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One big concern surrounding end-pit lakes is that the contaminated water will spread through the boreal ecosystem, the tract of trees and marshland that stretches around the top of the world from Canada to Russia and Scandinavia. Boreal forests store almost twice as much carbon as tropical forests.

A train hauling crude oil caught fire in Canada sparking debate about reliability.

Rail safety has become a central issue in Canada since the July disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, when a runaway train carrying crude oil exploded in the center of the lakeside town, killing 47 people.

But in contrast to Lac-Megantic, where the explosions razed dozens of buildings in the center of town, pictures from near Gainford showed Saturday’s fire was burning alongside a road in open country, with fields and forests on either side.

Still, Gainford residents were asked to leave their homes because of the risk of another explosion, and Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) said the evacuation would continue for as long as needed – up to 72 hours. The main east-west highway traversing central Alberta was also closed.

In other words - pipelines really are the safer bet… Via Al Jazeera America

Mary Harf: Keystone XL Pipeline “…approval has no timeline.”

Globe and Mail claims it’s the largest spill in North America. It’s also the third major leak in Alberta, including one burst pipeline that spilled nearly one million gallons of oil in May 2012.

Also of interest, the company didn’t report the spill until a citizen reported it to a local TV station. 

Nanos Research conducted the poll and they’re pretty legit. Via WSJ.

For background, check out my Keystone XL Pipeline and Oil tags.

You can read the EPA’s letter, here. Via LATimes

For background, check out my Keystone XL Pipeline and Oil tags.

There isn’t enough capacity to refine both the Canadian oil and the Venezuelan oil," said professor Erick Langer, director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University and an expert on Venezuelan politics.

"So if the pipeline is built, then Venezuela might be up a creek without a paddle, because they won’t have anywhere else to refine the oil.
Can Rail Fill the Gap if Keystone XL Pipeline isn’t Approved?" Thoughtful round-up and analysis via one of my favorite sites, Planetizen. Did not realize 40% of Venezuelan oil is shipped and refined in Texas.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Canada’s conservative government, which has been pressing the Obama Administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, has come under sharp criticism for allegedly muzzling Canadian government scientists who talk about the pipeline, climate change and other controversial topics.

The Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria released a report called “Muzzling Civil Servants: A Threat to Democracy" that documents the ways in which Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s administration has prevented public scientists from speaking freely about their research.

The Law Centre and Democracy Watch, a leading Canadian public accountability group, have requested an official inquiry into whether these practices violate Canada’s Open Government laws.

It seems a foreign oil company dictated to John Kerry and Mr. Obama how, when, and why they should approve the oil pipeline. For more, see here.

Seems like a case of regulatory capture:

Regulatory capture occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or special concerns of interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating.

Regulatory capture is a form of government failure, as it can act as an encouragement for firms to produce negative externalities. The agencies are called “captured agencies”. Via:

Looks like the line is going to be approved.

“I can guarantee you that it will be fair and transparent, accountable, and we hope that we will be able to be in a position to make an announcement in the near term,” Kerry said of the proposed Alberta-to-Texas pipeline.

“I don’t want to pin down precisely when, but I assure you, in the near term,” he added.

The State Department is heading the federal review of TransCanada Corp.’s proposed pipeline to bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries. Via The Hill

How to build a pipeline? State Department’s Environmental Impact Statement includes cartoonish graphic seemingly made for children.

The Keystone XL Pipeline will deliver billions of gallons of oil from Alberta, Canada to coastal refineries in Texas. The oil will be pumped through one very long pipeline, and will most likely be sold to foreign countries.

Thousands of people’s properties have been ‘condemned’ to build this line. It spans two countries, several states, and countless forests, farms, suburbs, Indian reservations, cities, rivers, lakes, and mountains. The above cartoon is a ridiculous, nefarious joke. Obama is expected to approve the line in coming months.

Next steps: Another round of public comments, then revisions to the EIS, then (I believe) to Obama’s desk for signature.