions than does extracting regular crude.

(Related: "Is Canadian Oil Bound for China Via Texas Pipeline?")

But while emissions worries have seized much of the attention directed at the nearly 2,000-mile (3,218-kilometer) Keystone XL pipeline, experts are also concerned about another environmental problem: the threat to water quality all along the conduit’s route.

The pipeline, which would transport the tar sands material to refineries near Houston, would cross one of America’s largest underground water reserves, the Ogallala Aquifer, which stretches across 174,000 square miles (450,000 square kilometers) and underlies eight Great Plains states.

Last month, the U.S. State Department said in an environmental review that the project would have “no significant impacts to most resources” during “normal operation.” But what many opponents of the project worry about is what happens if those normal operations fail.

TransCanada, the company seeking to build the pipeline, already runs one pipeline from the tar sands region that crosses the eastern edge of the aquifer. The Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups have argued that such pipelines are dangerous because they carry a watered-down version of the sticky tar sands deposits known as diluted bitumen, or “dilbit.”

Dilbit carries hazardous chemicals such as cancer-causing benzene and toxic heavy metals such as arsenic. Because it also contains particles of sand, the environmental groups say, dilbit is much more corrosive than oil alone, thus more likely to cause leaks.

Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, a co-author of a recent report by the Defense Council, said that piping dilbit is “like sandblasting the inside of the pipe,” making pipes 16 times more likely to leak than when they are carrying regular crude oil.

Keystone XL would pass over the heart of the aquifer, cutting through the Sand Hills of Nebraska, a region of grass-covered dunes that contains one of the largest wetlands ecosystems in the United States. The region's porous ground acts as a thick sponge, environmentalists say, allowing oil to soak into the aquifer more easily than it would if the soil were more solid.

(Related: "The Keystone XL Pipeline: A Tar Sands Folly?" and "Yellowstone Spill Shadows Efforts on the Keystone XL")

Along much of its length, the pipeline would be buried in a trench, a design that would protect it from harsh weather but one that would also make it harder to spot leaks.

“I could imagine a worst-case scenario where a potential dilbit spill might reach the water table in a matter of hours or days,” said Jason Gurdak, a hydrologist at San Francisco State University. A spill would likely immediately migrate downward, he said, possibly reaching the aquifer and creating a plume. Because much of dilbit is denser than water, he said, it could sink deep, making any contamination worse than that caused by more common pollutants.

TransCanada argues that piping is the safest way to transport petroleum over long distances and that the impact of any spill on the aquifer “would be limited to a very small area.”

Dilbit spills have already occurred in other areas. One, in July 2010, dumped about a million gallons of the substance into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, closing the waterway to fishing and swimming for more than six months.

Meanwhile, near the mining sites in Western Canada’s Athabasca River basin, fishermen have pulled up fish with crooked spines and strange sores, and even one with two mouths.

Both the oil industry and the provincial government of Alberta have denied any link between fish deformities and the mining. But in two studies, researchers at the University of Alberta reported that near and downstream from the mines, they found higher-than-normal levels of toxic compounds that can cause cancer or developmental problems, including heavy metals such as mercury and thallium, as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

“We saw the same thing for every toxin we looked at: mercury, arsenic, lead, you name it,” David Schindler, professor of ecology at the University of Alberta, told the Canadian parliament last year.

Research funded by the oil industry has suggested that the pollution around tar sands sites occurs naturally, from the deposits being exposed and washed away. But an independent panel of experts said the research failed to meet basic scientific criteria, used too few monitoring stations, and had no real baseline.

(Related: "A Quest To Clean Up Canada's Oil Sands Carbon")

Panel member Monique Dubé, an aquatic toxicologist at the University of Saskatchewan, said, “There’s no question there’s contamination in the air, water, and land from the oil sands.”

To move forward, the pipeline needs the approval of the U.S. State Department. But even with that, it is still likely to confront local opposition. “I am not opposed to pipelines in Nebraska,” U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, a Republican, said in a statement. But he faults the environmental review and wants the U.S. government to explore other options. “We have only one Ogallala Aquifer,” he said, “and we must take seriously our obligation to protect it.”

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... oundwater/

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January 20th, 2012, 4:06 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
Considering as I haven't lived in MI for quite some time and have never been to the KZoo area, perhaps some forum members could fill me in on the July 2010 spill into the KZoo River and how the subsequent clean-up is coming along.

Quote:
One, in July 2010, dumped about a million gallons of the substance into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, closing the waterway to fishing and swimming for more than six months.

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January 20th, 2012, 4:08 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
TheRealWags wrote:
Hmm...what would I expect a VP of TransCanada to say...would I expect them to admit their wrongdoing or would I expect them to come out and say they're innocent..... :-k

Well, you were the one who posted three straight articles based upon the opinion of one out of 800 inspectors. Who's to say he didn't have an agenda either? Regardless, I made the thread more "fair and balanced". :D

As for the Kalamazoo oil spill, I admit that it was bad, but nothing is ever 100% safe. Accidents happen, but the Keystone pipeline will use the latest technology to prevent or limit any future spills from becoming as bad as the one in Kalamazoo.

Let's put all this into perspective, shall we? Planes crash, trains derail, and ships sink. Should we ban all planes, trains, and ships because they might be involved in an accident? Since people sometimes drown in swimming pools, should we ban them too? There are millions of miles of natural gas pipelines in this country which heat our homes and fuel our stoves. Since they sometimes rupture and explode, killing people and destroying those homes, should we ban them too? Should we use fire in our homes for heat and to cook our meals instead? What happens when those fires cause homes to burn down and people to die? Should we then ban fires and leave people to freeze to death and eat raw meat? See where I'm going with this?

My primary problem with the EnviroNazis is that they want to ban all oil despite the fact that there is no other affordable, reliable, or practical alternative at this time. They advocate for clean energy, but I don't see any solar panels or wind turbines on the roofs of cars. Those applications may be able to replace some electrical generation, but they don't replace oil. In order for me to take those nutjobs seriously, they need to stop driving cars or flying on planes immediately. Until they do so, they are pure hypocrites. And Al Gore needs to cut down on his $30,000 annual electricity bill too.

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January 20th, 2012, 6:49 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
Quote:
Ohio: Gas-drilling injection well led to quakes
Posted: 03/09/2012 08:55:39 AM MST
March 9, 2012 5:27 PM GMT
Updated: 03/09/2012 10:27:16 AM MST
By JULIE CARR SMYTH
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio—A dozen earthquakes in northeastern Ohio were almost certainly induced by injection of gas-drilling wastewater into the earth, state regulators said Friday as they announced a series of tough new rules for drillers.
Among the new regulations: Well operators must submit more comprehensive geological data when requesting a drill site, and the chemical makeup of all drilling wastewater must be tracked electronically.

The state Department of Natural Resources announced the tough new brine injection regulations because of the report's findings on the well in Youngstown, which it said were based on "a number of coincidental circumstances."

For one, investigators said, the well began operations just three months ahead of the first quake.

They also noted that the seismic activity was clustered around the well bore, and reported that a fault has since been identified in the Precambrian basement rock where water was being injected.

"Geologists believe it is very difficult for all conditions to be met to induce seismic events," the report states. "In fact, all the evidence indicates that properly located ... injection wells will not cause earthquakes."

Northeastern Ohio and large parts of adjacent states sit atop the Marcellus Shale geological formation, which contains vast reserves of natural gas that energy companies are rushing to drill using a process known as hydraulic fracturing.

That process involves freeing the gas by injecting water into the earth, but that water needs to be disposed of when companies are done with it. Municipal water treatment plants aren't designed to remove some of the contaminants found in the wastewater, including radioactive elements. A common practice is to re-inject it into the ground, a practice banned in some states.

Past earthquakes have been linked to energy exploration and production, including from injections of enormous amounts of drilling wastewater or injections of water for geothermal power, experts said.

They point to recent earthquakes in the magnitude 3 and 4 range—not big enough to cause much damage, but big enough to be felt—in Arkansas, Texas, California, England, Germany and Switzerland. And in the 1960s, two Denver quakes in the 5.0 range were traced to deep injection of wastewater.

The improper placement of the Youngstown well stemmed in part from inadequate geological data being available to regulators, the Ohio report states. New rules would require a complete roll of geophysical logs to be submitted to the state.

"These logs were not available to inform regulators of the possible issues in geologic formations prior to well operation," the document says.

Requiring well operators to submit more comprehensive geologic data is just one of the added regulations the department will either impose immediately or pursue through legislative or rule changes.

Among other changes:

— Future injection into Precambrian rock will be banned, and existing wells penetrating the formation will be plugged.

— State-of-the-art pressure and volume monitoring will be required, including automatic shut-off systems.

— Electronic tracking systems will be required that identify the makeup of all drilling wastewater fluids entering the state.

"Ohio has developed a new set of regulatory standards that positions the state as a national leader in safe and environmentally responsible brine disposal," Natural Resources Director James Zehringer said in a prepared statement.

"Ohioans demand smart environmental safeguards that protect our environment and promote public health. These new standards accomplish that goal," he said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave Ohio regulatory authority over its deep well injection program in 1983, deeming that its state regulations met or exceeded federal standards. The new regulations would be added to those existing rules.


Read more: Ohio: Gas-drilling injection well led to quakes - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/dontmiss/ci_2 ... z1oe3JY4ZP
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March 9th, 2012, 2:19 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
So let me get this straight:

In Ohio we can't drill for oil because doing so MAY be cause tiny earthquakes that don't cause any harm, AND we can't "put back" the radio active material extracted from deep beneath the Earth after the process is over?... Why?


March 9th, 2012, 2:26 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
Bingo...and it's crazy expensive to clean that water...up to $1000 Per GALLON (depending on all the poop in the water, could be many types of resins)

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April 16th, 2012, 11:45 pm
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Post Re: Keystone XL pipeline not safe
conversion02 wrote:
Bingo...and it's crazy expensive to clean that water...up to $1000 Per GALLON (depending on all the poop in the water, could be many types of resins)



But it doesn't make sense. Why would you have to "clean" the water that is only dirty from sitting beneath the Earth? Why do impurities have to be removed that existed naturally in the first place? I don't get it...


April 17th, 2012, 8:10 am
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