Calgary is a city built on this resource. Calgary is like a classic boom town; all of the skyscrapers in Calgary are named after the energy companies that are extracting the oil from the oil sands, or the banks that are funding them. There are construction cranes all over. And Canada … is defining itself as an energy superpower. I think it surprises a lot of people to hear they have the third-largest oil reserve in the world, behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.Reporter for the New Yorker Ryan Lizza speaks on Fresh Air about the Canadian oil industry and the Keystone Pipeline XL controversy (via nprfreshair)
You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.Angela Davis - from a lecture delivered at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. February 13th, 2014. (via ninjaruski)
March 7 is the last day the State Department will accept comments on the final Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL pipeline. This is the last step before President Obama makes his decision in the next few months. If you are looking for a fast an easy way to send in your thoughts or comments why not make use of act350.org’s default message to President Obama
Venezuela- The end of Petro-Populisim?
Two great but brief articles exploring the relationship between the ongoing student protests in Venezuela and their oil based economy.
A Nebraska court on Wednesday invalidated the governor's decision to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to pass through the Midwestern state, casting new uncertainty over the controversial project to link Alberta's oil sands with refineries in Texas.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Nebraska court on Wednesday invalidated the governor’s decision to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to pass through the Midwestern state, casting new uncertainty over the controversial
An Early Draft of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue DotQuote
Over at The Atlantic, Rebecca J. Rosen takes a look back at the evolution of that one perfect passage that gives us all the best feels. She marked up the copy above to highlight the differences between this early draft (oh the days of red pen editing!) and the final version, which you can listen to below.
I also highly recommend heading over and checking out Rebecca’s analysis of the meaning of a certain “mote”…
This document comes from the Library of Congress’ Sagan Archives, which were generously donated by Seth MacFarlane. I attended the dedication event last fall, and there was lots of these little tidbits of the legend-in-the-making.
"For nearly a year now, more than 12,000 barrels of bitumen mixed with water have seeped through several long cracks (some as long as 100 metres) in the forest floor near four wells owned by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) in the Cold Lake region."
TransCanada Pipeline Explosion Shuts Off Gas For 4,000 Residents In Sub-Zero Temperatures
January 27, 2014
A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. exploded and caught fire in the Canadian province of Manitoba on Saturday, shutting off gas supplies for as many as 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures.
“We could see these massive 200- to 300-meter high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane,” resident Paul Rawluk told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Watch a video of the explosion here.
There were no injuries and the area was evacuated as a precaution, according to the National Energy Board. TransCanada said the fire was extinguished by Saturday afternoon, more than 12 hours after it started, but in order to repair the line, they shut off the natural gas supply to several municipalities.
Temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Celsius overnight.
Niverville Deputy Mayor John Funk said that “service is expected to be lost for minimum of 24 hours to multiple days” in a statement on the town’s website. Funk also said that “Manitoba Hydro is asking residents to turn down thermostats and minimize use of electric heaters.”
There is no timeline for restoring regular natural gas services so in the interim, compressed natural gas is being trucked in to the area. “The initial supply will be used to provide gas to critical services such as personal care homes and hospitals, as well as schools or churches being used as emergency warming centers,” the CBC reported.
TransCanada has also been pushing for the approval of its controversial Keystone XL pipeline to transport Canadian tar sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Oil began flowing through the southern leg of the pipeline this week and in a conference call marking the announcement, CEO Russ Girling called Keystone XL “the safest oil pipeline built in America to date.”
As of November, TransCanada had already fixed 125 sags and dents in the southern leg of the pipeline, according to a report by non-profit consumer rights group Public Citizen. And while Girling told reporters on this week’s conference call that the company had “voluntarily agreed” to 57 conditions with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Jeffrey Weise, the agency’s head of pipeline safety, said last year that his agency “has very few tools to work with” and as a result, the regulatory process he oversees is “kind of dying.”
Indeed, a Wall Street Journal analysis released this week found that people discover pipeline spills far more often than the leak-detection technology touted by companies. Based on PHMSA data for 251 pipeline incidents over four years, the WSJ found that nearby residents or company employees were nearly three times as likely to detect a pipeline leak. Leak-detection software, special alarms and 24/7 control room monitoring, on the other hand, discovered leaks just 19.5 percent of the time.