Most of the time when we hear about “bureaucratic delays” it is with a sigh and a moan (especially this week when the Federal government is almost completely shut down). But when it comes to the Keystone XL Pipeline, a bureaucratic delay is a welcome reprieve for the activists and environmental groups fighting the controversial plan to build a pipeline that would transport tar sands crude oil from Canada through the US.
This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Michael Marx, the Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Oil campaign. They discuss the new economics of tar sands oil, the options for the petroleum industry if the Keystone is blocked, and how the fight over the pipeline has helped to energize groups like his.
Are you interested in knowing the facts about the Keystone XL pipeline? Well, depending on the source, the “facts” vary wildly. Proponents tout the Alberta tar sands as the new Saudi Arabia, claim that the Keystone pipeline will bring 100,000 jobs and help get the US off of foreign oil. Critics, on the other hand, say the jobs are more like under 50, that all the oil will be exported, that tar sands crude is highly prone to spills, and that this project would endanger pristine wildlife habitats. So who is right? This week on Sea Change Radio we hear from longtime Washington Post energy correspondent Steven Mufson who has recently completed a book on the topic. Based on meticulous, hands-on research, Mufson’s work reminds us that when two competing interests have conflicting sets of facts, someone’s facts are fiction.
Last week on Sea Change Radio, we heard from renowned energy expert Vaclav Smil, as he spoke about his book, Energy Transitions, the future of electric vehicles and why he has largely avoided the media spotlight up to now. This week, the second part of host Alex Wise‘s discussion with Professor Smil, as they discuss the ins and outs of fossil fuel – from peak oil to the Alberta tar sands and natural gas fracking – as well as some possible ways to help solve America’s energy puzzle.
Lauren Compere, Director of Shareholder Advocacy at Boston Common Asset Management, discusses shareowner resolutions asking BP and Shell to report on the strategic risks of oil sands exploitation. And Cary Krosinsky, Vice President of Trucost, talks about its analysis of the carbon intensity and environmental impacts of companies operating in Alberta’s oil sands.