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Keystone XL Construction – Deconstructed

Wrong Kind of Green

November 10, 2015

“The only way to use less oil is to use less oil.” — Jeff Gibbs

keystone-pipeline2008

Photo: Construction on the Keystone Pipeline began in 2008.

Many people remain under the assumption that the “Keystone XL” was nothing more than a proposal on paper that, thanks to the campaigning by the non-profit industrial complex (led by 350.org), a proposal that never materialized. This is not surprising as the campaign was deliberately framed this way.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The entire Keystone Pipeline System (with the exception of the much hyped phase four which constitutes 526 km/ 327 mi of pipeline) has been built and in operation, the first phase having gone into operation back in 2010. Phase 1 (3,456 km/ 2,147 mi) went online in June 2010. Phase 2 (468 km/ 291 mi) went online in February 2011. Phase 3a (700 km/ 435 miles) went online in January 2014. 76 km (47 mi) of additional pipeline will come online in 2016 which will then complete the project.

The Dakota Access is the clone for KXL for carrying oil obtained from the North Dakota Bakken oil/fracking boom (a ecological and social nightmare ignored by the non-profit industrial complex) – but on steroids. What is not understood by most is how paramount Dakota Access (what Steve Horn calls the Keystone XL clone) is in terms of both investment and industry. The Dakota Access makes Phase 4 (the northern leg) of Keystone XL completely insignificant, if not irrelevant, a Trojan Horse if you will. The Dakota Access is the clone for KXL for carrying oil obtained from the North Dakota Bakken oil/fracking boom (an ecological and social nightmare ignored by the non-profit industrial complex) – but on steroids. The pipeline the Dakota Access connects to is located on the MHA Nation (apparently originating from an oil rail transloading facility).

The Keystone clone is the combination of the Dakota Access pipeline and what it connects to: East Gulf Access Pipeline and then Enbridge’s entire system. Although Horn refers to this as the Keystone XL clone, it’s the Keystone Pipeline System on crack in terms of how much oil it’s bringing down to the Gulf: Dakota Access carries up to 7x more Bakken oil than the Bakken Marketlink on-ramp would have for KXL North (up to 750,000 barrels per day verses 100,000 barrels per day).

The Dakota Access connects with the East Gulf Access Pipeline in Patoka, Illinois. That’s the Bakken part of the “clone.” Enbridge’s system is the tar sands portion of it.

The only phase/section of the Keystone Pipeline System that was cancelled was the phase 4 section. So in summary, in actuality, the entire pipeline has been built and put into operation with the exception of 526 km (327 mi) of pipeline with the next section coming online next year. This section (Phase 3b, 76 km/ 47 mi), the Houston Lateral pipeline, which redirects a large swatch of that tar sands oil over to the Houston Ship Channel and the markets it serves, is never discussed except for in investor calls and writings by Horn and a handful of others.

No word yet from the media (of any kind) or the non-profit industrial complex about Warren Buffett’s 21st century rail empire built while all eyes were on Keystone XL. Crude via rail bomb trains have resulted in the deaths of 47 people (including children) in Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada and the deaths of two others in a separate crude via rail derailment. These deaths are on top of massive ecological devastation from crude via rail derailments that continue to this day , the most recent derailments occurring on November 5th and 8th of 2015.

Further reading:

Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse | Part I, April 12, 2013: http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2013/04/12/keystone-xl-the-art-of-ngo-discourse-part-i/

Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse – Part II, June 4, 2013: http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2013/06/04/keystone-xl-the-art-of-ngo-discourse-part-ii/

Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse – Part III | Beholden to Buffett, October 25, 2013: http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2013/10/25/keystone-xl-the-art-of-ngo-discourse-part-iii-beholden-to-buffett/

 

 

 

False Hope: Fossil Fuel Fantasies

Intercontinental Cry

July 25, 2014

by Jay Taber

wall-street

Fantasies about political power are hard to break. People want to believe that activism led by Wall Street stooges, funded by Wall Street derivatives, and promoted by Wall Street media is revolutionary. Where do they get such ideas?

If you want to stop the environmental destruction from mining Tar Sands bitumen, Powder River Basin coal, and Bakken Shale oil, you stop fossil fuel export. You don’t do XL protests at the White House, organize fossil fuel divestment on college campuses, or hold a climate change march in New York.

These ineffective strategies are great for making Wall Street titans like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates even more obscenely wealthy, but they do nothing for improving the environment. Yet, because activism is based on feeling good — as opposed to doing good — Americans are routinely led by Wall Street’s pied pipers into endless (and meaningless) “movements.”

Making Americans feel good about losing strategies is the main objective of Wall Street-funded NGO pooh-bahs. Keeping Americans distracted with pointless projects dissipates the energies of well-intentioned youth, creating cynicism and hopelessness over time. Meanwhile, Wall Street titans make money from fossil fuel pollution, hand over fist.

There are many ways to achieve energy independence, energy conservation, and energy security. None of them are supported by Wall Street.

 

 

[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website: www.jaytaber.com]

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