Pipelines, First Nations and Indian Country: Part I

By: Thursday July 17, 2014 3:58 pm

In northeastern Alberta, Canada are the Athabascan oilsands, third largest oil reserves in the world. They contain bitumen which is found tightly combined with clay and sand. Bitumen has to be separated out by a process (here and here) requiring great quantities of water at high heat, which, in turn, requires burning fuel and producing greenhouse gases. The resulting very thick bitumin can be transported to refineries and ports by rail, or it can be mixed with a diluent, a hydrocarbon, so it will flow through pipelines.

Large stretches of arboreal forests in the Athabascan have disappeared in the pursuit of the bitumen, replaced by open pit mines.

 

Gulf Stream: Williams Nixes Bluegrass Gas Export Pipeline, Announces New Export Line

By: Thursday May 1, 2014 6:10 pm

Right before the champagne bottles began popping for activists engaged in agrassroots struggle to halt the construction of Williams Companies‘ prospective Bluegrass Pipeline project — which the company suspended indefinitely in an April 28 press release — Williams had already begun raining on the parade.

Commissioners Pipeline Meeting: Eminent Domain and Corporate Need

By: Wednesday January 29, 2014 6:05 pm

Last week I linked to this article detailing how the relative lack of pipelines in Ohio is preventing fracking from taking off as the extraction industry would like. This means pipelines have moved front and center in some communities. Since the fastest way to assemble the land for one is to pressure citizens to sell under threat of seizure via eminent domain (ED), ED law is starting to get a much closer look.

Statement to Portage County Commissioners at Pipeline Meeting

By: Saturday January 18, 2014 12:45 pm

It is up to us to think in advance what those hazards might be, and to insist that business as usual is not good enough. Pipeline companies have proved to be extraordinarily poor neighbors of late, and we should require a much higher standard of conduct for one that wants to move into our neighborhood.

Hot Rails to Hell, Pipelines to Perdition

By: Tuesday December 17, 2013 6:52 pm

Do you live near a railroad line? How about a pipeline? You might want to check into your proximity to those things.

Because America is the new Saudi Arabia, soon to be the world’s number one oil producer, the infrastructure that used to carry our energy products around is straining to meet the demand created by the new production.

Obama Approves Major Border-Crossing Fracked Gas Pipeline Used to Dilute Tar Sands

By: Thursday November 28, 2013 6:52 pm

Although TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has received the lion’s share of media attention, another key border-crossing pipeline benefitting tar sands producers was approved on November 19 by the U.S. State Department.

Capitalism Takes on Democracy

By: Saturday November 16, 2013 10:30 am

Lambert’s post on Sunday about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) looks at the deal from an important perspective: Its effect on popular sovereignty. He links to Dean Baker’s short post and highlights this: “The main thrust of the negotiations is to impose a regulator[y] structure in a wide range of areas — health, safety, environmental — which will override national and sub-national rules.” International agreements have always had that character, of course. Treaties, conventions like the Geneva Conventions and Convention Against Torture and so on also (theoretically) supersede national and sub-national rules. They would be worthless otherwise.

The idea that trade agreements weaken national laws is also not new.

Russia vs. U.S. Gas “Cold War” Underlying Edward Snowden Asylum Standoff

By: Tuesday August 20, 2013 5:40 am

Nearly two months ago, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden handed smoking-gun documents on the international surveillance apparatus to The Guardian and The Washington Post in what’s become one of the most captivating stories in recent memory.

Lost in the excitement of this “White Bronco Moment,” many have missed the elephant in the room: the “Great Game”-style geopolitical standoff between the U.S. and Russia underlying it all, and which may have served as the impetus for Russia to grant Snowden asylum to begin with. What’s at stake? Natural gas.

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