Date: 2017-05-31 09:55 pm (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graydon
BC. It takes much longer to build the pipeline than for solar to get cheaper than no-carbon-pricing natural gas, never mind bitumen. The investors are going to notice this; the pipeline is probably going to do a lot of damage in the meantime, but I'd be astonished if the extensions get completed.

Alberta really ought to be putting in a lot of geothermal power while they've got all those drill rigs around; one of the few places in Canada suitable (BC is technically more suitable, but relatively steep and earthquakey). I've got no idea what they can do with surplus power -- still dry, still far from anywhere -- but presumably there's people out there with stuff they'd like to try, and an economy with surplus power is in way better shape than an economy without.

Date: 2017-06-01 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] maruad
Notley may be NDP but she is an Albertan first and Albertans believe in their oil.

Date: 2017-06-04 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] keith_morrison
It's a quarter of their economy. An Alberta politician who didn't wouldn't be premier.

Date: 2017-05-31 11:09 pm (UTC)
jessie_c: Me in my floppy hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] jessie_c
What perplexes me is why do we ship our raw crude oil offshore for refining, only to turn around and buy the refined products at a premium? Why doesn't Notley push for building refining capacity right there in Texas North Alberta? That would greatly reduce the need for pipelines of any stripe.

Date: 2017-05-31 11:41 pm (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graydon
Not enough water. Refineries need a lot of water. (2:1 to 10:1 and up by-volume ratios to the oil refined.)

It's been something like thirty years since anybody built a new refinery in NorAm; you have to amortize them over long periods of time and oil hasn't got a long-periods-of-time stable market.

The oil in question needs a specially equipped refinery able to de-coke -- that is, remove solid carbon -- from it. There aren't many of those; one reason for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline down to the Gulf is that there happens to be such a refinery there.

Tar Sands hydrocarbons aren't economically viable unless there's a brutal oil shortage otherwise. Fracking got rid of any such possibility. In a world where some combination of the economic carbon bubble and an electric transition in transportation take place over the next decade or two, oil demand and thus prices do something between fall and crater. Notley has to know this; Notley has to know that the long-held IPCC position of uncertain and potentially low climate sensitivity has been falsified. I strongly suspect the point of the exercise is to be able to blame the lack of pipeline on BC. (Certainly existing Canadian precedent DOES give the province with the coastline control of the coastline. And certainly there's very little support for federal expropriation for infrastructure projects profiting specific private businesses. If BC doesn't allow the pipeline on their dirt, that ought to be that.)

If I were Le Dauphin I'd be looking to shift the whole of the tar sands subsidies into geothermal and some industrial process research grants. ("Let's make decarbonized agricultural machinery with additive machining" sorts of stuff. With a requirement for open source software, so the current John Deere situation doesn't reoccur.) Joint announcement, big program, lots of jobs, long term federal program to put the boreal forest back, changes to tax rules about having to carry discovered reserves as things you're taxed on, stuff like that.

Date: 2017-06-01 01:12 am (UTC)
jessie_c: Me in my floppy hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] jessie_c
Well if you're going to be all logical and knowledgeable you've just disqualified yourself from any discussion of political issues. Don't you know that you're not supposed to know about the rant du jour?

Date: 2017-06-01 01:53 am (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graydon
I am not good at indirect social cues.

Several of the CPC leadership candidates were talking about how we import oil and shouldn't, because we're an oil producer. Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy Canadian when you gas up your car?

This was popular, but the kind of popular that involves never doing the math.

You'd have to build the (extra-expensive) refinery and the pipelines to and from and it's not actually profitable and you can't pretend it's profitable if you don't sell it outside the country. And the same money would get you a whole bunch of electric vehicles and the geothermal power plants to run them.

It's... fraught isn't even the right word anymore. A whole bunch of people are refusing to deal with reality at all in the energy sector, and it's well into "worsening genocide" levels of culpability.

Date: 2017-06-01 02:04 am (UTC)
klgaffney: cropped detail of medieval manuscript (illuminated)
From: [personal profile] klgaffney
Thank you for taking the time to spell it all out; that was an interesting read.

Date: 2017-06-01 02:47 am (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graydon
You're welcome!

I generally try not to froth about this stuff. (It's like fixing the roof; if you have to, it never gets any cheaper than doing it right away.)

Date: 2017-06-02 12:03 am (UTC)
armiphlage: (Default)
From: [personal profile] armiphlage
Please do, it gives us something to read while we wait for the next Commonweal book!

Date: 2017-06-01 02:09 am (UTC)
glaurung_quena: (Default)
From: [personal profile] glaurung_quena
"It's been something like thirty years since anybody built a new refinery in NorAm"

Not just because of cost, but because refineries tend to be very dirty. Building a new one in a country with real environmental regulations is a huge undertaking, and may be impossible. Whereas shipping the crude to an existing, grandfathered refinery avoids the regulatory burden and the NIMBY difficulties.

Date: 2017-06-02 12:03 am (UTC)
armiphlage: (Default)
From: [personal profile] armiphlage
Plus insurance costs are getting ridiculous. Rightly so, I suppose.

Date: 2017-06-03 03:59 pm (UTC)
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
From: [personal profile] agoodwinsmith
To live and let die?


james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

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