Enbridge Pipeline:"Alberta Clipper." Image credit:Enbridge, via EcoFriendly Magazine
Sending a strong climate signal to world leaders, this week, the US State Department has decided to allow a pipeline to bring in more 'dirty oil' from the Alberta Canada Tar Sands region. State provided a whole list of insecurities behind the decision. What they didn't say is that this means it's OK by the Administration to Texify the Upper Midwest (oil patch jobs and air quality are coming), as well as increase the climate footprint of driving.
Would Obama have allowed the same decision, had the economy not been in the tank? Will this garner the support of oil companies for cap and trade?Financial Times had the full story:
...the US said it would permit Enbridge Energy to build the pipeline to advance a number of US strategic interests.Speaking of details, here's a quote from the Texifcation post.
These interests include increasing the diversity of oil supplies for the US, amid political tension in many major oil-producing regions; shortening the transportation path for crude oil supplies; and increasing crude oil supplies from a major non-Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries producer.
Considering all the vulnerabilities mentioned, the long term scenario we are looking at is the Texification of the Midwest. Keep in mind that refineries don't produce just fuel. Polyethylene can be made from naphtha, a refinery byproduct. In other words, the Alberta oil stream has the potential to turn the Midwest in a hotbed of fuel production and petrochemical manufacturing, with all the commensurate air quality, public health, water use, and energy consumption issues that go with it.
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