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  1. #1
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    Default Americans Support Keystone XL by a wide margin

    There's a new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll out, and it's findings are interesting to say the least.

    Americans Support the Keystone XL Pipeline by Wide Margin

    United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll finds most Americans back the GOP-supported project despite environmental concerns.

    While the Obama administration mulls whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, Americans are already decided. They support the project by a wide margin, prioritizing potential economic benefits over possible environmental consequences.

    The latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll finds that more than two-thirds of respondents, 67 percent, support building the pipeline to carry Canadian oil to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast; that includes 56 percent of Democrats. Less than a quarter of Americans, 24 percent, oppose the project, the poll shows.
    Seems about right.

    Also interesting is the polling on the proposed power plant regs:

    But one energy issue that Republicans want the Obama administration to stay away from is climate, and specifically regulation of power plants to reduce carbon emissions. Here, Americans are more tightly split.

    The poll found that 46 percent of respondents said they believe Congress should vote to stop recently proposed Obama administration regulations that would reduce emissions from power plants, while 42 percent said Congress should keep its hands off the decision. Another 12 percent are undecided.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Who doesn't want cheaper fuel and energy?

    We're basically all dependent on it, except for a few people who make it their second job almost to live off the grid or reduce their consumption.

    That said, I love clean energy. 'Energy accidents' (pipeline bursts, oil rig explosions) are I'm guessing very rare and probably safer than they've ever been. But risk analysis involves two steps.

    How likely is something to go wrong? (scale it 1-10 for convenience)
    How bad will it be if something DOES go wrong. (scale it 1-10 for convenience)

    I really haven't done research on this, but considering the number of oil rigs out there (running 24/7) and the amount of oil tankers which are going in and out of port everyday for the last few decades compared to the number well known accidents, I'm guessing the likelihood something goes wrong is probably...a 2.

    But when things go wrong it screws up everything. Oil dumping in the ocean, impact on local industries, all sorts of issues. That's like an 8, maybe a 9. Keep in mind it can be cleaned up (sort of), so I'd reserve 10 territory for Chernobyl or even Fukushima. With the pipeline, you got groundwater contamination to think about, among other issues I'm sure.

    Still makes me a little uneasy.


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    Any notes on where the best environmental/economic 'return on investment' would be? It seems like getting power plants cleaner, because they are giant machines of sorts, it's probably easier to increase efficiency by a few percentage points there and see BIG differences.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  3. #3

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    That's mad, I wonder what way the thing has been phrased because I know some Americans, some are on this forum, and they dont appear stupid enough to vote against a cleaner environment and clean air.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Most Americans will support almost anything that is being promoted as bringing more jobs. Decent paying blue-collar jobs are even more enticing. So is the promise of cheaper fuel. Caring about the environment is kind of a luxury for a lot of people. Until they think it might be happening "in their back yard." That's when they freak out and don't want it after all.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    Who doesn't want cheaper fuel and energy?

    We're basically all dependent on it, except for a few people who make it their second job almost to live off the grid or reduce their consumption.

    That said, I love clean energy. 'Energy accidents' (pipeline bursts, oil rig explosions) are I'm guessing very rare and probably safer than they've ever been. But risk analysis involves two steps.

    How likely is something to go wrong? (scale it 1-10 for convenience)
    How bad will it be if something DOES go wrong. (scale it 1-10 for convenience)

    I really haven't done research on this, but considering the number of oil rigs out there (running 24/7) and the amount of oil tankers which are going in and out of port everyday for the last few decades compared to the number well known accidents, I'm guessing the likelihood something goes wrong is probably...a 2.

    But when things go wrong it screws up everything. Oil dumping in the ocean, impact on local industries, all sorts of issues. That's like an 8, maybe a 9. Keep in mind it can be cleaned up (sort of), so I'd reserve 10 territory for Chernobyl or even Fukushima. With the pipeline, you got groundwater contamination to think about, among other issues I'm sure.

    Still makes me a little uneasy.


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    ---


    Any notes on where the best environmental/economic 'return on investment' would be? It seems like getting power plants cleaner, because they are giant machines of sorts, it's probably easier to increase efficiency by a few percentage points there and see BIG differences.
    There have been no radiation deaths at Fukushima.

    There were a shitload at Chernobyl.

    Modern Nuclear energy is the safest clean energy we have, and the crusade against it is largely misguided. Comparing Fukushima and Chernobyl is like comparing a fender bender to a fuel carrying train wreck.

    *steps off soap box*

    Pipelines are the safest mode of transportation for fossil fuel. Tack onto this the obvious economic benefits, and we get the polling result seen above.

    The BP spill had a much greater environmental impact than did Fukushima.

    The EPA regs are basically forcing a percentage of our coal plants to shut down. I'm all for clean coal but I also think that the regs should allow current plants with coal still in the ground to be able to modernize and continue producing energy.

    I would personally much prefer that we just exported all our coal and produced grid energy via nuclear power as a replacement. We could ship the coal to countries that aren't as developed and therefore dont have the capacity to employ clean energy currently.

  6. #6
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I have to look into this further, because the reference I saw came from a friend's post on Facebook (and you know how that can be), but I read that apparently the government doesn't even actually know what the path and structure of the Keystone XL pipeline would be?

    This support is upsetting but unsurprising. Americans are very ignorant when it comes to sustainability and environmentalism.
    And what is the energy gained from the pipeline, once we calculate all the energy put in?

    For the record I'm hunky dory with nuclear energy. Fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gas, have no were to fit in the future.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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    Hydro and Nuclear are currently the only economically viable base load generating clean energies.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Most Americans will support almost anything that is being promoted as bringing more jobs. Decent paying blue-collar jobs are even more enticing. So is the promise of cheaper fuel. Caring about the environment is kind of a luxury for a lot of people. Until they think it might be happening "in their back yard." That's when they freak out and don't want it after all.
    That's a bit mad, I can understand it but I just figure it for being some kind of third world attitude, kind of like "we're their bitches and we know it".

    I remember hearing something about copper or some other sort of metal mining in a place called Bogoni Land or something like that, it had been devastating but the local population really felt that they were dependent on the corporation which was behaving like pirates, pillaging and getting out of the place.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Hydro and Nuclear are currently the only economically viable base load generating clean energies.
    I think there could be a lot more, especially if environmental technologies could be used and managed by a multinational accord or authority, problem is that the context in which we operate is still one of "warring states" and in that context competiting national power are going to prefer to weaponise environmental technology and use it for plausibly deniable sabotage or harrassment skirmishing instead of consolidated environmental management.

    There's been some good writing about this from science fiction authors who've talked about civilisations or planetary developmental stages and suggested that the information at least exists to permit planetary environmental management but not the will for it.

  10. #10
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Hydro and Nuclear are currently the only economically viable base load generating clean energies.
    The alternatives are coming along quickly if not really already here. Have you seen the map of potential solar output if it were subsidized as much as oil?

    At any rate, how long do you think it will take to be viable? Long enough to justify numerous, very slow and expensive fossil fuel expansions?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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