Diamond’s perverse pipeline

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We can harness free sunlight and wind energy or we can continue wrecking the planet … but we are running out of time!

California produced so much solar power January – March 2017, it paid Arizona and other states to take excess electricity to avoid overloading its power lines. By 2020, California will get half its electricity without greenhouse gas emissions.

Diamond has other plans for us. “Safe and reliable access to domestically produced crude oil is a critical component of our country’s energy security. I support fueling American energy independence with the Diamond Pipeline. Without pipelines like Diamond, many American refineries would rely upon foreign sources of oil.” Let’s dig in before signing the Diamond petition.

What Diamond says between the lines

Pipelines are safe, crude massive spills never happen and cleanup and restoration is a piece of cake, locals can do it. We’ve got to have oil, the climate emergency is a hoax; oil is the best source of energy, and domestic oil production is great for America. The world is running out of oil, Saudi Arabia and oil-producing countries threaten the American way of life. In Diamond’s view, our nation is in a desperate situation: we need to drill the Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, and our National Parks and monuments. Fracking is the way to go, ignoring all else. Mining mountains for frack-sand, using toxic chemicals, massive energy, frack-sand, and millions of gallons of fresh water, are minor issues. “Produced water” coming out of the wells is great to de-ice and clean roads. Transporting and injecting wastewater water creates thousands of jobs. Earthquakes near Cushing, Okla., are natural events. Extreme levels of chromium six in drinking water are naturally present in the Norman, Okla., aquifer. Why would anyone believe what Diamond says?

How much is a barrel of oil?

Oil is a commodity traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange and other international centers. The price of oil is determined primarily by supply and demand. If the supply of oil increases, the price of oil will decrease. Oil prices have great variability. In July 2008, a barrel of oil was trading as high as $133, while in January 2016 it was under $30.

The cost of extracting a barrel of oil is unrelated to the price of oil. The cost to extract a barrel of oil in 2016 was around $36 for the U.S. and $10 for Saudi Arabia.

To make a profit, the cost to extract a barrel of oil, plus the costs of storage and transportation (the total cost per barrel), must be less than the price per barrel.

Destroying the American Economy

A January 2017 study found that at $50 per barrel, about half of U.S. oil isn’t a good investment until state and federal governments sweeten the deal with corporate giveaways. Using taxpayers’ money, frackers are trashing the planet and the U.S. democracy. It takes about 10 years from the time a shale play is explored to the time oil flows in new pipelines. Investment banks, Wall Street, Diamond, and everyone involved in the exploration, extraction, storage, and transportation takes an early cut.

How long can this go on before the fracking bubble bursts? A June 2017 report The folly of oil fracking investing says, “We do not think the fracking industry is profitable at current oil price levels. Only the willingness of investors and lenders to finance cash-burning operations keeps frackers afloat.”

Diamond was built only to profit PAA and Valero

Let’s talk about snakes. The British government was concerned about the number of cobras in Delhi. The Brits offered a bounty for every dead cobra. Initially, this was a successful strategy. Eventually, people began to breed cobras for the income. When the government became aware, the reward program was scrapped, causing cobra breeders to set the worthless snakes free. The cobra population increased. The apparent solution to the problem made the snake glut even worse.

Avoiding false solutions

The climate emergency will not be solved with pipelines. Diamond is part of the problem. Diamond must be stopped.

Dr. Luis Contreras

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