By Bob Williams, Stevensville
Keystone KXL partners have spent $2 billion dollars, and want to spend billions more to complete the northern leg of Keystone XL. From Hardisty, Alberta to Steel City, Nebraska.
The southern leg is temporarily conveying Midwest crude oil to Port Arthur, Texas. The XL is for extra long, from Alberta to seaport refineries in Texas.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality(DEQ) completed an extensive study and concluded that KXL is in compliance with regulations required by Montana Major Facility Siting Act.
In Montana, KXL is stockpiling pipe and building roads. And building a road to a pump station site in Circle, Montana.
A gravel company is set to bring in 1,500,000 cubic yards of gravel from Dawson County. For a man camp, pipe storage and roadways.
Looking at new information, and a route change request, Montana District Judge Brian Morris has recently ruled to stop KXL construction, until further review.
In a leadership position, Senator Daines has strongly urged President Trump to recommit to the Keystone XL.
Indeed, it would be a Keystone. A Keystone holding together certain Texas refineries and certain producers of dilbit. Dilbit composed of about one part of natural gas condensates selected for high content of non polar solvents, and two parts of tarry bitumen. About half of that bitumen remotely extracted underground.
For 40 years, the mostly foreign owned seaport refineries in Texas that own KXL would purchase refinery feedstock, perhaps $20.00 a barrel cheaper in Hadisty, Alberta, than in Texas.
KXL would daily pump 830,000 refinery barrels (42 gallons) a day of Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) grade, heavy, sour crude oil through 285 pipeline miles of Montana.
According to the Keystone KXL Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS), most of that WCSB will be dilbit.
How would you feel about 830,000 barrels of dilbit being daily pumped alongside the Blackfoot River, then under the Clark Fork River, then up and over and alongside the East of the Bitterroot Valley, enroute to West Coast Refineries, ten years from now?
Say, if those West Coast refineries were US owned?
Say, if a pump station east of Missoula surged pressure to push dilbit up Deer Creek, over the headwaters of Miller Creek, and possibly along the powerline corridor along the sloping east side of the Bitterroot valley?
Consider how unstaffed KXL pump stations work.
Consider the proposed KXL pump station immediately below Fork Peck Dam.
The other KXL pump station in McCone County. The pump station that has not yet been reported on.
The pump station where five electricity consuming pump motors would surge 36” diameter pipeline pressure from about 300 psi, to 1600 psi to impel non polar solvent dissolved bitumen (dilbit) up a steep, very tall, rocky hill and on to the pump station in Circle.
In Montana, the KXL shut off valves, and each of the 29 KXL pump 6,500 hp motors, would be remote controlled from Calgary.
Ask State Legislators that KXL:
• Pump stations adjacent to underwater crossings of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers be staffed.
• Foreign owners provide the Governor with real time pressure readings. A pressure drop may indicate partial seam split, or weld failure at a joint. Longitudinal pipe seams are not welded together by rod penetrating adjacent edges. The lengthwise edges are joined by passing high current through the adjacent edges.
• Provide more than 21 shut off valves.
• Provide the Governor with periodic corrosion and pitting findings of internal pipe examination derived from standard means.
• Not locate the Emergency Response Base for Montana, in South Dakota, as now proposed. Locate the all season, all terrain equipment, and water craft, and trained contract personnel, right here in Montana.
• Assist with supplying triage equipment, including breathing apparatus, for dealing with non polar solvents such as benzene, toluene, and hexane.
• Pay for, rather than not pay for, gravel “borrowed” from Montana to make roads, also to pad the bottom of the trench.
• Pay a fair, transparent, transit tax to the State of Montana.
Now, some basics for you, our Legislators, and our Governor to think about.
It takes 746 watt hours to deliver one horsepower. A KXL pump motor operating at 6,000 hp for one hour may consume 4,476,000 watt hours of electricity.
I read that it takes about one pound of western coal to efficiently generate 1,000 watt hours. That’s 1 Kwh, the amount of electricity consumed by operating ten, 100 watt light bulbs for one hour.
It could take 4,476 pounds of combusted coal particles to generate enough electricity to directly power one KXL pump motor for one hour. That’s without considering line loss, also step down transformer loss at electric substations, at each of six pump stations in Montana.
I read that combustion of one pound of coal causes about 2.2 pounds of CO2 emissions.
I’m guessing that way over 10,000 pounds of CO2 would be emitted per hour, to transmit electricity sufficient to power one of the KXL pump motors in Montana, for one hour.
Ask our Governor to confer with MT DEQ and quantify for us, public need to know, currently anticipated CO2 and mercury emissions from operating KXL in Montana. Ask our Governor to ask Department authorities how KXL related mercury emissions will further contaminate Montana fisheries.
Please remember that producing dilbit produces much more CO2 than does producing crude oil.
Please remember that refining dilbit and managing dilbit refining waste produces more CO2 than does refining crude oil.
There’s a super good, interactive, online, Google Earth map of the KXL proposed route in Montana. Go to the Keystone Mapping Project. Look below Fort Peck Dam, just below where the meandering Milk River enters the Missouri River. Look on the south side of the Missouri River, below the long white spillway. Look where would sit an unstaffed pump station below the tallest, most rocky, uphill KXL grade from Hardisty to tidewater seaport refineries in Texas. Should be two shut off valves on that uphill grade.
What’s downstream is declared by the FSEIS as a Hazardous Area.
Not to worry. The KXL pipe might be 54 feet below the bottom of the Missouri River.
Go to the Great Falls Tribune, and read the article: “Judge blocks construction of Keystone XL pipeline.”