WBEZ | oil http://www.wbez.org/tags/oil Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Exxon helped pioneer climate science — then disavowed its own research. http://www.wbez.org/news/exxon-helped-pioneer-climate-science-%E2%80%94-then-disavowed-its-own-research-113663 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/In 1978, Exxon equipped one of its supertankers — the Esso Atlantic — with instruments for measuring carbon dioxide in the air and water along the tanker’s route from the Gulf of Mexico to the Persian Gulf..png" alt="" /><p><div class="story__deck" style="margin-top: 0px; font-size: 1.22222em; line-height: 1.38068em; color: rgb(51, 51, 60); font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, 'Nimbus Sans L', sans-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em;"><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/BANERJEE-tanker-viewfrom.png?itok=5tge8UP1" style="border: 0px; vertical-align: bottom; max-width: 100%; height: 349px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 27px; width: 620px;" title="In 1978, Exxon equipped one of its supertankers — the Esso Atlantic — with instruments for measuring carbon dioxide in the air and water along the tanker’s route from the Gulf of Mexico to the Persian Gulf. (Jon Olav Eikenes/Flickr)" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p></div><p>The New York attorney general is investigating whether Exxon Mobil lied to the public &mdash; and investors &mdash; about the risks to the environment and its business posed by climate change, according to a report Thursday from <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/06/science/exxon-mobil-under-investigation-in-new-york-over-climate-statements.html?emc=edit_na_20151105&amp;nlid=39606411&amp;ref=headline"><em>The New York Times</em></a>. The <em>Times</em> reports that the attorney general issued a subpoena on Wednesday.&nbsp;An&nbsp;Exxon Mobil spokesman&nbsp;on Thursday told the paper that &quot;the company had received the subpoena and was still deciding how to respond.&quot;</p><p>The subpoena comes on the heels of a pair of investigations &mdash;&nbsp;from InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times &mdash; revealed that by the early 1980s, Exxon&rsquo;s scientists and top management already understood the significance of climate change and were even making plans to adapt to it.</p><p>&ldquo;As far back as 1977, everybody from rank-and-file scientists at Exxon all the way up to the executive suites knew about climate change and the emerging science, which was then called the greenhouse effect,&rdquo; says Neela Banjaree of&nbsp;<a href="http://insideclimatenews.org/news/16092015/exxon-believed-deep-dive-into-climate-research-would-protect-its-business">InsideClimate News</a>. &ldquo;They understood very clearly that it was a significant risk to civilization.&nbsp;They said that rising temperatures could destroy agriculture in many places and&nbsp;could shift precipitation patterns.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Even more interestingly, from what we can tell, Exxon was probably the only major company that launched its own, in-house, very rigorous climate science research effort,&rdquo; Banjaree says.</p><p>Exxon knew that if the science was correct, at some point governments would take action to reign in emissions of carbon dioxide, according to the new report. &ldquo;They felt that the best way to shape policy was to do really good science, to be taken seriously in order to have a seat at the table,&rdquo; Banjaree says.</p><p>At the time, the science community was still struggling to understand the role the oceans played in absorbing the carbon dioxide that was being emitted by the use of fossil fuels. So Exxon outfitted a new supertanker, the Esso Atlantic &mdash; one of the biggest in the world &mdash; with specially made equipment to gather samples of air and ocean water along its route from the Gulf of Mexico to the Persian Gulf to see how the oceans were absorbing CO2.</p><p>&ldquo;They felt that if they did this over a period of time they could get a regular, continuous reading and it would help scientists understand the role that the oceans played,&rdquo; Banjaree says.</p><p>Exxon scientists were proud of their contribution. Former Exxon scientist Edward Garvey said this about their research in a short video produced by InsideClimate News and Frontline:</p><blockquote><p><em>&quot;We were generating what we thought was state-of-the-art information. We were doing science that we didn&#39;t think in any way, shape, or form would be questioned. There was no questioning that the atmospheric carbon dioxide was increasing, that atmospheric carbon dioxide was going to change the climate in some fashion. The question was how fast, how much, and what kind of impacts would it have overall to the planet.&quot;&nbsp;</em></p></blockquote><p>All of this information was presented to Exxon&#39;s top executives &mdash; the chairman, the CEO, and the senior vice presidents. Exxon&#39;s scientists and managers from Exxon Research and Engineering regularly sent detailed updates to senior vice presidents who were members of the management committee about the research, Banjaree says.</p><p>&ldquo;Something like the tanker project, which required coordination across many different divisions of Exxon, could only occur if you had someone from the senior VP level sign off on it, former Exxon officials told us,&rdquo; she says.</p><p>But by 1989, something had changed within the company. Exxon co-founded an organization called the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/science/earth/24deny.html?_r=0">Global Climate Coalition (GCC)</a>, which, while it may sound &lsquo;green,&rsquo; was, in fact, a group of fossil fuel companies and major manufacturers that were working to stall action on climate change under consideration by the UN, Banjaree says.</p><p>And by 1996, Exxon&nbsp;CEO Lee Raymond, who was trained as a chemical engineer, was making public statements that contradicted his own&rsquo;s company scientific information: &ldquo;Proponents of the global warming theory say that higher levels of greenhouse gases are causing world temperatures to rise, and that burning fossil fuels is the reason.&nbsp;But scientific evidence remains inconclusive as to whether human activities affect the global climate,&rdquo; Raymond declared.</p><p>Nearly 20 years after Exxon scientists started warning of the possibility of greenhouse gas emissions causing world temperatures to rise and disrupt the climate, why did the&nbsp;CEO say this?</p><p>&ldquo;That&#39;s the question that everybody has to unearth,&rdquo; Banarjee says. &ldquo;Why did the shift occur? ...&nbsp;We haven&#39;t got a satisfactory answer from Exxon about this: Why did Exxon shift its position from doing rigorous, peer-reviewed science in order to have a constructive voice in policymaking, to founding the GCC and having its chief executive cast doubt on climate science?&rdquo;</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://graphics.latimes.com/exxon-arctic/">Los Angeles Times</a>&nbsp;and the Energy and Environmental Reporting Project at Columbia University&rsquo;s Graduate School of Journalism have been&nbsp;<a href="http://graphics.latimes.com/exxon-arctic/">publishing their&nbsp;own series</a>&nbsp;that looks into the discrepancy&nbsp;between Exxon&#39;s external and internal dialogue on climate disruption. Their reporting focuses specifically on the company&rsquo;s contradictory public and private stands about melting ice in the Arctic.</p><p>Banjaree says this&nbsp;investigation fills in some missing information from her own, but addresses the same puzzling change in the company&rsquo;s position on global warming.</p><p>&ldquo;[Here] you have Lee Raymond casting doubt publicly on the fact that climate change might be happening, but internally Exxon scientists are looking at climate change and greater melting in the Arctic and how that might open up access to resources, oil and gas resources in the Arctic,&rdquo; Banjaree says.</p><p>Not surprisingly, Exxon &mdash; now Exxon Mobil&nbsp;&mdash; takes issue with the recent investigations.</p><p>&ldquo;We very much disagree with both of those reports,&rdquo; says Ken Cohen, vice president of public and government affairs for Exxon. &ldquo;In fact, nothing could be further from the truth than what is being claimed in those two stories.&rdquo;</p><p>Cohen acknowledges that in the late 1970s,&nbsp;Exxon scientists&nbsp;began studying the impact of CO2 emissions on climate. He disputes, however, reporting that &ldquo;would seem to indicate that research stopped at some point.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;In fact, our scientists have participated in every UN climate assessment beginning in 1988,&rdquo; Cohen says. &quot;Our scientists have contributed over 50 papers that were reviewed by the collective body of scientists studying this very complex subject. In addition, we&#39;ve been part of creating some of the most sophisticated modeling programs at research institutions in the country. Our scientists have been a consistent part of the scientific inquiry.&rdquo;</p><p>Cohen also disputes the reports&rsquo; claims that Exxon sought to cast doubt publicly on climate change while using its own internal science to shape future company decisions.</p><p>&ldquo;Our participation in the discussions on public policy response pretty much mirrors the IPCC findings during the relevant period,&rdquo; Cohen maintains. &ldquo;That is, our positions evolved over the period 1988 to the present time as the science evolved.&rdquo;</p><p>Lee Raymond&rsquo;s 1996 speech is consistent with the overall scientific consensus at the time, Cohen insists.</p><p>&ldquo;Remember, the scientific view and understanding of this issue has evolved as one would expect it to do, the understanding would evolve over time,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>Meanwhile, some members of Congress, including Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, are asking whether the published stories show that Exxon Mobil&nbsp;broke the law when it spoke out against the science it had itself helped to pioneer.</p><p>Senator Sanders has called on the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation. He wrote, &ldquo;These reports, if true, raise serious allegations of a misinformation campaign that may have caused public harm similar to the tobacco industry&rsquo;s actions &mdash; conduct that led to racketeering convictions.&rdquo;</p><p>Sanders added, &ldquo;It appears that Exxon knew its product was causing harm to the public and spent millions of dollars to obfuscate the facts in the public discourse.&rdquo;</p><p>Two Democrats in the House of Representatives, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier&nbsp;and Rep. Ted Lieu, have also called on the Justice Department to investigate Exxon&rsquo;s actions.</p><p>DeSaulnier says the revelations in the articles really took him by surprise. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been in politics a long time. I&rsquo;ve got four refineries in the county that I represent. So I&rsquo;ve dealt with the petroleum industry. I was on the California Air Resources Board for 10 years. So I&rsquo;m not unfamiliar with them &mdash; but I was shocked,&rdquo; DeSaulnier says.</p><p><em>This story is based on an&nbsp;<a href="http://loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=15-P13-00043&amp;segmentID=1">interview</a>&nbsp;that aired on PRI&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://loe.org/index.html">Living on Earth</a>&nbsp;with Steve Curwood.</em></p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-11-05/exxon-helped-pioneer-climate-science-then-disavowed-its-own-research-new-york-ag" target="_blank"><em>via PRI&#39;s Living on Earth</em></a></p></p> Thu, 05 Nov 2015 16:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/exxon-helped-pioneer-climate-science-%E2%80%94-then-disavowed-its-own-research-113663 Chinese firm plans $1.3 billion purchase of Texas oil lands http://www.wbez.org/news/chinese-firm-plans-13-billion-purchase-texas-oil-lands-113506 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/The Shanghai-listed Yantai Xinchao Industry Co. filed a security filing over the weekend announcing it would purchase Texas oil properties for 8.3 billion yuan..jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res451676806" previewtitle="The Shanghai-listed Yantai Xinchao Industry Co. filed a security filing over the weekend announcing it would purchase Texas oil properties for 8.3 billion yuan."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="The Shanghai-listed Yantai Xinchao Industry Co. filed a security filing over the weekend announcing it would purchase Texas oil properties for 8.3 billion yuan." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/25/gettyimages-81705896-b08e798a6e2f7b29da60a7bf1968a0df07c9b50b-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 405px; width: 540px;" title="The Shanghai-listed Yantai Xinchao Industry Co. filed a security filing over the weekend announcing it would purchase Texas oil properties for 8.3 billion yuan. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>A Chinese investment holding company intends to put down stakes in the United States after signing a letter of intent to purchase oil properties in western Texas for $1.3 billion through a limited liability partnership.</p></div></div></div><p>The Shanghai-listed Yantai Xinchao Industry Co., said in a&nbsp;<a href="http://static.sse.com.cn/disclosure/listedinfo/announcement/c/2015-10-23/600777_20151023_1.pdf">securities filing over the weekend</a>, it was a purchasing oil lands in the Texas counties of Howard and Borden as part of the proposed acquisition of Ningbo Dingliang Huitong Equity Investment Center, according to the&nbsp;<a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/5bb7e009075c487b9c74de17dd0c4827/chinese-investment-company-buy-texas-oil-fields-13b">Associated Press</a>.</p><p>The news service also reports Yantai Xinchao said in its letter of intent, the transaction, worth 8.3 billion yuan, has been &quot;approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States&quot; which is part of the Treasury Department.</p><p>The oil properties are being purchased from Tall City Exploration LLC and Plymouth Petroleum LLC, according to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/chinese-property-developer-snaps-up-texas-oil-fields-1445773022">Wall Street Journal</a>.</p><p>Neither Tall City Exploration or ArcLight Capital Partners LLC, the parent company of Plymouth Petroleum, returned requests for comment by the time of this posting. We will update if things change.</p><p>The Wall Street Journal&nbsp;also reports Chinese energy companies have been longing to do business in the U.S. because of &quot;stable laws governing oil exploration and production.&quot; The publication adds:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;But U.S. restrictions on Chinese investment in potentially sensitive areas means investment in the U.S. energy patch by Chinese companies is, to date, limited. Yantai Xinchao said it had already received permission from the U.S. government for the deal.</em></p><p><em>...</em></p><p><em>&quot;Chinese companies are looking abroad for oil deals partly because of tight restrictions at home, making investment in oil-and-gas exploration and production next to impossible in many cases. State-owned oil behemoths dominate China&#39;s energy landscape, leaving little space for independent companies to invest. China&#39;s government says it aims to bring more private capital into the oil sector as part of ongoing reforms.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/25/451675784/chinese-firm-plans-1-3-billion-purchase-of-texas-oil-lands?ft=nprml&amp;f=451675784" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 26 Oct 2015 14:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chinese-firm-plans-13-billion-purchase-texas-oil-lands-113506 Canadians head to the polls with oil economy in mind http://www.wbez.org/news/canadians-head-polls-oil-economy-mind-113396 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ccan.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><div id="file-293945"><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" id="1" src="http://www.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/styles/primary-image-766x447/public/GettyImages-493142812.jpg?itok=DNmf2Tcd" style="height: 362px; width: 620px;" title="Posters for Canadian Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau (L) and New Democratic Party leader Tom Mulcair are seen on a street in Montreal on October 17, 2015. Canadians go to the polls on October 19 with the option of choosing to 'stay the course' with the Conservatives or plump for change touted by the Liberals and New Democrats, in legislative elections too close to call. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><div>Until earlier this year, Ketan Rakheja worked full time as a firefighter in Alberta&rsquo;s oil fields.&nbsp;&ldquo;All the rigging and fracking go on in the country, right? So you&rsquo;re on rural roads, right, like they&#39;re not paved roads and they just get icy,&rdquo; he explained.</div></div></div><div><div id="story-content"><p>While sometimes dangerous work, it paid very well. Rakheja, like a lot of workers in the Western oil fields, is not from Alberta. For a long time, Alberta absorbed the unemployed from Canada&rsquo;s economically weaker Atlantic provinces. Many workers even commuted across the country.</p><p>But then the global price of oil began to fall.</p><p>When Canadians go to the polls Monday for federal parliamentary elections, the economy will be top of mind. Canada&rsquo;s currency has decreased in value by about 25 percent in two years against the U.S. dollar. The country technically dipped into a recession earlier this year, driven by dropping oil and commodity prices.</p><p>&ldquo;Everyone was saying things are getting bad in Alberta,&rdquo; recalled Rakheja, who was laid off in January. He has since taken a job in construction that pays less, while picking up occasional contract work as a firefighter.</p><p>He&rsquo;s among 36,000 people who have lost jobs in Alberta&rsquo;s energy sector this year. Deborah Yedlin, business columnist for the Calgary Herald, predicts that number could reach 50,000. This has had a ripple effect in the province.</p><p>&ldquo;Housing sales are down 27 percent year over year in August,&rdquo; Yedlin said. &ldquo;If you go for lunch there&rsquo;s not as many tables that are in use at the restaurants downtown.&rdquo;</p><p>She said everyone is watching closely as Canada&rsquo;s three biggest federal parties argue over who can best revive the Canadian economy.</p><p>The federal Conservative government of the last ten years, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, hasn&rsquo;t accomplished all the energy sector wants &ndash; building pipelines or negotiating agreements with Canada&rsquo;s indigenous groups. But Yedlin says Harper&rsquo;s still seen as pro-business. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s the devil you know,&rdquo; Yedlin said.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;Also in the running: the Liberal party and the New Democratic Party (NDP). They both support oil production, though they might regulate the industry a little more.</p><p>Nationally, Rowan O&rsquo;Grady, president of recruitment firm Hays Canada, said companies are cautious but still hiring.</p><p>&ldquo;We&#39;re not seeing companies outside of Alberta making any strategic news such as hiring freezes or layoffs,&rdquo; he said, but the loss of Canada&rsquo;s biggest star has hurt the overall picture.</p><p>Rakeja, the oil-fields firefighter, said he&rsquo;ll probably leave Alberta soon &ndash; but others who&rsquo;ve been laid off will stick around.&nbsp;&ldquo;All they&rsquo;re doing is just waiting by the phone and hoping that the rig calls, so that they can go back,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>&nbsp;Given the global decline in the price of oil, there may not be much any party can do to make that happen faster.</p></div></div><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/canadians-head-polls-oil-economy-mind" target="_blank"><em> via Marketplace</em></a></p></p> Mon, 19 Oct 2015 11:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/canadians-head-polls-oil-economy-mind-113396 With quakes spiking, oil industry is under the microscope in Oklahoma http://www.wbez.org/news/science/quakes-spiking-oil-industry-under-microscope-oklahoma-111572 <p><p>Out on Oklahoma&#39;s flat prairie, Medford, population about 900, is the kind of place where people give directions from the four-way stop in the middle of town.</p><p>It seems pretty sedate, but it&#39;s not. &quot;We are shaking all the time,&quot; says Dea Mandevill, the city manager. &quot;All the time.&quot;</p><p>The afternoon I stopped by, Mandevill says two quakes had already rumbled through Medford.</p><p>&quot;Light day,&quot; she laughs. But, she adds, &quot;the day&#39;s not over yet; we still have several more hours.&quot;</p><p>Mandevill may be laughing it off, but Austin Holland, the state seismologist, isn&#39;t.</p><p>&quot;I certainly regret starting smoking again, but there are some days when nicotine and coffee are about what get me through the day,&quot; he says. &quot;As far as we know, this has never happened before.&quot;</p><p>Holland says that Oklahoma used to have, on average, one or two perceptible earthquakes a year. Now the state is averaging two or three a day. There were more magnitude 3 or greater tremors here last year than anywhere else in the continental United States, and the unprecedented spike in earthquakes has intensified.</p><p>Holland suspects that modern oil production techniques are triggering the jump in quakes. A few years back, companies figured out how to drill sideways through layers of shale, then break, or frack, the rock, releasing a torrent of oil.</p><p>The combination of fracking and horizontal drilling sparked a massive oil boom here, but the technique produces much more water than oil &mdash; tens of billions of gallons of very salty, toxic water. The only economical way to dispose of it, Holland says, is to force it deep into the earth.</p><p>&quot;That pressure acts as a lubricant,&quot; he says. &quot;It&#39;s not actually the water itself lubricating, but the pressure, and the best way to think about that is an air hockey table,&quot; with huge slabs of rock as the pucks.</p><p>Holland says injecting water near faults can deliver just enough lubricating pressure to set them in motion. It&#39;s called &quot;induced seismicity.&quot;</p><p>The Prague earthquake hit the state four years ago. At magnitude 5.6, it was the strongest ever recorded in Oklahoma.</p><p>&quot;It was coming from everywhere &mdash; I mean the walls, the roof,&quot; says Ryan Ladra, standing in his parents&#39; battered house. &quot;When it hit, it hit so violent and hard that we thought the house was coming down on top of us.&quot;</p><p>The Ladras&#39; stone chimney collapsed, striking his mom, Sandra, who is suing companies that ran nearby wastewater injection wells.</p><p>But Kim Hatfield of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association says he&#39;s not convinced there&#39;s a connection. He says oil companies have been pumping brine down wastewater injection wells for decades. More than 3,200 of the wells dot the state.</p><p>&quot;You&#39;re going to find out that all tornadoes are close to injection wells as well,&quot; he says. &quot;If a meteor strikes the state of Oklahoma, I&#39;m going to guarantee it&#39;s going to be close to an injection well.&quot;</p><p>Still, evidence linking injection wells to earthquakes is building. And though oil industry wields enormous clout in Oklahoma, the agency regulating it is ramping up.</p><p>Matt Skinner, public information manager for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, says that the agency has never denied a permit for a disposal well, but it has recently closed a few bad ones and is scrutinizing applications for new wells like never before.</p><p>&quot;When we say we&#39;re doing everything we can, what we&#39;re really saying is, we&#39;re doing everything we know, today,&quot; Skinner says. &quot;Tomorrow, we may know something more.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/dea_medford-61167ff8f4cededddab27c9a2a9e68834208ce8b-s400-c85.jpg" style="float: left; height: 209px; width: 280px;" title="Dea Mandevill, city manager of Medford, Okla., says the earthquakes are worth all the benefits the oil boom has brought: a new park, police cars, construction equipment and ambulances. (Frank Morris/KCUR)" />Mandevill says she worries about an earthquake rupturing the big natural gas pipeline here &mdash; but then beams while looking out over the new park the city recently built with oil boom tax money.</p><p>&quot;We have a new swimming pool, splash pad, new sidewalks and a new basketball/tennis court,&quot; she says.</p><p>It illustrates the complex relationship between oil and earthquakes in Oklahoma.</p><p>&quot;You put up with a few things falling off your walls, a few nights being woken up in the middle of the night with the shakes,&quot; she says. &quot;Overall it&#39;s been good. I&#39;ll take the earthquakes for all the benefits that Medford&#39;s had so far.&quot;</p><p>But those benefits are starting to sag a little. With oil prices low, companies are laying off workers. On the bright side, less oil coming out of the ground means less wastewater going back down deep into it, and just possibly, fewer earthquakes.</p></p> Tue, 17 Feb 2015 08:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/science/quakes-spiking-oil-industry-under-microscope-oklahoma-111572 Russia's economic dilemma http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-12-08/russias-economic-dilemma-111200 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP24510104665.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Russia&#39;s oil production strategy and Western sanctions have led to a decline in the value of the Russian ruble. Jan Kalicki, a public policy scholar for the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, joins us to explain the problems the Russian economy is facing.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-s-economic-dilemma/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-s-economic-dilemma.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-s-economic-dilemma" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Russia's economic dilemma" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 11:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-12-08/russias-economic-dilemma-111200 As Keystone XL stalls, another pipeline network moves quietly forward http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-work/keystone-xl-stalls-another-pipeline-network-moves-quietly-forward <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Flanagan 1.jpeg" alt="" /><p><p>The Keystone XL has been in the news a lot lately. The controversial pipeline would carry tar sands oil, a form of crude that is booming in North America. The southern section of the pipeline is already built, but protests have raged over the northern section and the State Department has been hesitant to approve it.</p><p>The Keystone XL&rsquo;s fans say tar sands oil can make us a more energy independent country. But environmentalists oppose it, saying tar sands oil is especially dirty and will <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tar-sands-and-keystone-xl-pipeline-impact-on-global-warming/" target="_blank">accelerate climate change</a>.</p><p>But while Keystone XL has stalled, another tar sands project are happening under the radar.</p><p>&ldquo;While all the focus has been on Keystone XL, Enbridge has used existing pipelines and new pipelines next to existing pipelines to create the same system,&rdquo; says Carl Weimer, Executive Director of the <a href="http://pstrust.org/" target="_blank">Pipeline Safety Trust</a>.</p><p>One piece in that pipeline network expects to begin full operations soon. It is called Flanagan South and it starts about two hours south of Chicago at the Flanagan South pump station.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Flanagan South</span><br />The pump station is by a road in the middle of a big field. A few pipes come up above ground and there is a building about the size of a small warehouse. It is all pretty simple-looking for how much will happen here.</p><p>In early December, the oil transport company Enbridge plans to start full operations on the Flanagan South pipeline, pumping 600,000 barrels of oil a day through a pipe about as wide as a hula hoop. The pipeline goes from Illinois to Oklahoma, but is part of a network that stretches up to the Canadian tar sands and down to the Gulf Coast (just like the Keystone.)</p><p>The number of pipelines is the United States is growing because of a booming oil industry in the tar sands of Canada and North Dakota.&nbsp; Enbridge spokesperson Jennifer Smith says that is not only good news for Enbridge&rsquo;s business, it is also good news for states like Illinois. &ldquo;Once Flanagan South [and a number of other Illinois pipelines] are in service for a full year, it will be over an additional 4 million in taxes that Enbridge will contribute to the Illinois economy,&rdquo; said Smith.</p><p>Enbridge hired around 1,000 people during construction of the Illinois section of the pipeline (it estimates about half of those jobs went to Illinois residents). And crude oil imports to the midwest recently hit an all-time high.</p><p>&ldquo;Outside of just the gasoline, jet fuel and diesel, by-products of crude oil are made for plastics, and are made in manufacturing. Our true quality of life depends on crude oil,&rdquo; said Smith.</p><p>In total, Enbridge expects to hire only five permanent position because of the Flanagan pipeline. And Doug Hayes with the Sierra Club say those jobs are just not worth it.</p><p>&ldquo;The 600,000 barrels a day is equal to about 130 million tons of carbon emissions, which is the same as putting 27 million more cars on the road each year,&rdquo; said Hayes.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Escaping public attention</span></p><p>Enbridge used existing pipes to build its new network, reversing some lines and expanding others. One of those existing lines already crossed a Canadian border, so unlike Keystone XL, it did not need state department approval (<a href="http://www.newsweek.com/2014/12/05/all-eyes-keystone-another-tar-sands-pipeline-just-crossed-border-286685.html" target="_blank">though this process has also been controversial</a>).</p><p>The Sierra club&rsquo;s Doug Hayes says the company also used something called a Nationwide 12 permit to build the new Flanagan section. It basically fast-tracks the permitting process. The southern section of the Keystone XL (which is already complete) also used one.</p><p>The permit allowed Enbridge to skip long public comment periods and avoid an environmental review of the Flanagan pipeline in its entirety.</p><p>&ldquo;So the problem is, there was no opportunity for the communities along the pipeline to learn about the dangers of oil spills, the climate impacts, and so forth,&rdquo; said Hayes.</p><p>Hayes represented the Sierra Club in a lawsuit over this permit. The Sierra Club lost, but is appealing.</p><p>Hayes says the case is a big deal because he expects more companies to follow a similar strategy. &ldquo;The tar sands industry is looking at what is happening with Keystone XL and they understand that the more the public learns about these projects, the more opposition grows. So, there has been a concerted effort to permit these pipelines behind closed doors,&rdquo; said Hayes.</p><p>Smith, the Enbridge spokesperson says the company never tried to keep the pipeline quiet and that she helped host open houses and presentations. &ldquo;Everyone is welcome to come and learn about the projects and get their questions answered,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>But when pressed on if Enbridge escaped the more comprehensive environmental review, she is more elusive. She responded to multiple rephrased variations of the question by repeating that the company followed the permitting route that the government laid out for them.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The risk of oil spills</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="20" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/179517057&amp;color=ff5500&amp;inverse=false&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_user=true" width="100%"></iframe>The new Flanagan South pipeline passes through roughly 2,000 waterways or wetlands. The Environmental Protection Agency says tar sands oil presents a different spill risk than conventional oil, because it can sink to the bottom of waterways and does not appreciably biodegrade.</p><p>About four years ago, an Enbridge pipeline carrying tar sands oil ruptured in Michigan.<br />The accident cost just over a billion dollars and still is not cleaned up. A report from National Wildlife Federation says the spill contaminated 30 miles of the Kalamazoo River and provoked evacuations.</p><p>Smith concedes there will always be a risk of spills. But she says if oil is going to move, the safest way to do it is through pipelines. &ldquo;Even according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, pipelines are the safest way to transport oil,&rdquo; said Smith.</p><p>Enbridge says the Michigan spill was quote, &ldquo;The company&rsquo;s darkest time.&rdquo; It says it&rsquo;s updated safety procedures and equipment since then. But pipeline activists say it is difficult to evaluate if that is true. Because of lax government oversight, they say they are left to take the company at its word.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Government Oversight</span></p><p>The National Wildlife Federation&rsquo;s report on the Michigan spill holds Enbridge accountable. But it also blames government agencies.</p><p>&ldquo;The first responders were very ill-prepared to deal with the spill. And a lot of that was the fact that they simply didn&rsquo;t have the information and tools that they needed. That is largely the fault of a federal regulatory agency that did not prepare them properly,&rdquo; said Jim Murphy, lawyer for The National Wildlife Federation.</p><p>Carl Weimer, Executive Director of the Pipeline Safety Trust, says the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) does not have the resources to deal with all the new pipelines.</p><p>&ldquo;So, if there are problems, the regulators may be missing it. So, to a grand degree we are trusting that the pipeline industry is going to do things correctly,&rdquo; said Weimer.</p><p>In a testimony before congress, PHMSA officials said the agency must grow to meet added demands and evolving changes. They also requested additional funding and said the &ldquo;potential to do more remains.&rdquo;</p><p>But Weimer says we can not lay all the blame on the federal government. States can apply to do their own additional monitoring. &ldquo;They can really provide better and more inspections of the pipeline,&rdquo; said Weimer.</p><p>Only a few states have done that, and Illinois is not one of them. But with the growing number of new pipelines in the state, Weimer says maybe it is time to consider it.</p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her @<a href="http://twitter.com/shannon_h" target="_blank">shannon_h</a></em></p><p><em>Front and Center is funded by The Joyce Foundation: Improving the quality of life in the Great Lakes region and across the country.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 01 Dec 2014 12:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-work/keystone-xl-stalls-another-pipeline-network-moves-quietly-forward With fracking bill on Quinn's desk, environmental groups hold out hope for revisions http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-06/fracking-bill-quinns-desk-environmental-groups-hold-out-hope-revisions <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/fracking-wrigley.jpg" title="Outside Wrigley Field, members of The Illinois Coalition for a Moratorium on Fracking protest a regulatory bill that recently passed the state legislature. (WBEZ/Chris Bentley)" /></div><p>Amid a warbling Lowery organ rendition of &ldquo;Build Me Up Buttercup&rdquo; blasting from pre-game Wrigley Field, environmental groups gathered outside Wrigley View Rooftop to make their voices heard on pending <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/fracking" target="_blank">fracking</a> regulations.</p><p>The targets of their signs and chants were state governors in town for the Democratic Governors Association, meeting this week in Chicago. In addition to Gov. Pat Quinn, whose signature is expected soon on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/bill-passage-illinois-fast-track-fracking-107488" target="_blank">a regulatory bill passed recently by the state legislature</a>, protestors watched for Maryland Gov. Martin O&rsquo;Malley and California Gov. Jerry Brown &mdash; two leaders similarly <a href="http://fuelfix.com/blog/2013/06/08/fracking-foes-push-california-governor-for-ban/" target="_blank">mulling over</a> whether to permit the controversial process for natural gas and oil extraction in their states.</p><p>While Quinn greeted news of the bill&rsquo;s passage by promising his signature, protestors pointed out the governor could veto certain provisions in the massive regulatory bill, sending it back to the General Assembly, even if he does not block its passage into law. Some environmental groups are still holding out hope for an outright ban on fracking in Illinois. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-03/madigan-mell-push-two-year-ban-fracking-106109" target="_blank">Politicians previously floated bills calling for a two-year moratorium on fracking in both the house and senate</a>.</p><p>The groups, who are organized under The Illinois Coalition for a Moratorium on Fracking, cite relatively lax standards regarding setbacks, or how far from certain areas drillers are allowed to dig wells. Setbacks from rivers and lakes are only 300 feet in the regulatory bill, while environmental groups <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=2&amp;ved=0CDYQFjAB&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dontfractureillinois.net%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F05%2FLobby-Day-Prof-bill-Rau-breaks-the-regulatory-bill-down-May21st.odt&amp;ei=RcO4UZ6sMcO9yQG2loGgCw&amp;usg=AFQjCNECR6_Hh092OBfhq16slDgUjXRBiA&amp;sig2=UqA_0xRoAbe6MgQIaanCsA&amp;bvm=bv.47810305,d.aWc" target="_blank">have called for a buffer zone 11 times wider</a>. They also challenge statements that fracking will bring significant revenue and jobs to Illinois, pointing out that <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-04-19/news/ct-biz-0331-fracking-state--20130331_1_severance-tax-tax-rate-tax-holiday" target="_blank">tax rates are low compared to other states and a relatively small portion of taxes collected go to drilling counties</a>.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cubs-sign.jpg" style="height: 203px; width: 305px; float: left;" title="(WBEZ/Chris Bentley)" />&ldquo;There are serious holes in this bill,&rdquo; said Lora Chamberlain, a member of the moratorium coalition.</p><p>In the bill&rsquo;s year-long march towards becoming law, major environmental groups including the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council were given unusual access to a process typically maligned for ignoring such advocacy and consumer groups. Supporters of the bill say scrupulous collaboration with green groups resulted in the nation&rsquo;s toughest regulatory bill. Many of those groups support a moratorium publicly, but offered their guidance during the drafting of the bill rather than be shut out.</p><p>With Quinn on record&nbsp;&ldquo;look[ing] forward to signing the legislation,&rdquo; the groups looking for revisions or an outright ban have an uphill fight. Still, Chamberlain said, it&rsquo;s worth trying.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re doing everything we can,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>As the assembled governors watched the Cincinnati Reds wallop the Cubs Tuesday, activists with <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/risingtide_chi/9022932362/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Rising Tide Chicago unfurled a banner in Wrigley</a> that read &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t Frack [Illinois].&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/risingtide_chi/9022932362/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rising%20tide%20chicago.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 610px;" title="(Rising Tide Chicago)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Chris Bentley writes about the environment. Follow him on Twitter at <a href="http://twitter.com/Cementley" target="_blank">@Cementley</a>.</em></div></p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-06/fracking-bill-quinns-desk-environmental-groups-hold-out-hope-revisions Why does Chicago still have such high gas prices? http://www.wbez.org/news/why-does-chicago-still-have-such-high-gas-prices-107356 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Chicago gas explainer.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It&rsquo;s Memorial Day weekend, which means more people are hitting the road...and slapping their foreheads when they see the price at the pump. Especially in Chicago.</p><p>According to a <a href="http://www.lundbergsurvey.com/csp_c.aspx" target="_blank">recent Lundberg Survey</a> the price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose sharply in the last two weeks because of outages at Midwest and West Coast refineries</p><p>But gas prices in Chicago are often higher than the rest of the country. Higher than New York, Los Angeles &mdash; even Hawaii.</p><p>But why? Chicago isn&rsquo;t far from oil-rich Canada and there&rsquo;s a huge refinery right next door.</p><p>Even longtime Chicagoans don&rsquo;t seem to know why gas is so expensive in the city.</p><p>&quot;I don&rsquo;t know? I think people in high office do what they want and we just have to go with the flow,&rdquo; said Kuri Roundtree, who pulled into a BP gas station at Roosevelt and Wabash in the South Loop earlier this week. &ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s ridiculous. It costs me $70 dollars to fill up my SUV. I&rsquo;m sure I&rsquo;m not the only person complaining about this gas. All of my family members hate going to the gas station.&quot;</p><p>Finding the answer to Chicago&rsquo;s expensive gas mystery is actually not that obvious.</p><p>&ldquo;Chicago is unique for a few different reasons. Even prices outside our region could be going down while our prices are going up,&rdquo; said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.</p><p>DeHaan says many factors that help set gas prices for the entire country are simply out of our control. For starters, the sky high price of crude oil on the global market.&nbsp; Thanks to demand in Asia, turmoil in the Middle East and good ol&rsquo; Mother Nature &mdash; like the flooding we experienced earlier this month.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s nothing really to fix,&rdquo; DeHaan said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s just the way the free market works with gasoline. Prices go up and down.&rdquo;</p><p>Still, if you live in Chicago, it&rsquo;s usually up.</p><p>Another reason for this is the process of refining the crude oil before it gets to the pump.</p><p>There are four refineries that generally serve the Chicago market, including BP&rsquo;s massive refinery in nearby Whiting, Indiana, right across the state border.</p><p>The Whiting refinery has been around longer than there have been automobiles. It was part of John D. Rockefeller&rsquo;s Standard Oil empire in the late 1800s. Of course, it&rsquo;s more expensive now to refine crude oil than it was back then primarily because of environmental regulations.</p><p>You&rsquo;ve probably heard about the cleaner burning &ldquo;summer blend&rdquo; that the Environmental Protection Agency requires for cities like Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;Summer gasoline, or gasoline with a different RVP, is a different formulation. You can&rsquo;t use some of your lighter ends, such as your butanes to add to the volume of the gasoline, because it would evaporate out in the higher temperatures so it is more expensive in the summer,&rdquo; said BP Whiting senior spokesman Scott Dean.</p><p>Unfortunately for Chicago&rsquo;s gas customers, the city&rsquo;s close proximity to the BP Refinery doesn&rsquo;t help much in keeping costs down. Dean says that&rsquo;s not how wholesale pricing works.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s called the rack price,&rdquo; Dean said. &ldquo;The rack price is what the tanker truck driver who may be representing any number of companies, will go, will get the fuel, will pay whatever the rack price of what they&rsquo;ve agreed to. And, the retailer will then determine the final price that they sell on the street.&rdquo;</p><p>Customers may also have a desire to blame gas station owners for the high price of gasoline. But Beth Mosher, spokeswoman for AAA Chicago Motor Club, says it&rsquo;s not their fault.</p><p>&ldquo;Everybody wants to take it out on their local gas station owner why these prices are so high,&rdquo; Mosher said. &ldquo;But the reality is when the prices are this high the profit margins for these gas stations are so thin, they are going to make more from a bag of doritos that they are selling you than they are the gas.&rdquo;</p><p>Mosher says the final factor for high gasoline prices can be pinned on the tax man.</p><p>&ldquo;First and foremost, we have to talk about the high taxes in Chicago,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;About 70 cents on the gallon is what people pay in Chicago for gas taxes, really, really a high number, especially given the statewide average is 49 cents on the gallon.&rdquo;</p><p>Those figures can fluctuate, but that means generally 70 to 90 cents for every gallon of gas pumped in Chicago goes to taxes.</p><p>For example, if gas costs $4.67 a gallon that means 18 cents goes to the federal government; 43 cents for the state. And if you live in Chicago, tack on another 33 cents for Cook County and the city.</p><p>That includes sales and motor fuel taxes, the latter of which goes to pay for roads and bridges and some of the capital projects.</p><p>Although increasingly that money is being diverted to pay for things like pensions.</p><p>Another factor that hits wallets particularly hard is the way all levels of government in Illinois levy sales tax on gasoline purchases. The state of Illinois alone charges 6.25 percent sales tax. Twenty years ago when gas was much cheaper that meant just pennies on the dollar. But now that can be an extra 20 cents or more per gallon since the higher the gas price, the more taxes you pay.</p><p>&ldquo;Most states don&rsquo;t do that. Most states tax only based per unit, per gallon if you will. So, even if the cost goes up, the amount of tax you pay does not go up in terms of your overall cost,&rdquo; said John Tillman, Chief Executive Officer for the Illinois Policy Institute, based in downtown Chicago.</p><p>Last summer, the Institute called for the state sales tax to be changed so it&rsquo;s based on the number of gallons purchased, and not the price. The proposal fell on deaf ears in Springfield.</p><p>Still, if prices aren&rsquo;t coming down anytime soon, what are drivers supposed to do?</p><p>Well, for one thing, we can buy less gas.</p><p>&ldquo;We urge people not to wait for the government to do things but start consolidating your trips and take the L or the Metra train if that&rsquo;s a possibility to you,&rdquo; Mosher said. &ldquo;Do things on your own to start getting better gas mileage out of your car.&rdquo;</p><p>But even if you buy that fuel efficient hybrid or an electric car, drivers still might not be out of the woods when it comes to paying higher gas taxes.</p><p>Lawmakers in Springfield are talking about boosting motor fuel taxes to make up the lost revenue from fuel-efficient cars that use less gas. They may even impose fees on the fuel-efficient vehicles themselves to help fund road repairs.</p><p>One supporter of this proposal is Doug Whitley, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.</p><p>Whitely is also co-chair of the <a href="http://tficillinois.org/" target="_blank">Transportation for Illinois Coalition</a> which has been in Springfield pushing an increase to Illinois&rsquo; motor fuel tax. Although with only one week remaining in the state&rsquo;s spring schedule, he says most lawmakers are focused on issues like pensions, conceal-carry and same-sex marriage.</p><p>&ldquo;The state&rsquo;s capital program to fund construction for roads, bridges and transit falls off the cliff next year. That fiscal cliff we heard about in Washington also exists in Springfield,&rdquo; Whitely told WBEZ this week.</p><p>Whitely explained that the state&rsquo;s fiscal program that started in 2009 will expire in the next fiscal year.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s discussion of how to keep capital dollars flowing to the state and local government and the transit districts so they can continue to build, maintain and modernize and handle their construction needs,&rdquo; Whitely said.</p><p>Whitely said one proposal garnering a lot of attention is the idea of abolishing Illinois&rsquo; 19 cent motor fuel tax and establishing a new sales tax on fuels. A similar plan was just implemented in Virginia.</p><p>&ldquo;The motor fuel tax was last increased 23 years ago and there&rsquo;s no growth in that tax in large part because of the mile-advantages of today&rsquo;s more fuel efficient cars can take advantage of,&rdquo; Whitely said. &ldquo;We already have cars getting 50 miles to the gallon and electric cars, so the motor fuel tax isn&rsquo;t putting the money into the road fund to support construction.&rdquo;</p><p>Another idea is to levy new taxes or registration fees on hybrids and electric cars directly.</p><p>&ldquo;If you have an electric car, you&#39;re really getting away to use the roads but not having to pay much for them,&rdquo; Whitely said.</p><p>Whitely is sympathetic to Chicago area residents who already pay a lot of taxes on gas. &ldquo;But if you want to continue to have transportation systems that are modern, efficient, clean and safe, there&rsquo;s going to be a cost related to that,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>&ldquo;The bottom line is, there is no free lunch.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-393eb71c-d7eb-292a-bd1c-de35c9fd58e4"><em>Michael Puente is WBEZ&#39;s Northwest Indiana bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews">@MikePuenteNews.</a></em></p></p> Fri, 24 May 2013 13:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/why-does-chicago-still-have-such-high-gas-prices-107356 Fuel subsidy cuts spark protests in an already volatile Nigeria http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-12/fuel-subsidy-cuts-spark-protests-already-volatile-nigeria-95497 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-12/nigeria2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On Monday, the Nigerian government announced it would end two decades of fuel subsidies. The actions prompted a nationwide strike in a country already rocked by deadly religious tensions in the north.</p><p>Now, the country’s top oil union - which represents 20,000 oil and gas workers - is threatening to completely shut down oil production if President Goodluck Jonathan doesn’t reverse his decision.</p><p><a href="http://%20http://las.depaul.edu/psc/People/Full-time%20Faculty/Adibe/index.asp" target="_blank">Clement Adibe</a>, a professor of political science at DePaul University, provides analysis. He’s originally from the Niger Delta.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 12 Jan 2012 16:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-12/fuel-subsidy-cuts-spark-protests-already-volatile-nigeria-95497 Worldview 8.30.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-83011 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//episode/images/2011-august/2011-08-30/keystone1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span class="filefield_audio_insert_player" href="/sites/default/files/wv_20110830.mp3" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-114958" player="Default">wv_20110830.mp3</span></p><p>The Keystone XL is a proposed 1,700-mile pipeline that would carry acidic crude oil from Canada’s Alberta tar sands to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. Today, we speak with landowners who oppose the creation of the pipeline, which spurred environmentalists around the country to action. Earlier this month, hundreds marched on the White House to protest the pipeline. Over two hundred people were taken away in handcuffs – including high-profile activists Bill McKibben, Gus Speth and Lietenant Dan Choi. We also consider the ethics and societal implications of the pipeline with Canadian philosopher <a href="http://www.augustana.ualberta.ca/profs/dgoa/" target="_blank">David Goa</a>.</p></p> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 14:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-83011