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THIS JOURNAL WILL "TELL IT LIKE IT IS" REGARDING DIFFERENT FORMS OF ENERGY AND THEIR GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS/PROBLEMS

KEYSTONE PIPELINE A “WIN-WIN”-SAYS WHO? T.BOONE PICKENS AND KEN SALAZAR

18 Feb 2014

WHO IS T. BOONE PICKENS?  T.Boone Pickens is a long time Nat Gas /water tycoon, whose company operates from Dallas TX. He is currently the chairman and CEO of “BP Capital”, which operates energy-focused commodity and Equity funds. He is also the largest shareholder in “Clean Energy”, the largest provider of vehicular natural gas (CNG and LNG) in North America, with a broad customer base in the refuse, transit, shuttle, taxi, police, intrastate and interstate trucking, airport and municipal fleet markets. Pickens is also a man with a half-million followers in “LinkedIn”. A valued opinion to be sure; however, regarding oil,–Not so, and not about the Keystone Pipeline either.

PICKENS IS A PROMOTER OF USA ENERGY INDEPENDENCE. In July 2008, Pickens launched a self-funded, $100 million, grass-roots campaign aimed at reducing this country’s then crippling dependence on imported oil. He has advertised in television ads, on his “Pickens Plan” website, and in personal appearances, he spelled out how our dependence on OPEC oil is an addiction that threatens the U.S. economy, environment and national security, and ties its hands as a nation. He has spent the time since 2008 spelling out how this country can drag itself out of this quagmire, if it acts quickly and reasonably, but his plan was made 6 years ago, and a great deal has changed in the petroleum dependence of the USA.

RECENTLY PICKENS SPOKE GLOWINGLY ABOUT KEN SALAZAR: “Last week, Ken Salazar made one of the smartest statements I’ve heard come out of Washington in years”. Speaking at an energy conference, Ken Salazar (the Obama Administration’s first Secretary of the Interior), said: “building the Keystone XL oil pipeline is a “win-win” project. ..It would be in the national interest to build the pipeline for our energy security, and enhance that national interest with the preservation of the Dakota Grasslands Conservation Area and the Prairie Potholes Region. In so doing, the carbon sequestration functions of these conservation areas will be preserved, wildlife and ranching heritage is supported, and energy security is enhanced….At the end of the day, we are going to be consuming that oil, so is it better for us to get the oil from our good neighbor from the north, or to be bringing it from some place in the Middle East?”

MR. PICKENS COMMENTED:Thank you, Secretary Salazar. There aren’t many people who can combine two topics that close to my heart – energy security and conservation – but you just did. Hear the man out: I couldn’t have said it better myself. The truth is I’ve made that exact point over and over again. The Canadians are good and patient people. They’ve waited on us long enough. They want to give us a gift, and we should have enough sense to take it. …Mr. President (Obama), we’ve had enough studies and enough different departments weigh in on this decision. Approve the Keystone pipeline NOW. Recall House speaker Bohner also echoed those sentiments:”let’s get that Blackstone Pipeline approved!”

PICKENS IS HAPPY It is clear Mr. Pickens is very happy to see former DOI Secretary Ken Salazar echo his energy views. We have often shared Mr. Pickens’ views regarding the need to enhance the use of our Nat gas resources; However, Oil exploration /exploitation technology in the USA have overcome his concern. “FRACKING”, a word not yet in his lexicon, has surprisingly/ rapidly changed the energy posture of the USA, which is now (if not very soon) the world’s biggest producer of Nat Gas and petroleum. The “Eagle-Ford” Oil Fields (Play) just south of San Antonio, TX alone, may do just that, and there exist other like plays in their beginning stages throughout the USA. Pickens might be shocked to realize that such “Energy self-sufficiency” for the USA has taken place since 2008, when he began his advocacy, and that such a bonanza renders both his, and Ken Salazar’s  TransCanada Keystone Pipeline advocacy rationale moot.

OUR TAKE AND COMMENTS

KEYSTONE PIPELINE (From Wikipedia) >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_Pipeline We thought it convenient to abbreviate the Wikipedia information below for your elucidation.

The Keystone Pipeline System is a crude oil pipeline (36 inches in dia.) and 2151 miles long, owned and operated by the TransCanada. It runs from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the United States in Steele City, Nebraska, Wood River and Patoka, Illinois, and in the Gulf  Coast of Texas. In addition to the synthetic crude oil (syncrude) and diluted bitumen(dilbit) from the oil tar sands of Canada, it also carries light crude oil  from the Williston Basin (Bakken) region in Montana and North Dakota, USA.

Three (3) phases of the project are in operation and the fourth is awaiting U.S. government approval. When/If completed, the Keystone Pipeline System would consist of the completed 2,151-mile (3,462 km) Keystone Pipeline (Phases I and II), Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion (Phase III) and the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline Project (Phase IV). Phase 1, delivering oil from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Wood River, and Patoka, was completed in the summer of 2010. Phase 2, the Keystone-Cushing extension, was completed in February 2011 with the pipeline from Steele City to storage and distribution facilities at Cushing, Oklahoma. These two phases have the capacity to deliver up to 590,000 barrels per day (94,000 m3/d) of oil into the Mid-West refineries. Phase III, the Gulf Coast Extension, which was opened in January 2014, has capacity up to 700,000 barrels per day (110,000 m3/d). The proposed controversial Phase IV, the Keystone XL Pipeline Project, would begin in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada and extend to Steele City, Nebraska, USA.

The Keystone XL pipeline proposal has faced much criticism from environmentalists and some members of the United States Congress. In January 2012, President Barrack Obama rejected the application amid protests about the pipeline’s impact on Nebraska’s environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region. TransCanada Corp changed the original proposed route of Keystone XL to minimize “disturbance of land, water resources and special areas” and the new route was approved by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman in January 2013. However, as of Feb 2014, the USA construction permit is still not issued, and has been threatened with a USA Presidential veto.

OUR COMMENTS:

ENVIRONMENTALISTS STRONGLY OPPOSE THE PIPELINE. The reasons are many, and validated by many years of bad experiences with overland pipelines in mainland USA, and in Alaska. Whenever a 36 inch diameter pipeline conducts crude oil overland, it is subject to many unpredictable vagaries, ranging from temperature extremes to mechanical failures in pumping systems, earthquakes, potential leaks causing massive contamination of streams/rivers. Add to that the now real possibility of extreme weather, and flood caused precisely by the continued use of oil/coal with clear weather changing impact Green House gasses (GHG). It should be considered that the air toxicity in oil processing refineries such as those proposed for Port Arthur/Houston area are normally the “killing kind”, or at least life altering. ALL AIR POLUTION BLOWS SOMEWWHERE, but more so to those producing it. Refineries have never shown any concern for their employees. (OSHA where art thou?).  Regrettably the Texas coast from Corpus Christi north to Beaumont is already heavily polluted by Industrial or petro-chemical pollution/or both. Another fact that most such polluters never take into consideration in their Business Strategic Planning (talk about environmental threats) is the fact that most of them lie in low-lying coastal regions which are already frequently flooded while the sea level continues to rise inexorably. So much business knowledge seeking unbridled profits with a “dare-devil attitude!”

Former DOI Secretary Ken Salazar knows from his past tenure that many of these arguments for the Keystone pipeline (and other of his unfinished projects) are now dated – Overcome by fracking and other technologies; and yet he continues to support them. We cut slack for Pickens’ attitude given his past advocacies; regrettably, we cannot do so for Ken Salazar. He knows better, and is now clearly using his past DOI Secretary prestige to work as a Lobbyist. POINT IS: Since The USAs energy self-sufficiency is no longer in doubt, Keystone Pipeline is no longer essential, or desirable to our and economy, and potentially very detrimental to our environment. It is a shame to see how a well planned, business/politically executed web has been destroyed by unpredictable events. Those who bear responsibility for this business fiasco should hire better Business Strategic Planners. – “ALONG CAME A SPIDER”…THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE SHOULD BE VETOED BY PRES. OBAMA. Neither congress nor the Senate, are inclined to do so. Note: “Keystone pipeline” is a misnomer.  The project should have been called what it is: The CANAM(Canadian-American) Crude Oleoduct.

NEWS UPDATE 1.- 19 Feb 2014 -Reuters

A Nebraska court on 19 Feb 2014 invalidated the governor’s decision to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to pass through Nebraska, casting new uncertainty over the controversial pipeline to link Alberta’s oil sands inn Canada with refineries in Texas. Judge Stephanie Stacy ruled that the recent law passed by the state’s legislature, which gave Gov. Heineman the decision on the Keystone Pipeline route instead of the Nebraska Public Service Commission, was:unconstitutional” and “void.” See>http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/20/us-usa-keystone-court-idUSBREA1I24520140220

NEWS UPDATE 2. – 20 Feb 2014 – Al Jazeera

Canadian Tar Sands Heavy Crude is bad news when shipped by rail also. More explosive, more toxic, more frequent derailments in the USA. This time in Pennsylvania.  Read all about it:  http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/2/13/-train-carrying-canadianoilderailsspillsinpennsylvania.html Who needs this stuff post fracking? Perhaps Canada should write-off/abandon their Tar Sands.  If you think we exaggerate, read this Aljazeera article.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

We “Tell it like it is”


February 18, 2014 at 1:53 AM Comments (0)

THE SWISS CONNECTION – KEY TO WORLD-WIDE CORRUPTION AND FRAUD

7 Feb 2014

Bloomberg reported on 6 Feb 2014, that a Swiss asset manager was charged in the U.S. with helping Americans hide millions of dollars in offshore accounts from the USA Internal Revenue Service (IRS). According to the article> http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-06/swiss-asset-manager-charged-with-tax-fraud-in-u-s-.html  Asset manager Peter Amrein, 52, conspired with Americans from 1998 to 2012 to help them evade taxes, according to an indictment unsealed yesterday in federal court in New York City. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:“From his post in Switzerland, Peter Amrein aided and abetted U.S. taxpayers in their efforts to skirt the tax code and conceal their assets in offshore accounts,…” Peter Amrein, a Swiss citizen, faces as many as five (5) years in prison on the conspiracy charge. with Swiss lawyer, Edgar Paltzer, who has now been cooperating (he “ratted out” )in a U.S. crackdown on offshore tax evasion that has led to criminal charges against more than 100 people, including about 70 American taxpayers and more than 30 bankers, lawyers and advisers. Fourteen banks are under criminal investigation, including Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, U.S.A. authorities have said.  Peter Amrein has not yet been arrested, or located for comment. The case is U.S. v. Amrein, 13-cr-972, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

UNDECLARED ACCOUNTS According to the indictment, Peter Amrein “opened, maintained, and managed undeclared accounts at Swiss banks for various U.S. taxpayers holding millions of dollars in undeclared assets, often working with Edgar Paltzer…The men conspired to set up undeclared Swiss accounts at Wegelin & Co., which pleaded guilty in New York to tax charges, and four other Swiss banks”,. None of those banks are referred to by name (to protect the guilty) FOLKS, THIS IS A LONG AND CONVOLUTED STORY, AS ARE MOST STORIES OF CORRUPTION AND FRAUD. WE BELIEVE IT IS ONLY THE TIP OF THE “SWISS CONNECTION”CORRUPTION ICEBERG.

Thanks to Bloomberg for exposing the Swiss connection.

EPA GRANTS TEXAS PERMITS TO POLLUTE OUR AIR (EVEN MORE!) HOUSTON, TX, USA 4 Feb 2014 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) gave The State of Texas authority over greenhouse gas permitting today, ending a long, often bitter battle between the US-EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Ron Curry, US-EPA’s Regional administrator in Dallas, said he signed the permits on 4 Feb 2014, delegating authority over the program to the TCEQ. The transfer of responsibility comes after months of negotiations concerning what the program would look like. There will be a 30-day public comment period on the program’s outline (FOR ALL THE GOOD IT WILL DO!-THE DIE IS CAST).

US-EPA’s RON CURRY SPEAKS TO ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP. Curry, speaking a luncheon sponsored by “Air Alliance Houston” (an environmental group).said the US-EPA and the TCEQ’ have had an often contentious relationship, and still have many unresolved issues between the two; including a backlog of 80 greenhouse gas permits currently in the process of being approved. Curry added: “that is big news!” when announcing the program had been approved. (HE IS NOT WOOFING! – BIG MONIES BENEFITED; PUBLIC’S HEALTH AND WELL-BEING WILL SUFFER).

TEXAS IS THE USA’s LARGEST GREENHOUSE PRODUCER Unsaid at the Air Alliance Houston luncheon, is the dirty-air fact that Texas was the only state in 2010 that refused to meet New US-EPA greenhouse gas emission rules, placing some of the nation’s largest refineries in operational limbo. The US-EPA, in an effort to ensure those facilities could continue to operate, has been directly issuing permits since 2011, and assuming a role that has historically belonged to States.

TEXAS STATE LEGISLATURE APPROVES  During 2013, the Texas State Legislature passed a law giving the TECQ the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Curry said: “That is when the US-EPA and the TECQ began working to develop a program that would meet federal requirements. Initially, Texas had wanted to have a six-month turn-around on all permits, but the US-EPA refused to put a cap on how long it would take to issue a permit; Curry added: “The state also wanted to include a hearing process in its program, but the federal agency declined; In addition, Texas had to establish appropriate emission thresholds. Once those and several other issues were resolved we were able to shift authority to Texas, though the US-EPA will periodically review this program It’s a program that the state(Texas) will have forever as long as it operates correctly” As long as it operates correctly?-Say what?;Who will determine that? Your guess is as good as mine, but we suspect we know who.

TECQ STILL DISSATISFIED The TECQ said in a statement: “We do not agree with the US-EPA’s move to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but will follow the direction of the (Texas) Legislature so that permits can be issued in a timely manner, and to continue the successes of the strong Texas economy”. (NATURALLY, THEY DO NOT WANT ANYONE LOOKING OVER THEIR SHOULDERS).

AIR ALLIANCE HOUSTON DISSATISFIED While some are pleased to see the US-EPA and Texas begin to resolve issues that have sparked lengthy legal battles, Air Alliance Houston, Executive Director Adrian Shelley said:”I fear the state’s primary goal will be to issue permits quickly to ensure smooth sailing for their industry customers. My hope is that US-EPA will balance TCEQ’s goals with environmental protection,” HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!

Thanks to AP for their story 4 Feb 2014.

OUR TAKE AND COMMENTS

GINA MC CARTHY TO DAVOS  US-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy went to Davos Switzerland on 22 to 25 Jan 2014.  > http://energymaters.com/?p=1414 ostensibly to address the World Economic Forum” regarding World Economy (really?)- They just needed to make her a guest- any topic. Remember that last 16 Jan 2014; following her Statement to Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the President’s Climate Action Plan, Committee Chairperson, Sen. Ms Boxer tasked Gina to provide written reports to all unanswered questions, and to re-appear before the committee in 15 days.  Well… If that happened it was never publicized by US-EPA , or in the mainstream media. Fact is, Gina has been extremely busy dispensing her wisdom on sundry (even unrelated) topics and making financial grants to programs of her choice. Now, remember the Swiss Connection in our first article? But what does that have to do with the US-EPA (Yes, That’s Gina) granted the State of Texas authority over greenhouse gas permitting to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Now Texas will be able to say: What about that there Keystone Pipeline bearing Canadian tar-sand dirty oil for processing in the Houston area?.Bring it on! Even House speaker Bohner says:”let’s get that Keystone Pipeline approved!” albeit in a tongue-in cheek manner, because he knows where Big money is headed, and is trying to steer it there. If president Obama does not veto the Keystone Pipeline,we are all screwed, and Pres. Obama will be on a slippery slope that will threaten to ruin his legacy. Events are getting very critical this close to Congressional election campaigning, and control of the House of Representatives.

MEANWHILE BACK AT THE RANCH…Texas Gov. Rick Perry quietly made a trip to Davos (AH! There is that Swiss connection again) Perry went there soon after Gina Mc Carthy ostensibly to speak about Marihuana – Yes, marihuana. Our press did not remark on his comments about Marihuana, or question his real need to go to Davos.  But…We know don’t we? The press did not indicate who flew him there either, but then, he has a lot of friends with private transoceanic aircraft. We bet he too returned with a big smile. We need to remember that Perry no doubt had a great deal to do with the Texas’Legislature approval of the empowerment of the TECQ, over the US-EPA.

MORE ON THE SWISS CONNECTION (see par 1.) Note that it is the USA Internal Revenue System (IRS) that is taking the crooked Swiss bankers with USA connections to task. It reminds one of the Alphonse Capone days (c. 1930) in the USA. Capone was a well known criminal figure who had so many “buffers” that the government could not pin a specific crime on him (at least that’s what was said); so in the end, he went to Jail because of you guessed it !-Income Tax Evasion.  Powerful crime that one! Following the money seems to succeed in ferreting criminals where other laws cannot. Just imagine the magnitude of Swiss Bank involvement in crime and corruption. THE WORLD NEEDS TO RECOGNIZE SWITZERLAND AS A LAND OF CROOKS – EVEN WHEN IT IS TOUTED AS THE”WORLD’S BEST PLACE TO LIVE” An old saying says: “Grass always grows greener over the septic tank” It took me many years to comprehend its real meaning. The grass may look greener, but it stinks to high heaven.

MEXICAN PRESIDENT, ENRIQUE PENA NIETO ALSO WENT TO DAVOS RECENTLY Handsome man/wife, and who sounds so honest, that his visit there was hard for me to understand. However, he is instrumental on the granting of permits to foreign oil interest, notably in the deep-ocean exploration/development. Well…He too went to Davos, and appears quite haggard lately. It is notable that Mexico has not granted such exploration/exploitation permit since 1936. That is a long time ago in the energy world.  Has anyone you know been to Davos? Hmm!-food for thought!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

We connect the points, even when they lead to ugly places/conclusions.

UPDATE ON THIS STORY 19 May 2014

SWISS BANKING GIANT CREDIT SUISSE PLEADED GUILTY to a criminal charge that it helped wealthy Americans dodge income taxes. A milestone following years of criticism that regulators have failed to crack down on huge financial institutions. The USA Department of Justice (DoJ)filed a criminal charge against the company in federal court on 19 May 2014 signaling that a plea arrangement has been reached. Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to aid tax evasion and to pay a fine of more than $2.6 billion.

Credit Suisse executives have previously admitted that their bank helped Americans shield as much as $12 billion from taxes, and acknowledged the practice was a “mistake” and “unacceptable.” However, they argued that Swiss bank-secrecy laws prohibiting them from revealing the names of tax-dodging U.S. citizens to American regulators.

Critics say the unwillingness to bring the hammer down on major banks and their top executives effectively fans wrongdoing on Wall Street. Even so, the criminal charge against Credit Suisse will apparently only go so far. Its chief executive, Brady Dougan, is not expected to lose his job, according to report

Thanks to the LA Times 19 May 2014

COMMENT

So, Credit Suisse got caught with its hand in the cookie jar, and Brady Dougan (an American).will get a slap on the wrist, while the USA tax evaders avoided $9.4 billion in income tax payments. How sweet it must be! One has to wonder if the higher-ups in the USA-DoJ who accepted the plea-bargaining will receive compensation for their “pragmatism”. Just to think there are other institutions like Credit Suisse in the USA, and the world. This case is “prima facie” wrongdoing, illegal, and corrupt. Corruption is like a societal cancer that invites lesser wrongdoers to do likewise.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


February 7, 2014 at 9:30 PM Comments (0)