In April NBC featured a program on the tar sands oil coming from Canada and their report was disputed on the website http://oilsandfactcheck.org , the owner of the site is "hidden" but one can only imagine it might be a "front" group of the Koch boys, as they stand to profit dearly (some estimate $3 Billion/per year in profits), from the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Following is taken directly from that website, with reactions of this contributor in emboldened parentheses:
April 30, 2013 by mattd Blog
Last Friday, NBC Nightly News aired a segment on the Keystone XL pipeline in light of TransCanada's announcement that the project timeline will be further delayed . NBC did its due diligence by making a trip to see the oil sands first hand, but fell short on reporting the facts along the way. Here are six facts NBC missed or misrepresented:
:39 min -- "[The Keystone XL pipeline] would allow Canada to send heavy crude from landlocked Alberta to the Gulf Coast."
NBC correspondent Anne Thompson reports as if the pipeline will only benefit Canada's interests, when in fact it will serve U.S. energy infrastructure needs just as well.
First, Canadian oil sands crude will be an additional feedstock to refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast (described as "state of the art" by President Obama ) that are especially equipped to handle heavy crudes. Refining revenues would remain in the U.S., along with the thousands of jobs these facilities support. (The Koch boys have upgraded their Corpus Christi facility to refine this special highly toxic material. It is currently refining Venezuelan "mud", but they state they will be able to procure the TransCanada tar sands "mud" much cheaper. It might also be noted that reports have the Koch boys having as much as a 25% stake in TransCanada. Let us also not forget the Koch boys have spent well over $64 Million in debunking "global warming.")
KXL will also be a main highway for domestic sources of crude, providing 25 percent of its capacity to oil from the U.S. Bakken and other key oil fields throughout the country. All in all, the line will displace the equivalent of 40 percent of what the U.S. imports from the Persian Gulf. (Are we to assume the tar sands gloop will be mixed with the shale oil obtained from the Bakken fields will be mixed? Presently, over a quarter million barrels of Bakken oil is received in Cushing, Oklahoma without the pipeline, thus the pollution created by the fracking of the shale is currently remaining in North Dakota, Wyoming, and parts of Canada.)
:55 min -- "Getting that oil out of the ground produces 17% more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional methods, according to the State Department."
The State Department was not as definitive on its findings as NBC leads on. According to Appendix W of the latest project review, the State Department finds that "it is not clear whether [Canadian] oil sands-derived crudes are currently more GHG-intensive than other heavy crudes or crudes with high flaring rates." The appendix continues:
"The life-cycle GHG emissions of [Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin] WCSB oil sands crudes can fall within the same range as heavier crudes such as heavy Venezuelan crude oil and California heavy oil, and lighter crudes that are produced from operations that flare most of the associated gas (e.g., Nigerian light crude)." (p. 68-69).
- In fact, the State Department finds that as we move forward, the difference in GHG emissions from Canadian oil sands crudes and other crude oils is likely to become smaller.
(They state that a small percentage of the tar sands "gloop" will be extracted through open pit type extraction, thus causing total destruction to pristine boreal forestlands, while the majority will be extracted using the "fracking", they are calling it "in situ", method which they are claiming will not disrupt the forest or the wildlife, however we are seeing the effects of the "fracking" process by seeing water catch fire, water systems destroyed, air being polluted, in short destroying the environment at a profit for a few, but a "price" paid by many.)
1:19 min -- On the dump trucks
Anne Thompson stands next to behemoth-sized dump trucks used on open-pit oil sands mining sites, but fails to mention that many (if not the majority) are manufactured in the States -- further supporting domestic job creation and retention. According the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), 200 Caterpillar 797 mining trucks have been purchased from the U.S. Moreover, many of the parts that go into the 797 are manufactured here at home, including engines made in Indiana, frame components from Louisiana and tires from South Carolina. (Just how many new jobs will be created for so few vehicles? "Jobs" make for a great talking point, except within the walls of our Congress, but let's make these talking points be realistic.)
1:32 min -- "Hot water is used to separate the oil from the sand in ponds of waste that can be toxic to wildlife."
Not all oil sands development sites require tailing ponds, but we'll get to that in the next point. Oil sands companies are making significant investments in both safety precautions and land disturbance to protect local wildlife and return land back to its original state after development is completed.