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Koch Industries, Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline...BP on the Prairie?

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Headlined to H2 3/1/11

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As CPAC has become recent history, various stories ranging from Ann Coulter's shrill demand that ...more journalists should be sent to jail-- to Andrew Breitbart denouncing Code Pink activists as ..."long on the tooth,"growling his usual acerbic sexism; to Donald Trump trying to speak sensibly to the politically rabid tea party aristocracy--one fact was never far from the surface--namely that of the ruling Kings of the Tea Party movement--David and Charles Koch were the 'puppet-masters' guiding the events.   

Aside from bankrolling the think tanks like FreedomWorks and Americans For Prosperity--the Koch brothers are the virtual sugar daddies for this erstwhile movement based on scapegoating any group or individual daring to disapprove of the marriage between   unbridled corporatism to religious fundamentalism.

  Everything from disbanding the federal reserve and resurrecting the gold standard--to repealing the 14th amendment had been featured in the mainstream media--except for one small item--the proposed TransCanada  'tar sands' Pipeline.   Hidden from public sight like an illegitimate pregnancy on the Brady Bunch-- the tar sands pipeline is in the process of gaining regulatory approval from the US government.                                           

TransCanada, the Keystone XL Pipeline and Koch Industries"

Project developer TransCanada seeks approval from US government agencies to build   the new 'tar sands' pipeline from Alberta, Canada through the mid-west United States to Texas as part of a proposed fossil fuel super-highway.   (Source: http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/06/21/AlbertaToTexanPipeline/print.html )

  Koch Industries would be a big winner if this pipeline is approved.    Presently, Koch imports to the U.S. close to 25% of all oil sands crude.   Koch Industries includes a facility in Calgary, Alberta called the Flint Hills Resources Canada LP, which supplies roughly 250,000 barrels of tar sands crude daily to the "heavy oil' refinery Koch owns in Minnesota.   Additionally, Flint Hills operates a "crude oil terminal' situated right at the Keystone XL Pipeline starting point in Hardisty, Alberta.  

The Koch brothers have been busy--and thanks to the Citizens United decision, are able to flood political campaigns with unlimited cash.   The Los Angeles Times reported that Koch Industries and its "employees' constituted the largest single donor to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including the coffers of Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the new committee chair.   (Source : http://solveclimatenews.com/20110210/koch-brothers-positioned-be-big-winners-if-...)  

The Keystone XL Pipeline"

Better known as the Keystone XL--this project would travel through multiple states, including the midwest bread basket--slicing through the north-eastern quadrant of the Ogallala aquifer in Nebraska.   The plan is to build that section of the Keystone UNDER the aquifer.   TransCanada is confident that history won't repeat itself and the Keystone won't suffer the same fate as the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster of last year.   The stakes are high--as the Ogallala aquifer is considered one of the largest sources of fresh groundwater on Earth--cutting through eight mid-western states.  

Additionally, various parts of Ogallala in Nebraska are part of an active earthquake zone--with the last quake reported at 4.3 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 surface that ANY pipeline leak would almost immediately contaminate a large portion of the water."   (source: http://thetyee.ca/news/2010/06/21/AlbertaToTexasPipeline/print.html )

Some of the major issues with this pipeline fossil super-highway include the fact that the Keystone XL will be transporting 'tar sands' oil, which is considered the most toxic of all petroleum products.   Tar sands oil contains the following heavy metals : nickel, vanadium, LEAD, CHROMIUM, MERCURY, ARSENIC, SELENIUM, BENZENE, and other toxic elements.   Tar sands oil also creates three times the amount of carbon emissions as conventional oil and the act of extraction destroys forests and other viable land resources.

Tar Sands Producers Seek "Safety Procedure Waivers--Same Waivers BP Received"

Tar sands producers are pushing for the type of 'safety procedure waivers' provided to BP prior to the Gulf disaster of last year.   Additionally, TransCanada--the Keystone XL producer is seeking permission to pump tar sands oil at pressured EXCEEDING normal safety limits, while using pipes made from thinner steel than are the industry standard.  

Source: http://sierraclub.typepad.com/compass/2011/02/new-report-highlights-tar-sands-pipeline-spill-risks.html )  

  Tar sands crude oil often causes "false pressure warnings in pipelines' making the identification of a true leak almost impossible.   Tar sands oil is also thicker than conventional oil and has higher concentrations of heavy metals which require higher concentrations of energy and water to separate the oil from the sands.   According to the NRDC report "tar sands' contain "

"15 to 20 times higher acid concentrations than conventional crude oil, five to 10 times as much sulfur, high concentrations of chloride salts, and higher concentrations of abrasive quartz sand particles."

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Working as an urban educator for over 25 years--I 'moonlight' as a writer. I write part-time for The Huffington Post and enjoy the task of curmudgeon,(at least where career politicians are concerned). I consider myself a political independent who (more...)
 
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IS this why Walker is trying to eliminate water la... by janet O'Connell on Tuesday, Mar 1, 2011 at 12:01:13 PM
Hadn't heard that, but I'll research it. Wouldn't... by Jeanine Molloff on Tuesday, Mar 1, 2011 at 2:44:52 PM