State Dept corrects Keystone XL report to account for more railroad deaths, times four

posted at 6:01 pm on June 6, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

I don’t know how much more evidence we could possibly need to confirm that terrestrial pipelines are more efficient, more safe, and more environmentally friendly than oil-and-gas transport by rail — but the Obama administration just provided some. In an update to the report on Keystone XL released in January that basically concluded the pipeline’s construction would have a neutral impact on carbon emissions, the State Department corrected some errors by quadrupling its estimation of the accidental human deaths that may occur if oil-by-rail shipment continues to proceed apace, via Reuters:

The State Department on Friday corrected several errors it made in a key study evaluating the impact of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, including a understatement of how many people could be killed on railroad tracks if the project were rejected and oil traffic by rail increased. …

The January report determined that blocking the controversial pipeline could increase oil train traffic and lead to an additional 49 injuries and six deaths per year, mostly by using historical injury and fatality statistics for railways. …

But the report mistakenly used a forecast for three months of expected accidents rather than full-year figures, officials said. The correct estimate of deaths should be roughly four times as large – between 18 and 30 fatalities per year. …

Revising that footnote has no impact on the State Department’s estimation of expected greenhouse gas emissions tied to the pipeline, a spokesperson said.

For the umpteenth time: Canada is going to develop their oil sands with or without the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline — hence the State Department’s conclusion on the project’s emissions neutrality. There are plenty of other eager markets available besides ours to which Canada can sell their wares, and in the meantime, all the adamantly opposed eco-radicals have really achieved in thwarting the pipeline is an explosion in railroad shipments from Alberta, Canada to our refineries in the Gulf. Really well done, guys.

With that in mind, Josh Kraushaar at National Journal posed a rather interesting question today concerning energy issues in particular and the administration’s agenda in general going forward: Does Obama even care anymore?

The president reportedly has told his close allies that losing the Senate would be “unbearable,” but his administration is doing everything possible to make things difficult for his party’s most vulnerable senators. On energy issues alone, the administration’s decisions to impose new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on coal-fired plants and indefinitely delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline could help burnish his long-term environmental legacy, but at the expense of losing complete control of Congress.

Even as the White House and environmental allies are insisting the regulatory push is a political winner, Obama is getting pushback from his own party. In Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes took a page out of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s playbook, deeming the administration’s EPA regulations part of its “war on coal.” Other battleground-state Democrats have been more circumspect in their reaction, but few have embraced the new regulations with open arms. And every red-state Senate Democrat up in 2014, whose fates determine whether they hold the majority, criticized the administration for its latest delay in approving construction of Keystone XL. Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana has even tailored her campaign messaging around opposition to Obama on energy issues.


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Off by a factor of only 4 is pretty good for obama’s team.

GaltBlvnAtty on June 6, 2014 at 6:04 PM

On energy issues alone, the administration’s decisions to impose new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on coal-fired plants

Everyone understands that these new proposed regulations will most likely never be enacted right? It’s all election year stuff to throw a bone to the Greenies in an attempt to get them to come out and vote. Also by having the EPA propose new harsh rules Obama can claim his Climate Change Legacy cred in his next book and blame Republicans for thwarting him.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Talibama doesn’t care about the umpteenth some report. He didn’t care about the first or second. He just used the reports as political cover, so he didn’t have to put his thing out there and actually, officially kill it.

Once again Talibama playing politics with our economy and American’s lives and livelihoods.

Meople on June 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

“War on drill baby drill”

Sven on June 6, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Helloieeee…. The European Union just signaled that they want to buy Canadian Tar Sand Oil. The Obamanation Administration wants a piece of the action. They want their fair share of the graft and corruption money, and the only way for them to get it, is to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

oscarwilde on June 6, 2014 at 6:13 PM

The president reportedly has told his close allies that losing the Senate would be “unbearable,” but his administration is doing everything possible to make things difficult for his party’s most vulnerable senators.

Here’s a twist: Obama plans to rule by fiat for the remainder of his term. Thats a given. So, why would he care about losing the Senate? There’s no risk, and he knows Boehner and McConell don’t have the balls to impeach him.

What they’re doing is putting the GOP in control of Congress for the period where he will simply do what he wants, and then at the end of his term, no matter how much the country sucks, the DNC will advertise that its the GOPs fault for not stopping him.

And they will be right. Just like ObamaCare is all on the Dems, whatever Obama leaves behind will be on the GOP.

BobMbx on June 6, 2014 at 6:13 PM

So who does the Stale Department commission to manufacture these reports ?
East Anglia University ?

burrata on June 6, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Burrata, the State Dept uses Whatzamatta U. for the reports.

Tinker on June 6, 2014 at 6:36 PM

So who does the Stale Department commission to manufacture these reports ?

burrata on June 6, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Susan Rice.

fogw on June 6, 2014 at 6:37 PM

In an update to the report on Keystone XL released in January that basically concluded the pipeline’s construction would have a neutral impact on carbon emissions, the State Department corrected some errors by quadrupling its estimation of the accidental human deaths that may occur if oil-by-rail shipment continues to proceed apace, via Reuters:

You’re missing the larger picture here, Erika. Ogabe isn’t making the argument for the XL; he’s getting railroad out of the picture for his dear buddy Warren. Evidently, Warren has decided there’s more money in his new project than by moving oil by rail.

http://www.omaha.com/money/power-revolution-in-western-states-would-benefit-berkshire-hathaway/article_0023cd82-6f71-59a4-8e70-6ec96a11bd2f.html

catsandbooks on June 6, 2014 at 6:47 PM

But the report mistakenly used a forecast for three months of expected accidents rather than full-year figures, officials said. The correct estimate of deaths should be roughly four times as large – between 18 and 30 fatalities per year. …

To paraphrase the former Secretary of State: six deaths and 49 injuries per quarter or per year, what difference in the end does it make?

Even as the White House and environmental allies are insisting the regulatory push is a political winner, Obama is getting pushback from his own party. In Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes took a page out of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s playbook, deeming the administration’s EPA regulations part of its “war on coal.” Other battleground-state Democrats have been more circumspect in their reaction, but few have embraced the new regulations with open arms. And every red-state Senate Democrat up in 2014, whose fates determine whether they hold the majority, criticized the administration for its latest delay in approving construction of Keystone XL. Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana has even tailored her campaign messaging around opposition to Obama on energy issues.

To all red-state voters with Democrat Senators up for re-election: Don’t be fooled by what they say about Keystone XL or energy. A vote for a Democrat is a vote for Obama and Harry Reid, period.

If you want fracking and drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline, vote Republican to take the gavel out of Dirty Harry’s hands.

Steve Z on June 6, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Somebody should ask Warren Buffett how much profit he makes for each dead person. Betcha it’s millions of dollars.

platypus on June 6, 2014 at 6:50 PM

There are plenty of other eager markets available besides ours to which Canada can sell their wares, and in the meantime, all the adamantly opposed eco-radicals have really achieved in thwarting the pipeline is an explosion in railroad shipments from Alberta, Canada to our refineries in the Gulf. Really well done, guys.

Yes, but that means more income and profit for the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad. And, who owns the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe? Warren Buffet.

bw222 on June 6, 2014 at 7:27 PM

The correct estimate of deaths should be roughly four times as large – between 18 and 30 fatalities per year.

BO says, “We don’t care about no stinkin’ railroad deaths. After all, I saved Sgt. Bergdalh AND stopped the rise of the oceans.”

climbnjump on June 6, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Poutines for everyone!!!!!!

WryTrvllr on June 6, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Off by a factor of only 4 is pretty good for obama’s team.

GaltBlvnAtty on June 6, 2014 at 6:04 PM

OUCH. +1

WryTrvllr on June 6, 2014 at 8:10 PM

The only thing Barack is worried about is Barack.

GarandFan on June 6, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Big loser, -the slovenly Warren Buffett.

slickwillie2001 on June 6, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Look at the bright side, the State Department did correct its understimate of railroad casualties. It won’t make any difference to the global warming cultists or their obedient Uncle Tom. They’ve got too much invested.

BTW, is it racist to say “Uncle Tom”? The term seems to be used a lot by prominent “progressives” to describe certain Republicans without backlash.

kd6rxl on June 7, 2014 at 10:11 AM