Skating HAND in HAND
With our gas prices going straight through the ceiling, it appears that Russia and China are having talks about improving their own gas supplies. Gas in all parts of the world is a great concern and these two countries know extremely well the importance of gas lines and the effect on the economy! As Western powers attempt to avert a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Nord Stream 2, a long-touted energy infrastructure project in Europe, still hangs in the balances.
According to Reuters, when Putin arrived in Beijing for the Winter Olympics, they were off and running to the skating rink! Never to miss a beat with the athletic Putin and the determined Xi Jinping
“Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing on Friday for the 2022 Winter Olympics and a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, bringing with him a deal to increase natural gas supplies to China amid rising tension with the West. Putin told Xi that Russia had prepared a new deal to supply China with an additional 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas, according to a broadcast of their talks aired in Moscow. Russia, one of the global leaders in hydrocarbon supplies, has been strengthening its ties with China, the world’s top energy consumer against the backdrop of Moscow’s standoff with the West over Ukraine and other issues. “
“From sticker shock at the gas pump to extra dollars spent heating your home, Americans are feeling the pinch. AAA’s average has the cost of a gallon of gas rising over a dollar compared to 2021. More expensive gas drives inflation because higher inflation costs are passed down to the customers, making your milk, your eggs, everything else more costly. Probably don’t need me to tell you that. And for those living in frigid parts of the U.S., more expensive natural gas bringing the heat to both your home and your wallet. Now abroad. With Russia and Ukraine on the brink of war, already soaring energy prices run the risk of skyrocketing even further. How about [$100] a barrel? Why? Because America is once again dependent on other nations for oil.” Brian Kilmeade
HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THE HISTORY OF WHY WE, AMERICANS, DON’T HAVE THE KEY STONE PIPE LINE?
Here is an abbreviated history…or as abbreviated as I can make it!!
*The project was first proposed in 2005 by the Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada Corporation, and was approved by Canada’s National Energy Board in 2007….
* On September 21, 2007, the National Energy Board of Canada approved the construction of the Canadian section of the pipeline, including converting a portion of TransCanada’s Canadian Mainline gas pipeline to crude oil pipeline, on September 21, 2007.
* On March 17, 2008, during the final year of the Presidency of George W. Bush, the U.S. Department of State the issued a Presidential Permit authorizing the construction, maintenance and operation of facilities at the United States and Canada border….
*On July 21, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency criticized the State Department’s draft environmental impact study for neglecting concerns about oil spill response plans, safety issues and greenhouse gas.
*A 9,700 barrels (1,540 m3) leak occurred in Marshall County, S.D. in November 2017. This leak was contained shortly after detection 35 miles (56 km) south of the Ludden pump station.
*On August 26, 2011, the final environmental impact report was released on stating that the pipeline would pose “no significant impacts” to most resources if environmental protection measures are followed, but it would present “significant adverse effects to certain cultural resources”.
*On November 10, 2011, the Department of State postponed a final decision while investigating “potential alternative routes around the Sandhills in Nebraska in response to concerns that the project was not in the United States’ national interest.
*In March 2012, Obama endorsed the building of the southern segment (Gulf Coast Extension or Phase III) that begins in Cushing, Oklahoma. He said, “Today, I’m directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done.”
*On January 9, 2015, the Nebraska Supreme Court cleared the way for construction…
*On February 24, 2015, President Obama vetoed a bill that approved the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, saying that the decision of approval should rest with the Executive Branch. The Senate had passed it 62–36 on January 29, and the House approved it 270–152 on February 11. The Senate was unable to override the veto by a two-thirds majority, with a 62–37 vote.
*Secretary of State John Kerry said the pipeline would “undercut the credibility and influence of the United States” in climate-change-related negotiations.
On November 6, 2015, the Obama administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project, citing economic and environmental concerns.
*On January 24, 2017, in his first week in office, President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum to revive both Keystone XL pipelines, which “would transport more than 800,000 barrels [130,000 m3] per day of heavy crude” from Alberta to the Gulf Coast.
*In 2018, U.S. District Judge in Montana vacated the new permit because the policy reversal violated the Administration Procedure Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act.
*In March 2019, President Trump revoked the prior permit and himself directly issued a new permit for the pipeline.
*In June 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ninth circuit granted the Justice Department’s motion to lift the injunction blocking construction and found that the new permit mooted the prior Montana lawsuit.
*On March 31, 2020, CEO Russ Girling announced that TC Energy “will proceed with construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline” and thanked President Donald Trump, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, and other government officials for “support and advocacy” for Keystone XL.
*Girling said that this construction, which will take place during the COVID-19 pandemic, will follow government and health authorities guidance, to ensure the protection of workers, their families, and surrounding communities from the virus.
*On April 15, 2020, District Judge Brian Morris issued a suspension for the pipeline’s construction … In the summary judgment, the judge agreed that the Endangered Species Act was violated, thereby voiding the permit...
*On July 6, 2020, in the US Army Corps of Engineers v. Northern Plains Resource Council case, the Supreme Court of the U.S. ordered all Keystone XL work be halted. The order, however, did not affect any other present or future pipeline construction in the United States, and would be in force until the circuit court, and then the Supreme Court deliver their final rulings.
*On June 9, 2021, the Keystone XL project was abandoned by its developer.
On January 20, 2021, United States President Joe Biden revoked the permit for the pipeline on his first day in office.
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF THIS DECISION TO STOP THE PIPELINE ON AMERICA TODAY?
Now that you have waded through the details about the pipeline that could have been, the words of Chris Woodward are worth reading.
“That was a year ago. (2021) How does the decision to end the Keystone pipeline look today? First, there are the immediate economic impacts. Six months after Biden’s decision, TC Energy pulled the plug on the pipeline, which would have shipped 500,000 barrels a day from western Canada into the U.S. refining system. Given America’s annual production of 16.5 million barrels a day in 2020, that was not a major loss at the time. But today, domestic energy supplies are strained and global demand is soaring. U.S. allies in Europe are struggling to meet demand in the winter of 2022. Circumstances are very different from the day Biden blocked Keystone.
“Biden’s hurt us,” says H. Sterling Burnett, senior fellow on environmental policy for the Illinois-based Heartland Institute. “There’s no question about that.”
Neal Crabtree, a welding foreman from Fouke, Arkansas, lost his job when Biden pulled the pipeline’s permit. But he says he has bigger concerns than his own paycheck.
“I was worried by the tone being set by the Biden administration,” Crabtree said. “A direct attack on energy in this country seemed to be the president’s highest priority. … Now we’re seeing rising energy prices. Private companies are reluctant to develop new pipelines because of the outrageous permitting process. Pipelines, just like roads and bridges in this country, are aging. To neglect our pipelines is a dangerous thing. We saw how dependent we are on them when the Colonial Pipeline was shut down last year.”
Dan Kish, distinguished senior fellow for the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Energy Research, agreed. “We saw it as a body blow to American energy security,” he said.
And, some energy experts said, it is not just that Biden blocked a pipeline, he blocked Keystone, a project that went over and above to address issues like carbon emissions, safety standards, and cooperation with Indigenous people impacted by the pipeline.
“When Biden shut down Keystone, which really was bending over backward to do everything right from the Democrats’ perspective — and Biden still killed it — that sent a message to the entire industry that it didn’t matter what you did, this administration wanted to shut you down,” said Dan K. Eberhart, CEO of Canary, one of the largest oilfield service companies in the country.
TC Energy had pledged to operate Keystone as a “net-zero emissions level,” a first-of-its-kind commitment in the industry. And operating in Canada meant working under some of the most stringent environmental and safety regulations in the world.
The pipeline managers also had reached agreements with Native Americans, including entering a $1 billion equity agreement with a group of five Alberta and Saskatchewan First Nations.
“I would say, ‘President Biden, I do believe you made a bad decision putting Keystone on the backburner,’” said Saskatchewan First Nation Chief Alvin Francis just days after Biden’s decision. “This could change the outlook of all First Nations in Canada and the U.S.”
It has certainly changed the mood between Ontario and Washington, D.C. Keystone was in many ways primarily a Canadian project. Biden’s reversal on the pipeline, as well as proposed subsidies for U.S.- made electric vehicles, has heightened tensions between the two allies.
Closing Keystone has not strengthened America’s hand with its potential enemies, either. Biden has been left in the awkward position of lobbying Congress to keep the Nord Stream 2 pipeline open, even as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues threatening a possible invasion of Ukraine. And less oil from Canada and the U.S. on the global market means more demand for products from Russia, Libya, and Venezuela.
“This was a missed opportunity to increase North American energy security, lower costs for American consumers, and reduce dependence on foreign energy sources that are hostile to U.S. interests,” said Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of policy, economics and regulatory affairs at American Petroleum Institute (API).
If Biden’s goal was to keep the oil in the ground, it didn’t work. Canadian oil production remained strong throughout 2021 and is expected to hit a new record in 2022, according to the International Energy Agency.
Is it possible Biden would reconsider Keystone XL, having just recently reached out to OPEC to increase production and help bring down gas prices? Burnett says that is unlikely.
“Biden is imposing methane regulations on the industry that the Trump administration decided were not necessary for public health and safety. Biden has agreed to block new natural gas pipelines and new natural gas power stations, so he’s helping create energy shortages in the U.S. and approving pipelines from Russia as opposed to shipping our gas,” Burnett said.
“Biden’s view seems to be ‘energy is good for the world, but not for the United States,’” he added.”