It’s Almost As If They Don’t Consider Perverse Incentives Perverse…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Federal officials claim crude oil from North Dakota has a lower flash point, so it’s more dangerous to transport by rail than crude oil from other sources.

Federal officials continue to block the Keystone Pipeline, which would transport crude oil safely underground.

Federal officials maintain their policy of refusing to issue permits to pump crude oil from leased federal lands.

It’s as if the Obama Administration is determined to stop oil and natural gas production, any way it can, just as we’re facing some of the coldestweather ever.

This is the same mind-set that brought us Obama-care: arrogant despite being ignorant, unswayed by unintended calamity, serenely observing others suffer.

Joe Doakes

You gotta break eggs to make…

…er, whatever the Administration is trying to make.

9 thoughts on “It’s Almost As If They Don’t Consider Perverse Incentives Perverse…

  1. don’t forget that Obama friend and large contributor Warren Buffet’s (BRK-A & BRK-B) ownership of BNSF nets him approx $1/bbl of profit for moving that volatile oil by rail instead of by pipeline. The Keystone Pipeline will get Obama’s OK when Warren Buffet demands it not before.

  2. oh and do note that the explosion is not the fault of the shoddy, poorly maintained tanker cars that Warren Buffet is putting on the rails,it’s the oils fault!

  3. Given Obama’s Carter-esque competence (no insult intended to Jimmuh of course), I’m going to have to suggest that, being Hawaiian but having lived in Chicago and of course having strong Kenyan roots, he’s breaking eggs to make a SPAM/Kielbasa musubi with ugali (cornmeal) substituted for the rice.

    Which of course requires no eggs, which is perfect for his legendary skill and competence.

  4. Isn’t it the goal of refining to lower crude oil’s flashpoint to a such degree that permits it to be used in internal combustion engines? As usual I’m over my head on the topic, but I would think that the lower the flashpoint of the crude oil, the less refining (and related pollution) it would need to be made usable.

    Could it be that President Obama is well aware of the win-win-win aspect of the pipeline project and is just saving its approval for a time when he needs it? Like if his approval rating reaches a low from which he feels he cannot otherwise recover? It would certainly make him more appealing to his labor, consumer, and automobile base.

  5. Joe, flash point is certainly a consideration, but overall the “big goal” of refining is first to separate out the various compounds in crude oil into useful derivatives (gasoline, kerosene/diesel/jetfuel, etc..), and then to “crack” heavier compounds (e.g. diesel) into the primary end goal of gasoline–it’s what we use the most of. Refining also eliminates corrosives like sulfur.

    I wouldn’t put your 2nd paragraph hypothesis beyond Obama. He’s a wreck as an administrator, but as a politician, he has few peers. It seems that things that would have sunk even Bill Clinton just don’t stick to him.

  6. A BNSF rolling pipeline of tankers rolls through my west exurban backwater town multiple times per day. The explosion and fire that occurred outside Casselton, ND, last week is as likely here as it was there, twenty miles from Fargo. Meanwhile, Senator Small Things is pursuing this, that or other legislation named for a dead child and Senator Lying Liar is now trying to say he was “one of” 60 votes for Obamacare.
    With this many people / constituents / voters potentially in the way of this hazard, one would think the majority party in this state would give a good Godd*** about the potential loss of life & property a rail accident would cause and how a pipeline might make better sense. Instead they’re trying to get legislation requiring my cell phone provider to ‘brick’ my smart phone in the event some miscreant decides to take it by force because we wouldn’t want said miscreant to use it – as if he/she really had any intention to use it to make a phone call and not immediately sell it. If only the phone maker hadn’t already put that capability in anyway to gain a market advantage, a coercive approach might just work (this time).

  7. Seflores’ comment reminds me of the Mayo Clinic’s position a few years back when the DM& E, which also runs a lot of tanker cars (not sure if it’s petroleum or corn likker mostly) wanted to greatly expand their routes through Rochester. More or less, it was “not within two blocks of the clinic, thank you very much.”

  8. BB… My comment wasn’t meant to imply a NIMBY stance on oil tanker trains in particular or trains in general. The line was here (if the pictures at the local eatery are to be believed) since the time of James J Hill so I’m not for relocating the train.
    What I am questioning is this: why is it that our government (local, state, federal) is always preparing for the last major accident? People are against a pipeline for, in some cases, legitimate environmental concerns. Others are for it due to the potential jobs (Joe Biden’s three letter word) pipeline construction would bring. No one seems to be looking at it from reducing the chances that a major explosion (with property damage and loss of life) as occurred in Casselton as well as the one that occurred in Quebec might occur as the train makes it’s way through my small town and on into the more populous places, like Minneapolis.
    Who knows? Maybe it will explode in a North Star station and Metro Transit will need to build explosion proof shelters along the North Star line. Has to be some jobs in that.

  9. Maybe. My take is that when we’ve known how to transport oil safely for the past 80 years, why on earth wait years before building one?

    Oh, yes, we have politicians wishing to “pleasure” environmentalists at the cost of the environment. My mistake, how silly of me to think that environmentalists actually cared about the environment.

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