Arkansas Oil Spill Leaves Many Asking Questions
Written by Emily Couch
An oil spill in an Arkansas town is bringing more light to the risk of transporting fuel across a national labyrinth of pipelines. President Barack Obama has to weigh the risk factors and benefits of the Keystone XL project.
Environmental groups are using the Exxon Mobil Corp pipe bust on March 29 in Mayflower, Arkansas as the fighting reason as to why Obama should reject Keystone while industry groups assert that pipelines continue to be the safest way to transport oil.
The US State Department is undergoing the colossal task to come to a decision if Obama should approve the Keystone project. The review of this plan is vital because Keystone crosses an international border. The White House is very serious about the safety of the pipeline system and The Environmental Protection Agency is working with local officials and Exxon on the Arkansas spill.
Congress argues that the Keystone project will create thousands of jobs. Battling the unemployment issues in the U.S. could not come soon enough and is said to improve U.S. energy security.
Related Story: Keystone XL Would Only Create 35 Permanent Jobs
On March 22, the Senate approved 62-37, a non-binding resolution encouraging the development of Keystone. The pipeline could carry more than 800,000 barrels of diluted bitumen, or dilbit, from Alberta, Canada to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast, if built. Currently, Exxon’s pipeline Pegasus runs from Patoka, Illinois to Nederland, Texas and carries up to 96,000 barrels a day.
Around 11.9 billion barrels of oil, gasoline and other refined products are transported across the network of pipelines, according to John Stoody, the Director of Government and Public Relations for the Association of Oil Pipe Line. The members of this Washington based group own about 85 per cent of the liquid pipelines in the US
Meanwhile, environmentalists continue to argue that the spill is a reminder that oil companies should not be trusted to transport toxic chemicals.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.