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.


KEYSTONE PIPELINE (From Wikipedia) > 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.


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>

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: 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)