News Feb 19, 2014 at 4:00 am

Trains Will Pass the Stadiums and Underneath Downtown


Pipelines don't come with these hazards. Connect the Bakken with XL and send it all to Texas.
Here we are with oil dependency a thing of the past and we are at odds with environmentalists who think we don't have enough safety measures in place to transport it. Frying pan into the fire! We finally have enough petroleum resources to sustain our own country and we can't seem to get it together. I agree that the pipeline is the way to go, but that oil is coming from Canada, destined to Texas for refining and export. Our needs are more important than the XL pipeline, not that I think it shouldn't be continued, but the transportation of oil from North Dakota should not be interrupted because of fears of "explosions". Oil has been transported across this country for many years and there have been some catastrophic accidents, but with improvements in equipment and safety measures it has been reduced dramatically. Let the oil flow, we will all be the beneficiaries.
@1, pipelines come with some of the same hazards, plus a few that are all their own.
Big Oil and Big Coal are out to destroy Bellingham and Cherry Point, the home of the Lummi Tribe and site of their sacred burial grounds for generations.
@2: You must not live close to railroad tracks! If not, then I cordially invite you to ride on Amtrak so that you can see all the weak railroad infrastructure that hasn't been updated in DECADES throughout Puget Sound. Add to that BNSF's big plans to expand its existing tracks. Yeah, RIIIIIIIGHT. Where will these "additional tracks" go, when a good stretch of existing ones already run along the shoreline, and / or are at the base of a high bank (can we say mudslides, anybody?)? And HOW did you come to agree that "the pipeline is the way to go"? Big Oil and Big Coal are running on a bad plan with only one goal in sight: record profits. Only THEY would be the "beneficiaries". These corporations couldn't care less about any of us!
This is why the exporting of oil and coal must stopped in its tracks!
@1, you are one stupid motherfucker if you want to risk poisoning the largest aquifer in North America with a pipeline. Fuck. You.
@3, pipelines can't run off the rails.

@4, pipelines will help put big coal out of business. This is a good thing because coal is by far the most environmentally exploitative fuel to extract and the greatest emitter of carbon. As for oil, have you seen all the cars on the road and planes in the air? We're not getting off oil any time soon. We need the infrastructure to transport it safely and efficiently.

The ultimate solution is simple. Tax carbon so that its true environmental cost (climate change) is reflected in its price. This will create incentives for transitioning to cleaner sources of energy.
@5, way to elevate the discussion with your pejoratives.
It would take a massive failure on multiple levels for XL to poison the Ogallala Aquifer to any significant extent. First, the pipeline would have to fail and spill oil. Then the oil would have to migrate (on the order of years to decades) hundreds of feet down through the geological formations to even reach the aquifer. It is reasonable to assume that most, if not all, of the spill would be contained at or near the surface before this occurs.
@8, If you don't have anything substantial to bring to this discussion why don't you just quit while you're behind?
See my comments in 6 if you want to know how we can realistically fight climate change.
I don't have children nor do I plan on having any. Having an American child is one of the most extreme ways to increase one's carbon footprint.
@6: I strongly disagree with your view on oil pipelines! Any continued dependency and burning of fossil fuels is NOT a "good thing"! Pipelines and the unhealthy use of fracking poses a devastating threat to the infrastructure of surrounding communities, the economy, environments, and aquifers! Ask anyone from Aliceville, Alabama, or from North Dakota (where a lot of Bakka crude fracking is taking place), and in Quebec and Alberta, Canada if you don't believe me and haven't seen the destruction from exploding derailed oil rail cars! Now imagine what the same amount in billions of dollars spent in clean up costs COULD have done instead.
@10: Allow me to rephrase. Putting coal out of business is a "net good." Coal emits more than oil, which emits more than gas. Anything that reduces the burning of coal will lead to a net decrease in carbon emissions because it will be replaced with something cleaner.
I'm not sure how you disagree with my view on piplines other than that they facilitate the extraction of petroleum. Without piplines the petroleum industry has little choice but to put their product on the rails. Pipelines mean fewer exploding oil rail cars!
I agree that burning fossil fuels is not a good thing on both a local and global level; however, the economy is not set up to run on any alternatives right now (see all the cars, ships, and planes). That's why we must increase the price of burning carbon via taxation in order to make the alternatives economically competitive. That will help take those billions of dollars away from the fossil fuel industries and into renewables.
Fuck you and everything you love, milosis. "Bring something substantial to the discussion"?

You first, motherfucker.

I'm giving your tired old anti-environmentalist, market fundamentalism EXACTLY the respect it deserves. Someday, even assholes like you will finally realize that there are problems that the almighty market cannot solve.

I hope you live long enough to see the consequences of idiotic views like yours. No carbon tax is going to get the job done in time and it is a tribute to your breathtaking ignorance that you would think that it would.
And, milosis, you asshole, there is a really simple way to increase the price of burning carbon: Keep as much of it in the ground as possible, thereby raising the price of what gets out.

So, if you cared about carbon emissions, which you obviously don't, you motherfucking carbon industry mouthpiece, you would start by keeping some of the dirtiest stuff in the ground. Building pipelines to bring more burnable carbon to market faster and cheaper doesn't do that.

Nor does giving the Koch brothers another billion dollars in profits to use to buy up whatever part of our political system they don't already own.
Any America only carbon restrictions are "feel good" only. You aren't helping the Earth. If we wreak our economy it will slow China's and India's growth some but they are self substantiating now and will not go back to subsistence agricultural economies.
You can rail all you want but unless a Mao or Stalin takes charge of the world nothing much is going to change (except the climate of course).
OK, you said something worth discussing, notfromaroundhere.\

"there is a really simple way to increase the price of burning carbon: Keep as much of it in the ground as possible, thereby raising the price of what gets out."

I agree with you, but you didn't say how you would accomplish this. Are you suggesting international laws that ban production? You and what army are going to enforce them? How do you plan on making sure we keep it in the ground?Raising the price via taxation or other means would keep more of it in ground. Stopping one pipeline in the mid-west will not, especially if they'll just load it on to trains and burn even more carbon transporting it to refineries.

The solution I have proposed is to tax carbon making it so expensive that they will no longer invest any money anywhere in pipelines or fracking or whatever technology they'll try to develop to get the resource. Taxes would bleed the Koch brothers dry for investing in climate destroying activities.

I'm not for free markets; I'm for markets that are highly regulated (with taxes and other means) in order to create incentives for choices which benefit the good of the planet and our species' survival. I am also an environmentalist. We're on the same team, notfromaroundhere. Educate yourself and you'll see that these little fights over pipelines in the midwest are merely the proxy wars in a much larger conflict. It's going to take an internationally cooperative effort on a macroeconomic scale to prevent the worst consequences of our use of carbon. I hope we manage to get our act together in time.
Ansel Herz, crude oil is NOT "explosive" although it is inflammable, or as the word has evloved because people are stupid, "flammable." Please note the distinction for future reference, as this issue is likely to arise again. Consider updating the Stranger's style guide if one exists
Milosis, the pipeline would bring more of one of the dirtiest forms of carbon fuel to market faster and cheaper. That's why the people who own the bitumen want it. Lowering the price of pollution is a bad idea. That should be obvious even to you.

What's more, the U.S. is the fastest-growing oil producer and on track to pass Saudi Arabia and Russia in oil production within the next few years.…

Increasing supply lowers price. That should be obvious even to you.
The Seattle Mariners were all up in arms about the possibility of the Sonics returning and playing in SODO. The Mariners felt it might take away from their profits and traffic would be awful.

I don't hear a peep from the Mariners about the coal trains though. I guess since coal trains don't take away money it doesn't matter.
Notfrom, you are totally missing Milosis. I don't know how Milosis can be more clear. I'm reading both and yes, he's on your side. Absent a real, viable alternative, crude WILL be extracted and transported. Absent a pipeline (so much safer than rolling tankage)crude WILL be transported by rolling stock.
Sooner or later, the world supply of combustable fossil fuels will be exhausted. What sort of economy will we transition into as a replacement for our currently wasteful, environmentally degrading, opulent and oppressively inequitable economy? Of course
it would be better to prepare for this eventuality now rather than later, but the truth is, preventing disaster is always too expensive, and disaster is as profitable as that which causes disaster. Corporate Americans, you halfwit fat ass pigs don't use enough lipstick
to hide behind.
@19 More unconventional oil will be extracted faster with pipelines. Milosis, who like you just registered for this discussion, is an apologist for business as usual.
@6, @11, @15 -- milosis: A carbon tax is just another market method, like the mostly discredited cap and trade. It simply seeks to tweak the price of carbon, and so far where market measures have been implemented, they've been a complete failure. One big reason for thesis that, often there are no alternatives to 'spending' carbon. For example, the vast majority of working people have no choice but to drive to work. A carbon tax does nothing but take money out of their pockets, and changes carbon emissions not one bit. Even more crazy is the idea of a supposedly "revenue neutral" carbon tax, that takes money out of ordinary working people's pockets at the gas pump and checkout line, only to put it back into their pockets at later date.

For further discussion of why carbon tax isn't the panacea some think it is, please see:…. A carbon
@Sertinsa & Milosis: You are both completely clueless capitalist nut jobs.
Good luck on Elysium. You'll need it.
@19, someone is missing the point, but it isn't me. The tar sands companies want the pipeline because it would bring their product to market faster, more cheaply and more profitably.

I do not want one of the world's dirtiest fuels to come to market faster, more cheaply or more profitably. I want the process to be as slow, expensive and unprofitable as possible.

I want the process to be slow to give alternatives more time to develop. I want the process to be expensive to make alternatives even more competitive. And I want the whole process to be less profitable because I do not want to give the Koch brothers another billion dollars in profits with which to buy what they do not already own of our political system.

It's really very simple.

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