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Who’s Insuring the Trans Mountain Pipeline?

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/04/whos-insuring-trans-mountain-pipeline

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Insuring the future of our Planet with pollution to our air and water.

And insuring the continued decline of the human race.

Why would anyone invest in Death?


When GHG emissions measured as it relates to the burning of hydrocarbons from the tarsands regions of North Eastern Alberta , as bad as those numbers are it only scratches the surface.

Natural Gas is and other fuels are used in great quantity in order to exploit that resource, this including the process used to make the bitumen semi fluid so it can be transported by pipeline. Added to this tens of thousands of acres of carbon sink are being destroyed in the way of forests being removed and peat bogs drained and stripped away , this adding to yet more emissions.

In conventional oil fields such as in Saudi Arabia or Texas or Central Alberta , the amount of energy extracted to make per barrel of oil is about 25 to 1 when measured against the amount of energy needed to extract that oil.

With Tarsands crude it about 2 5 to one. With tarsands crude using steam injection it about 2 to 1. According to a study if all other factors considered (cost to transport to market refining and the like) the return is about 1 to 1 many as much energy burned off to get that barrel of tarsands crude as that barrel of tarsands crude will produce.


Basically a make work project at this stage of collapse - to maintain the illusion that we are not, in fact, collapsing.

If Yuval Noah Harari is right in his book “Sapiens” - the modern economy is predicated and sustained only by a belief that things will get better in the future (Chapter 16).

I think sooner rather than later that belief will begin to fade, then it will basically disappear.

The ultimate insurer is we the people - as it always has been.

Are all your staff American?
Do all your staff hate Canada?
Do all your staff hate Canadians?
Do all your staff enjoy telling Canadians what to do on our way to hell?
I am no big fan of Alberta’s GHG policy but it is a minor issue versus the biggies of the USA and China. Canada has one of the lowest carbon electricity generation systems in the world. The USA doesn’t… and then there is China… and India

Sorry but your data are not accurate. Most of your numbers are not even close or just plain deceptive with respect to GHG/barrel. Maybe 40 years ago the numbers were a bit closer…
Google “Where is the Permian basin”.
United States is the world’s largest producer of crude oil. Saudi Arabia? Russia? Nope.

I was talking about energy used to extract a barrel of oil from the tarsands versus the energy that barrel produces. This is called EROI.

I did not mention the amount of oil produced by Texas or Saudi arabia at all. It had nothing to do with my post.


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What is the current EROI for Texas Permian crude? 25:1? Nope.
EROI does not account for the source of energy. NG produces energy at much lower GHG output. So why don’t you quote CO2e/barrel? EROI is deceptive with respect to GHG.
Even this data are old (only to 2025):
Energy Return on Investment of Canadian Oil Sands Extraction from 2009 to 2015

  • May 2017
  • Energies 10(5):614
    This paper focuses on EROI analysis for both in situ oil sands and mining oil sands over the period of 2009 to 2015. This time period represents an extension to periods previously considered by other analyses. An extended Input-Output model is used to quantify indirect energy input, which has been ignored by previous analyses of oil sands extraction. Results of this paper show that EROI of both mining oil sands (range of value: 3.9–8) and in situ oil sands (range of value: 3.2–5.4) display an upward trend over the past 7 years; EROI of mining oil sands is generally higher, but is more fluctuating than the EROI of in situ oil sands. Compared with EROI of other hydrocarbons, the EROI of oil sands is still quite low, despite the fact that it is increasing gradually.

EROI on conventional oils even today is exponentially higher then tarsands oil. You know that but chose to distort that.


The current Texas permian crude resorts to fracking and other such measures which is very different then conventional techniques. When I stated CONVENTIONAL in my original post i meant exactly that and not the more energy intensive measures used today.

Added to that as I mentioned conventional sources I pointed out that to get tarsands oil one has to destroy the forest and peat bogs that are in that area to get to that oil. You do not need to do this with conventional wells.

Peat bogs are one the most efficient ways of storing carbon in the world and North East Alberta is covered with peat bogs. When a peat bog was destroyed 50 years ago, it had as much an impact on GHG emissions as today. There no advances that are making the removal of peat bogs have less on impact on GHG emissions.

This peat bog destruction is in addition to the removal of the forests in that area which again store carbon.

So far some 1 percent of the tarsands area has been declared restored and they have been mining that since the late 1960’s.


Here we go again. “Exponentially higher” generally means at least 10^1=10 times higher. It isn’t. We covered that already but lets get more specific:
-Your EROI numbers are wrong
-EROI is the wrong metric to use in the first place

Let’s actually use your reference even though most of the data in it is ~10 years old:
“The EROI for discovering oil and gas in the US has decreased from more than 1000:1 in 1919 to 5:1 in the 2010s, and for production from about 25:1 in the 1970s to approximately 10:1 in 2007”
Check out Figure 5 and Table 1 ibid.

2007? That is before fracking even got warmed up. Care to update your presented data with other scientific references? The crude oil production in the USA peaked in 1970 when conventional crude production peaked. Throw away the 50 year old glasses.

Please do modern data comparisons rather than obfuscate real issues with EROI versus GHG emissions. (Most of the GHGs are generated by driving the vehicle anyway).

Actually, Figure 2 in your reference scares the hell out of me. Does the massive EROI for coal mean that we should use more coal because of its much higher EROI? I hope you are not arguing for a high EROI being “good” or “better”.
“Coal internationally has a mean EROI of about 46:1” ibid

Now you want to switch to peat bogs and trees. Well, I guess you must be more po’d at Ireland and Indonesia. I am. When a country can drop CO2e emissions from electricity generation by ~6% just by switching from peat to coal makes me shake my head. Check out Ireland’s electricity fuel mix. Yes, they dig up peat and burn it to make electricity… lots if it.

Draining and burning peat bogs to plant palm oil plantations on such a scale that on some days exceeded the CO2e emissions of all the indusry in the USA and created a permanent cloud cover for thousands of square miles… go Indonesia!

Alberta bog destruction as meaningful? Nope. Check out satellite photos of the forest fire areas near Fort McMurray on the same map scale. Don’t even try to pass it off to me as “Forest fires are natural”.

A hint: Read your own references. Look at the dates in the reference.
Another hint: Do not believe everything someone puts in some press or internet article.

I have been a bit hard on you. You did dig out a scientific reference in an attempt to support of your premise. This puts you in the top ?2?% (my guess). I urge you to keep challenging and figure things out for yourself.

What complete and utter rubbish

No one hates Canada. Most of us hate that dirty oil and the fact that transporting it through the states, risks massive environmental damage.

I never stated that coal should be used because it has a higher EROI. Stop with trying to put works in my mouth.

EROI and GHG emissions are very different things and both are reasons a given fuel source should not be used. Tarsands oil has a double whammy , that being high GHG and a low EROI. There a reason tarsand oil sold at a discount .

That ireland or Indonesia both destroy peat bogs is besides the point. Just because John shits in the drinking water does not mean Sally should. Peatbogs are one of the most efficient carbon stores on Earth and North east Alberta is filled with them. When you destroy them you destroy a carbon sink. That ireland or some other Country does the same does not change that.

As to GHGs overall Canada is still in the top five with emissions per capita. Not Indonesia. Not China.


This demonstrates direct emissions per capita. This does NOT include emissions due to land use such as destruction of forests and peat bogs. When that number is factored in Canada saw an increase of emissions per capita of 35 percent since 1990. Contrast that to Norway which saw an increase of 2 percent.

70 percent of all emissions are related to Energy worldwide with the next largest chunk being taken up by Agriculture. If Canada is among the top 5 per capita GHG emitters and 70 percent of that energy related do not give me crap that the oil somehow clean.

Were it not for the reliance on Tarsands oil and the expansion of the same Canada would fare far better on decreasing emissions per capita.

This final link references GHG emissions including “land use” as referenced above


Note that in this list the USA saw less in increase then did Canada in emissions per capita since 1990. It is not marginally less. Canada did not become “colder” nor did its population explode at 30 times the rate of the USA. The major contributor to this was expansion of the tarsands as an energy source.

We should be striving to be among the best when it comes to Climate change and GHG emissions in Canada and not pointing to Countries that perform the worst as a reference point.

I thought I was quite clear in showing EROI was a fallacious metric within any GHG discussion. Your own references said your presented data was wrong. Your premise was wrong based on data in your own references.
Now you jump to another fallacious metric of CO2e per capita.

Whoa. Wait a minute. You are not interested in a discussion of facts. You just didn’t read your references.
Who are you anyway…
14.1k topics viewed
240k posts read
8.3k posts created

You have read 240,000 posts? Really?
You have created 8,300 posts? Wow?

You must be either an automated bot generating comments or are being paid to flog some prepackaged, preprogrammed political ‘sell sheet’.

Fool me once…

You are here deliberately to troll.

I am discussing two issues. GHG emissions and EROI. WTF are you demanding I talk only about one of those issues when it comes to tarsands oil?

You are another of those paid shills that are sent by Governments and industry to come around to forums likes this and spread disinformation. It is why you only commented on one issue out of literally thousands of issues posted on common dreams.

I gave you the facts and the links and you are NOT interested in them. All the Scientific article I link to you deem fallacious. You have not disputed any of those numbers you just dismiss it as “fake news” like another idiot we all know.

You guys all fit the same pattern. There literally thousands of topics here on Common Dreams from Poverty to racism, from the COVID outbreak to Climate change, from Wealth inequality to Military spending and you come here to speak to ONE issue , one issue only and get an avccount just to do that. Nothing else interested you except this pipeline.

This demonstrates clearly that it is YOU that is hired by industry to come here and champion them. That is exactly how trolls such as yourself operate.

Go collect your dirty money troll. Tell your handlers that people on Common dreams do not buy your swill.

I am a retired research engineer and am named on a dozen and a half patents with the last few on the conversion of forest wastes to energy products. I have read, and understand, many/most of the IPCC Technical Reports since Rio.

I have solid scientific and technical credibility on real issues while you have proven yourself to have the technical credibility of a typist.

I am not paid by anybody. You, on the other hand, are paid to post inaccurate pablum which poisons any reasonable discussion.

I was led to Common Dreams by a news article on TMX (which runs within 10 km of where I live). I posted in an attempt to correct egregious and deceptive errors of fact that you made. What I did not realise was that you were being paid to spread this garbage. I have no intention of discussing facts with a paid hack.

You are a fraud. You resorted to ad hominem attacks because you could not derail the thread as you intended to do. You sir are the paid hack. The reason I have thousands of posts on any number of topics is because there more that interests me in the progressive community then a pipeline from Alberta .

We have had your type from the Nuclear Industry, from Monsanto and from Israel and the like before. We even had one of your types sign up for an account to claim he lived in Bolivia and that there was no Coup there when Morales thrown out by the military.

Tarsands oil , is dirty oil no matter how much you try and defend it. The Government of Alberta has done little to nothing to address GHG (they still burn coal to make energy) and are doubling down on tarsands oil. Peat bogs and forests store carbon. When they are destroyed this Carbon is released into the atmosphere.

Every person that is genuine knows this. Only a fraud would suggest otherwise.

Wow! Some little thing we agree on. J. Kenney is moving backwards not forwards. Notley was, at least, moving forward.

I am Canadian and am not affiliated with any company, government agency, advocate group or policy organisation other than a Professional Engineer licencing association.

You avoided, again, answering the key question: Are you paid to post comments?

People do NOT just come across an article from Common Dreams if they have never been to that site before or if they have never visited that site before unless someone makes them aware that said article exists. I am also a Canadian. I was born in Alberta and that Government , whether run by Kenney or Notley are in the pockets of big oil.

If they had stuck to lougheeds original plan for the heritage trust fund, they would have a pool of Capital of 892 billion dollars in that fund. Instead they gave handouts to the Oil industry and that fund sits at 18 billion.

Norway has 1.2 trillion in theirs.

In the time Norway started pumping out oil they have increased GHG emissions per captia 2 percent. Canada has increased theirs by 35 percent. This does not reflect kindly on Alberta.

Tarsands oil has to be abandoned as an energy source and Governments should stop subsidizing that dead end industry. This starts by not building that pipeline.

The reason I post here is because progressive issues interest me and unlike you I do not make money off the energy industry. I am not “paid to post” as you are.