Press "Enter" to skip to content

McDowell Misguided on Energy, Misaligns Me with Middle East

Big Oil lapdog Mike McDowell says that, in my opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, I'm in league with sheiks and dictators. He throws around his same stale wishful thinking that increased oil prices from Keystone XL are "not a certainty." He even celebrates (in a Daniel Yergin commentary completely cut and pasted into McDowell's blog post) all the extra fossil fuels we can blast surfaceward by fracking.

My breakfast responses:

  1. Sheiks hate me. I advocate getting us off our oil addiction completely by focusing on alternative energy and conservation. You've heard of those things, haven't you, Mike? Those are the ways the Rural Learning Center cut energy bills for its new Maroney Center in half. Such savings reduce consumption, lower energy prices, and extend our domestic supplies. Sheiks hate all that. (They also hate infidels like me.)
  2. Additionally, Mike and I have already discussed this: not one drop of Keystone XL is going to be used in America. TransCanada's honchos refuse to guarantee that it will.
  3. Keystone XL will raise oil prices. TransCanada and everyone in the market is counting on that.
  4. Fracking: oh, yeah, that thing that the EPA just announced may pollute groundwater. You bet, Mike. Crank open that spigot. Destroying our water supply is so much more intelligent than using less energy.


  1. Curt 2011.12.12

    I have been around long enough to see blood spilled for oil. I won't make it long enough to see blood spilled over potable water. It is coming and will be uglier that blood for oil.

  2. Douglas Wiken 2011.12.12

    SDPB-Radio this afternoon had a few interesting comments related to water and oil.

    California farmers can make more money by selling water rights to cities than by actual farming. There are now something like 13 rivers in the world that no longer put a drop of water into the oceans because all the water is used up before water gets to ocean.

    Shipping wheat to Arabia is much like trading water for oil. I am not sure my calculations are correct, but they seem interesting and mostly paralleled comments on radio.

    An acre of ground getting 16 inches of annual rainfall gets about 17.000 tons of water to produce 40 bushels of wheat. 40 bushels of wheat is about 2400 pounds or a about 1.2 tons of wheat. So, a ton of wheat requires about 1400 tons of water. We are essentially trading water for oil when Saudi Arabia buys wheat.

    40 bushels of wheat at $6.00 per bushel is $240. At $80 per barrel of oil, that is 3 barrels of oil or something like 120 gallons of oil. Sweet crude is apparently about 7 pounds per gallon. 120 gallons is then about 840 pounds. or 0.42 Tons.

    We are then effectively trading about 40,000 tons of water per ton of oil.

  3. Kelly Fuller 2011.12.12

    I can't help but ask. Does Heartland sell power to any Keystone pipeline pump stations?

    My understanding is that some public power utilities are selling power to TransCanada for the pump stations and are really happy about the money they're getting.

  4. Shane Gerlach 2011.12.12

    Now the king told the boogie men You have to let that raga drop
    The oil down the desert way Has been shakin' to the top
    The sheik he drove his Cadillac He went a' cruisin' down the ville
    The muezzin was a' standing On the radiator grille
    The sharif don't like it Rockin' the Casbah Rock the Casbah
    The sharif don't like it Rockin' the Casbah Rock the Casbah
    By order of the prophet We ban that boogie sound
    Degenerate the faithful With that crazy Casbah sound
    But the Bedouin they brought out The electric camel drum
    The local guitar picker Got his guitar picking thumb
    As soon as the sharif Had cleared the square They began to wail
    The sharif don't like it Rockin' the Casbah Rock the Casbah
    The sharif don't like it Rockin' the Casbah Rock the Casbah
    Now over at the temple Oh! They really pack 'em in
    The in crowd say it's cool To dig this chanting thing
    But as the wind changed direction The temple band took five
    The crowd caught a whiff Of that crazy Casbah jive
    The sharif don't like it Rockin' the Casbah Rock the Casbah
    The sharif don't like it Rockin' the Casbah Rock the Casbah
    The king called up his jet fighters He said you better earn your pay
    Drop your bombs between the minarets Down the Casbah way
    As soon as the sharif was Chauffeured outta there
    The jet pilots tuned to The cockpit radio blare
    As soon as the sharif was Outta their hair The jet pilots wailed
    The sharif don't like it Rockin' the Casbah Rock the Casbah
    The sharif don't like it Rockin' the Casbah Rock the Casbah

    He thinks it's not kosher Fundamentally he can't take it. You know he really hates it.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.12.12

    Jane Kleeb once asked whether one of McDowell's Keystone XL booster pieces was written by TransCanada. McDowell insisted TransCanada had nothing to do with it.

    Let's try connecting some utility palsy-walsy dots.

    I don't think Heartland sells power directly to the pumping stations. But Heartland buys power from Nebraska Public Power District's Cooper Nuclear Station. NPPD has a contract with TransCanada to build 74 miles of transmission line. TransCanada is supposed to pay NPPD for this transmission project, which NPPD has now put on hold pending further review from the State Department.

    Heartland also shares ownership of various transmission projects with East River Electric Cooperative. East River benefited from building power lines and substations for TransCanada.

  6. Douglas Wiken 2011.12.13

    The proposed XL pipeline out here will use power from cooperatives and require multiple new power lines. The question I have not found anyone in REA or elsewhere to answer is "How much will this increase peak power fees all of us end up paying when use exceeds some set point?"

    Large enough rate increases might wipe out "all" those tax revenues.

Comments are closed.