Greenies increase probability of oil spills

Thomas Lifson
It was article of faith among green groups that opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline was going to save Mother Gaia from the threat of oil spills along the route, particularly in the sensitive Sand Hills area of Nebraska. In their one dimensional thinking, all that oil from Alberta's tar sands was just going to remain in the ground.

As usual, their thinking was seriously flawed, as supply is meeting demand despite their best efforts. Instead of finding its way to market via a pipeline, where spills are very rare. Oil from the tar sands is making its way via rail cars, where spills are statistically far more common.

The San Jose Mercury-News informs its readers:

Phillips 66 in Rodeo already brings in trains filled with tar sands crude, and Chevron Richmond refines it. Shell in Martinez receives processed tar sands oil in the form of synthetic crude. Tesoro Golden Eagle in Avon, near Martinez, wants to bring in the heavy crude -- which is refined from an unconventional petroleum deposit that has the texture and smell of tar mixed with sand -- by rail. And Benicia's Valero refinery hopes to bring in 70,000 barrels a day of North American crude by rail and spend $30 million to increase its infrastructure to handle it, according to investment reports, environmental studies and company profiles.

With rail mishaps more common than pipeline failures, Bay Area environmentalists who have previously fought the Keystone pipeline from afar are now paying attention to the possibility of trains full of the heavy crude materials or already refined bitumen rolling through local neighborhoods and into refineries.

Then biggest beneficiary is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, coincidentally owned by Obama pal Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway:

In 2008, BNSF railway moved 1.3 million barrels of oil; by 2012, the company -- with rail routes mostly between Chicago and the West Coast -- moved 100 million barrels, it boasts in a news release. By December, a State Department report predicts 200,000 barrels a day or more of Canadian heavy crude oil will reach refineries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas by train.

Nice going, greenies! In addition to increasing the probability of oil spills, particularly in urban environments through which railways run, you've managed to enrich a billionaire crony capitalist. The likelihood of them ever realizing how deeply they have been suckered is even lower than the probability of a Keystone Pipeline oil spill.

It was article of faith among green groups that opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline was going to save Mother Gaia from the threat of oil spills along the route, particularly in the sensitive Sand Hills area of Nebraska. In their one dimensional thinking, all that oil from Alberta's tar sands was just going to remain in the ground.

As usual, their thinking was seriously flawed, as supply is meeting demand despite their best efforts. Instead of finding its way to market via a pipeline, where spills are very rare. Oil from the tar sands is making its way via rail cars, where spills are statistically far more common.

The San Jose Mercury-News informs its readers:

Phillips 66 in Rodeo already brings in trains filled with tar sands crude, and Chevron Richmond refines it. Shell in Martinez receives processed tar sands oil in the form of synthetic crude. Tesoro Golden Eagle in Avon, near Martinez, wants to bring in the heavy crude -- which is refined from an unconventional petroleum deposit that has the texture and smell of tar mixed with sand -- by rail. And Benicia's Valero refinery hopes to bring in 70,000 barrels a day of North American crude by rail and spend $30 million to increase its infrastructure to handle it, according to investment reports, environmental studies and company profiles.

With rail mishaps more common than pipeline failures, Bay Area environmentalists who have previously fought the Keystone pipeline from afar are now paying attention to the possibility of trains full of the heavy crude materials or already refined bitumen rolling through local neighborhoods and into refineries.

Then biggest beneficiary is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, coincidentally owned by Obama pal Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway:

In 2008, BNSF railway moved 1.3 million barrels of oil; by 2012, the company -- with rail routes mostly between Chicago and the West Coast -- moved 100 million barrels, it boasts in a news release. By December, a State Department report predicts 200,000 barrels a day or more of Canadian heavy crude oil will reach refineries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas by train.

Nice going, greenies! In addition to increasing the probability of oil spills, particularly in urban environments through which railways run, you've managed to enrich a billionaire crony capitalist. The likelihood of them ever realizing how deeply they have been suckered is even lower than the probability of a Keystone Pipeline oil spill.