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Biden Targets Another US Pipeline For Shutdown After ‘Begging’ Saudis For More Oil

Biden Targets Another US Pipeline For Shutdown After ‘Begging’ Saudis For More Oil

Despite approval ratings in the toilet, President Biden and his administration are reportedly exploring the closure of yet another pipeline in a bid to shift the US away from fossil fuels and appease environmental activists.

The move – shutting down the Line 5 pipeline which links Superior, WI to Sarnia, Ontario, would cost tens of thousands of US jobs, billions of dollars in economic activity, and further exacerbate energy shortages and price increases hitting lower-income Americans the hardest, according to a Thursday letter from 13 House Republicans led by Rep. Bob Latta

Via the Daily Mail

According to the letter, the closure would affect workers across “Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the region,” and would place the environment at greater risk “due to additional trucks operating on roadways carrying hazardous materials.”

Line 5 is part of a network of oil pipes which move approximately 540,000 barrels per day from western Canada to Escanaba, Michigan.

“Furthermore, as we enter the winter months and temperatures drop across the Midwest, the termination of Line 5 will undoubtedly further exacerbate shortages and price increases in home heating fuels like natural gas and propane at a time when Americans are already facing rapidly rising energy prices, steep home heating costs, global supply shortages, and skyrocketing gas prices.”

This comes less than two weeks after the White House begged OPEC to increase oil production amid ‘supply issues’ and soaring energy prices.

It also comes after a weekend which started out with US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm scoffing at the notion of increasing domestic oil production…

…and ended on Sunday with her warning that Americans should expect to pay higher costs to heat their homes this winter – telling CNN‘s “State of the Union”:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russian Vessel Enters German Waters For Last Leg Of Nord Stream 2 Pipelaying

Russian Vessel Enters German Waters For Last Leg Of Nord Stream 2 Pipelaying

Late last week the Biden administration slapped yet more sanctions on Russian entities, including 13 vessels and their owners, which are in the final stretch of laying the Russia to German natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 (said to be well over 90% complete). Just days prior the administration sent contradictory signals when it removed sanctions against the German overseer of the project Nord Stream 2 AG and CEO Matthias Warnig, in an attempt to mend relations with Berlin.

As expected, the conflicting actions has thwarted neither side of the project, as on Monday for the first time the Russian vessel Fortuna began laying pipes in German waters. While the Fortuna itself is under US sanctions, initially put in place under the Trump White House, Germany’s Waterway and Shipping Authority proudly confirmed that it’s begun work on this final section.

Via MarineTraffic.com

“All works are performed in accordance with the available permits,” Nord Stream 2 said a statement, according to Reuters“Fortuna will be working in German waters from May 22 to June 30, having earlier laid pipes in Denmark.”

On the Russian side state energy giant Gazprom has overseen the $11 billion dollar project, and months ago warned that should the US sanctions noose tighten further, the pipeline could see significant delays.

Germany has along with Russia fought back against Washington efforts to see the construction halted, long rejecting US punitive measures as interference in its domestic affairs, but with last Wednesday’s removal of sanctions for the German overseer of the project – this served to drastically ease tensions with Berlin over the matter, with German foreign minister Heiko Maas thanking the Biden administration for doing so.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Nord Stream 2 Operator Warns Warships and Planes Threaten the Russia-Germany Pipeline Project

Nord Stream 2 Operator Warns Warships and Planes Threaten the Russia-Germany Pipeline Project

The US is trying to prevent the project from being completed through sanctions and pressure on Germany.

A senior official from Nord Stream 2 AG, the project company leading the Nord Stream 2 Russia to Germany natural gas pipeline project, has reported an uptick in “provocative” activity from warships and planes in the area where the pipeline is being built.

“Higher activity of naval vessels, airplanes and helicopters and civilian vessels of foreign states is observed in the work area after restarted construction of the offshore segment of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, whose actions are often clearly provocative,” said Nord Stream AG official Andrei Minin, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

Minin said a 1.5-mile safety zone is established around the construction area where vessels are not supposed to enter. “Nevertheless, naval vessels of foreign countries are constantly registered near service ships performing work,” he said, adding that a Polish antisubmarine warfare airplane is “regularly flying around the work area at a small height and closely to the pipelay vessel.”

Minin said in one provocation, an unidentified submarine was above surface within one mile of the pipeclay vessel Fortuna, a ship that was hit with US sanctions on January 19th. Minin said the activity indicates “obviously planned and prepared provocations.” Besides warships and planes, he said fishing vessels have also come dangerously close to the construction area.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been in the crosshairs of the US for years, but despite sanctions and threats, Nord Stream AG reported on Thursday that the project is now 95 percent complete. Construction restarted in December 2020 after being suspended due to threats of US sanctions.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

antiwar.com, nordstream 2, pipeline, germany, russia, united states, poland, dave decamp, economic sanctions

How the Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Actions Changed Their Live

How the Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Actions Changed Their Lives

A year later, three Indigenous youth behind the 2020 BC legislature protests say the real work still lies ahead.

It was the first week of Kolin Sutherland-Wilson’s final semester at the University of Victoria. But he wasn’t there. Instead, on a chilly January morning in 2020, he sat alone on the front steps of the British Columbia legislature, dressed warmly and holding signs that called on provincial leaders to stand with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs opposing the Coastal GasLink project in their traditional territory.

For a week, he spent all day on the steps. MLAs and staff who passed by barely glanced at him.

But soon friends, classmates and community members joined him. The growing group took on bigger actions — a ferry blockade and a sit-in at the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum resources. That ended after 18 hours of occupying the building, with Sutherland-Wilson and 11 others finally carried out by Victoria police.

As the RCMP enforced an injunction on behalf of Coastal GasLink on Wet’suwet’en territory 700 kilometres northwest of Victoria, the group of Indigenous youth and allies known as the Indigenous Youth for Wet’suwet’en ramped up their efforts. In early February, the Indigenous youth locked themselves arm-in-arm at the entrance to the legislature — surrounded at one point by a thousand allies — and stayed overnight for 17 days. They forced the cancellation of B.C.’s throne speech ceremony for the first time in history.

The fountain in front of the building ran red with dye. Words written on upturned Canadian flags declared “Reconciliation is dead.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Game-changing Iranian Pipeline Set To Launch In March

Game-changing Iranian Pipeline Set To Launch In March

The geopolitically game-changing Goreh-Jask pipeline project saw a major advance last week with the commencement last week of offshore pipe-laying operations. The implementation of this operation markets the first stage of the offshore development of the Jask Oil Terminal and, according to the Pars Oil and Gas Company, this offshore section of the early-production phase of the project will be completed with the construction of two 36-inch offshore pipelines running for around 12 kilometres and a single buoy mooring with ancillary equipment. Overall, the company added, the early-production phase of the Jask Oil Terminal Development Project is 70 per cent complete, allowing the project to come online by late March.

After the completion of this first phase of offshore pipeline laying, the Goreh-Jask pipeline will begin full pumping tests aimed at ascertaining its capacity to transfer 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) of light, heavy, and ultra-heavy crude oil through the 1,100 km-long, 46 inch diameter pipeline that runs from the Goreh oil terminal in the north-west Bushehr Province to Mobarak Mount in the western Jask region along the Sea of Oman. This will involve the construction and deployment of 83 42-inch valves relating to the gate, control and emergency shut-off functions in the pipeline project, six smaller pipelines, five pump houses, three stations for receiving and sending pipeline pigs, 10 power stations, 400 kilometres of transmission lines, three single point moorings, subsea pipelines, and a stilling basin.

The initial focus of the oil-transfer chain across the Goreh-Jask pipeline will be the huge oil fields cluster in the West Karoun region, which are the current focus of plans between Iran and China to boost short-term oil production as part of the two countries’ 25-year plan

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

There’s No Stopping The World’s Most Politically Charged Pipeline

There’s No Stopping The World’s Most Politically Charged Pipeline


This week, Denmark granted Gazprom approval for its Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, a project that is set to bring 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas into Europe annually. It is one of the most controversial pipeline projects in the world and is now moving ahead despite strong opposition from multiple EU members and the United States.

The geopolitical tensions surrounding the development of Nord Stream 2 are unprecedented. To begin with, Russia has very poor relations with the Baltic states and Poland, nations who will almost always fight against anything they see as empowering Russia geopolitically. Then there is Ukraine, a nation that is strongly against the pipeline due to its fear of losing the transit fees that it currently charges Russia for exporting gas to Europe. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the United States sees this pipeline as a direct threat to its soft power in Europe as well as a threat to its growing LNG exports.

But for all the politics and attention that this pipeline is attracting, the simple truth of the matter is that Europe, and more specifically Germany, needs this natural gas. Germany plans to shut down all its nuclear reactors by 2022. Many have questioned the wisdom—and some even the sanity—of that decision, but it remains government policy. The generation capacity the is being lost in that sector will need to be replaced, in the short term at least, by natural gas.

Despite its green reputation, Germany is a country that generates a surprisingly large portion of its total energy from coal. Its total installed coal-fired capacity is close to its solar capacity, at 44.9 GW, versus 47.9 GW for solar. At today’s growth rates, it’s current solar and wind capacity will not be enough to replace the retired nuclear plants.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Coastal GasLink an Illegal Pipeline?

Is Coastal GasLink an Illegal Pipeline?

Challenge to energy project’s approval brings threats to Smithers activist.

The $6.2-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline may face a bigger threat than the opposition of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and protests across Canada.

Smithers resident Michael Sawyer says the project lacks the required federal approvals. He has filed a formal application to require a full National Energy Board (NEB) review.

Last fall the board agreed to consider Sawyer’s challenge.

In April it will hear final arguments on the question of whether the pipeline falls under provincial jurisdiction, or if it is subject to NEB rules and assessments.

That would bring delays and “put real, tangible benefits to people in B.C., including First Nations, at risk,” said pipeline owner TransCanada Corp., rebranded this week as TC Energy.

The B.C. government’s Environmental Assessment Office approved the contentious 670-kilometre pipeline in 2014.

The project would move fracked methane from northeastern B.C. and northwestern Alberta to the $40-billion LNG Canada export terminal in Kitimat.

Sawyer, a 61-year-old environmental consultant, said the prospect of a NEB regulatory review should have been considered by the B.C. Supreme Court before it issued an injunction that led to RCMP action against two Indigenous checkpoints this week.

“I wonder if TransCanada disclosed information to the judge about this jurisdictional challenge before it asked him to grant the injunction against the blockade,” he said. “The fact is that the RCMP enforced the injunction in an over-the-top manner for a pipeline that may be deemed illegal and whose permits could be quashed.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Judy Wilson’s Message for Canadians: ‘The Land Defenders Are Doing This for Everybody’

Judy Wilson’s Message for Canadians: ‘The Land Defenders Are Doing This for Everybody’

RCMP raids in Wet’suwet’en territory can’t bring justice, reconciliation or a better future, Neskonlith chief says.

The Tyee reached out to Wilson to talk about RCMP action against pipeline protesters in the Wet’suwet’en nation in northwest B.C. because of her extensive involvement with government and industries and her long history of environmental advocacy. The interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

What are your thoughts on how governments are responding to the RCMP action in the Wet’suwet’en territory?

I was just reading Premier [John] Horgan’s response to the Unist’ot’en, and I think he was trying to stay on the middle ground. He mentioned the bands who signed these agreements [to allow the pipeline], but to me, the issue is clearly about the hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs. They are the proper titleholders to their unceded territory, and they already made a decision. They said no pipelines in their territory.

As for Trudeau, I don’t think he’s really responded. It’s concerning that on one hand he talks about truth and reconciliation, he talks about implementing UNDRIP [the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People] and has supported Bill C-262, which is about implementation — and then he’s using forceful, militarized RCMP to remove people and arrest them at Unist’ot’en and Wet’suwet’en territory. He’s speaking contradictorily, and he’s actually in violation of some of the conventions that he signed at the United Nations.

You called for Canadians to ‘stand with land defenders.’ How can they do that?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Ins and Outs of Israel’s Pipeline to Europe.

The Ins and Outs of Israel’s Pipeline to Europe.

Israel announced a major pipeline project from the gas fields off its shore involving four countries, terminating in northern Italy.  The EastMed Pipeline could be one of the longest in history as well as one of the most technically difficult to pull off.

eastmed pipeline

The deal was announced on World Israel News a few days ago and has been in negotiation for a couple of years now.

It’s being billed as a counter to both Arab and Russian power but that’s not really true.  This will supposedly deliver 20 bcm annually to Cyprus, Greece and Italy and come at a significant cost because of the challenge of it.  But the first train will be 10 bcm according to IGI Poseiden’s website, the company building the pipeline.  10 bcm is similar in size to the Southern Gas Corridor bringing gas in from Azerbaijan.

The agreement has been some two years in the works, with the four countries’ energy czars signing a memorandum of understanding regarding the pipeline in December 2017. It is considered a technically difficult project to complete not only because of the depth of the undersea route, but also because it will have to pass through a volcanic area in the ocean bottom between Cyprus and Greece.

No discussion of cost was in the announcement.

It was all about the politics.  But, the politics of this is Kabuki theatre.  The Russians don’t care about more pipelines to Italy, now that Turkstream is ongoing and Europe’s gas needs are accelerating.

This is a European Union project developed by IGI Poseidon under the auspice of the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility program.  The EU is footing a lot of the bill for this.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Forget Nordstream 2, Turkstream is the Prize

Forget Nordstream 2, Turkstream is the Prize

While the Trump Administration still thinks it can play enough games to derail the Nordstream 2 pipeline via sanctions and threats, the impotence of its position geopolitically was on display the other day as the final pipe of the first train of the Turkstream pipeline entered the waters of the Black Sea.

The pipe was sanctioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who shared a public stage and held bilateral talks afterwards.  I think it is important for everyone to watch the response to Putin’s speech in its entirety.  Because it highlights just how far Russian/Turkish relations have come since the November 24th, 2015 incident where Turkey shot down a Russian SU-24 over Syria.

When you contrast this event with the strained and uninspired interactions between Erdogan and President Trump you realize that the world is moving forward despite the seeming power of the United States to derail events.

And Turkey is the key player in the region, geographically, culturally and politically.  Erdogan and Putin know this.  And they also know that Turkey being the transit corridor of energy for Eastern Europe opens those countries up to economic and political power they haven’t enjoyed in a long time.

The first train of Turkstream will serve Turkey directly.  Over the next couple of years the second train will be built which will serve as a jumping off point for bringing gas to Eastern and Southern Europe.

Countries like Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Serbia and Slovakia are lining up for access to Turkstream’s energy.  This, again, is in stark contrast to the insanely expensive Southern Transport Corridor (STC) pipeline set to bring one-third the amount of gas to Italy at five times the initial cost.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Canada’s Pipeline Industry Takes Another Hit

Canada’s Pipeline Industry Takes Another Hit


Another oil pipeline in Canada bites the dust. TransCanada announced last week that it would scrap its plans to build a 2,800-mile major pipeline that would traverse nearly the entire country, closing off a crucial potential export route for Canada’s oil sands.

The $15 billion Energy East pipeline would have carried 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Alberta to Canada’s eastern coast for refining and export. It faced significant opposition from communities affected along the pipeline’s route, but TransCanada had been confident that it could overcome those hurdles.

More recently, however, top Canadian regulators decided that the pipeline would need to face an assessment of the project’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions, a review that TransCanada fiercely opposed. Ultimately, it appears that the Canadian pipeline company shelved the project in light of the heightened environmental scrutiny.

Canada’s pipeline industry cried foul, blaming the government for regulatory uncertainty. “The common thread here is that Canada generally has displayed an unwelcoming policy environment and an uncertain approval process,” Explorers and Producers Association of Canada president Gary Leach, told the Financial Post, citing other billion-dollar projects that have been cancelled in the past year. “For Canada, I think this is a blow. We are deluding ourselves if we think Canada is a place with a stable, predictable investment climate.”

The lack of pipeline capacity is why so much onus has been put on Keystone XL, a pipeline that has been in limbo for the better part of a decade.

But the problem for TransCanada is that Energy East was always going to be a heavier lift than other projects. While some blame regulators for the death of Energy East, others see changing market conditions behind TransCanada’s decision to pull the plug. The project ran into trouble when oil prices cratered in 2014. Also, even with Keystone XL blocked, there are other projects that are more attractive than Energy East.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Which is Worse: A Busted Pipeline or a Politician with a Case of the Do-Somethings?

Which is Worse: A Busted Pipeline or a Politician with a Case of the Do-Somethings?

gasoline pump

Economists have a grumbling and cynical stereotype. This might be because even the most basic economic principles are ignored by those who should know better and vehemently denied by those who don’t.

Case in point: a restricted supply of gasoline is expected across the Eastern United States because of a busted pipeline, and state governors enact price ceilings to keep the price of gasoline artificially low.

In Alabama, Governor Bentley forbade “unconscionable prices for the sale of any commodity” in his State of Emergency proclamation.

Governor Deal did the same in Georgia. The Georgia Consumer Protection Bureau even has a Price Gouging Form, for citizens to tattle on other citizens for providing a good that is in more limited supply than usual. The website says, “Businesses may not sell motor fuel products, including gasoline, at prices higher than the prices at which those same products were offered before the declaration of the State of Emergency.”

Even first-year economics students know that when the price of a good is set arbitrarily low by government decree, the quantity demanded is greater than the quantity supplied. In other words, a shortage emerges.

The Function of Market Prices

Market prices are the result of an agreement between buyers and sellers of a good. All of the information deemed relevant by those buying and selling is incorporated into their preferences for the good. Sellers want higher prices and buyers want lower prices, but both are constrained. Buyers must outbid other buyers if they want it enough and sellers must underbid other sellers to attract buyers.

If the total stock of some good increases, buyers are only willing to pay lower prices and sellers, too, are willing to accept lower prices. This is because of the law of diminishing marginal utility. Additional units of a good must necessarily go toward the satisfaction of less urgent ends.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A carbon tax is bad for Alberta

A carbon tax is bad for Alberta

Rachel-Notley-Sworn-In-2015Yesterday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley asserted that Canada was “absolutely” closer to a new pipeline due to her province’s new carbon tax. According to the premier, “Alberta is not the Alberta that they thought of a year ago, or two years ago, or three years ago. After years of inaction from the previous government, Alberta is now at the forefront in the fight against climate change.”

How does a carbon tax moderate climate change andlead to the construction of one or more proposed pipelines linking oil extraction activities in Fort McMurray to the Atlantic Ocean, the northern coast of British Columbia and an export terminal near Vancouver? An understanding of economics helps to answer that question.

The new carbon tax takes effect on January 1, 2017. The initial tax will be $20 per tonne, rising to $30 in 2018. According to the provincial government, the carbon tax is the key tool to help pay for a more diversified economy. Conspicuous by its absence is an explanation of how planned wealth redistribution improves the delivery of energy, the consumption of which the government is actively trying to discourage in view of mitigating global temperature changes.

Carbon is a chemical element common to all known life on our plant. It is non-sentient and does not experience gain or loss. Carbon does not and cannot pay taxes. Only individuals can be compelled to do so. The individuals to be dispossessed of their earnings with government’s new policy, and at what rate, can be clearly identified. With few exceptions, they include consumers in Alberta of diesel (5.35¢/litre), gasoline (4.49¢/litre), natural gas ($1.011/GJ) and propane (3.08¢/litre). Cutting through politician-speak: Taxing carbon means taxing people.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NEB approves Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement

NEB approves Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement

Conditions include consultation with First Nations

Enbridge is proposing to replace its Line 3 pipeline from Hardisty, Alta., to Superior, Wis. If approved, it will approximately double the amount of oil shipped daily.

Enbridge is proposing to replace its Line 3 pipeline from Hardisty, Alta., to Superior, Wis. If approved, it will approximately double the amount of oil shipped daily. (Canadian Press)

The National Energy Board will allow Enbridge to replace an aging pipeline across the Prairie provinces as long as the company meets 89 conditions.

The federal government must now make a decision on the project.

Enbridge wants to spend $7.5 billion to replace its Line 3 pipeline, which stretches 1,660 kilometres from Hardisty, Alta., to Superior, Wis.

The pipeline is currently operating at about half capacity after the company voluntarily reduced pressure because of reliability concerns.

“The Enbridge Line 3 project is in the Canadian public interest and is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects,” said Robert Steedman, the NEB’s chief environmental officer.

As part of the NEB’s decision, Enbridge must develop a plan for Aboriginal groups to participate in monitoring construction.

Several groups oppose the pipeline project, including First Nations and environmental groups in Manitoba and Minnesota. The company has already delayed its expected completion date from 2017 to 2019 because of the regulatory process in Minnesota.

“The hearing panel believes there is an important opportunity at this juncture for Enbridge to renew, and in some cases, improve its relationship with Aboriginal groups,” said Steedman.

The project will be subject to the federal government’s new environmental assessment process, which was announced in January.

The upgrade would allow the line to pump a maximum of 760,000 barrels per day, up from the 390,000 barrels it is currently able to move.

Line 3 already has presidential approval, but the replacement project must undergo separate permitting processes in the U.S. before construction can begin.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Saudi war for Yemen oil pipeline is empowering al-Qaeda, IS

Secret cable and Dutch government official confirm that Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen is partly motivated by an ambitious US-backed pipeline fantasy

Nearly 3,000 civilians have been slaughtered and a million displaced in Saudi Arabia’s noble aerial bombardment of Yemen, which is backed by the United States and Britain.

Over 14 million Yemenis face food insecurity – a jump of 12 percent since June 2015. Out of these, three million children are malnourished. And across the country, an estimated 20 million people cannot safely access clean water.

The Saudi air force has systematically bombed Yemen’s civilian infrastructure in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. An official UN report to the Security Council leaked last month found that the Saudis have “conducted airstrikes targeting civilians and civilian objects … including camps for internally displaced persons and refugees; civilian gatherings, including weddings; civilian vehicles, including buses; civilian residential areas; medical facilities; schools; mosques; markets, factories and food storage warehouses; and other essential civilian infrastructure, such as the airport in Sanaa, the port in Hudaida and domestic transit routes.”

US-made cluster bombs have been dropped on residential areas – an act that even the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon tepidly concedes “may amount to a war crime”.

In other words, Saudi Arabia is a rogue state. But make no mistake. This kingdom is our rogue state.

The US and British governments supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons to be unleashed on Yemeni civilians pretend they are not involved in the war, not responsible for the war crimes of our rogue state ally.

A UK Ministry of Defence spokesperson insisted that British forces were merely advising “on best practice targeting techniques … UK military personnel are not directly involved in Saudi-led coalition operations.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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