TransCanada Oil Pipeline Work Halted by Texan Landowner
In Texas, a judge ordered the halting of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline after a landowner filed a lawsuit claiming that the company lied to Texans about type of oil it would be transporting.
Landowner Michael Bishop, a 64-year-old retired chemist in medical school, claims that TransCanada lied in telling Texans that it would use the pipeline to transport crude oil, which will instead be used to transport tar sands oil, or diluted bitumen. According to Bishop, tar sands oil does not meet the state's definition of crude oil as “liquid hydrocarbons extracted from the earth at atmospheric temperatures,” he told the Associated Press, which mean it “has to be heated and diluted in order to even be transmitted.”
Environmentalists argue that tar sands oil is a lot more difficult to cleanup should a spill occur, contaminating nearby water and land. Not to mention, refining the product in Texas will raise its already high greenhouse gas emissions rates.
Texas County Court at Law Judge Jack Sinze will not hear the case until Dec. 19, which was quickly pushed to Dec. 13, according to TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard. According to statements released by the company, the tar sands are in fact a form of crude oil and the pipeline is expected to come back into operation in late 2013.
Earlier this year, many other Texan farmers expressed their opposition to the pipeline. According to a blog from the NRDC's Susan Casey-Leftkowitz, the plan to split the giant pipeline in two and start building in Texas will put landowners at high risk and will likely lead to even higher gas prices in the Midwest:
“...it will divert tar sands from the Midwest to the Gulf, raising American oil prices and likely also gasoline prices,” Casey-Leftkowitz writes. “An Oklahoma to Texas tar sands pipeline will mean more tar sands converted to diesel and available for export overseas. It will mean less tar sands remaining in the US, even while Americans bear the risks of the pipeline.”
It's a tough fight, but Bishop is determined to make his case. Despite the oil giant's legal power and support expected to make an appearance at the hearing, he told the Associated Press:
"Bring 'em on. I'm a United States Marine. I'm not afraid of anyone. I'm not afraid of them... When I'm done with them, they will know that they've been in a fight. I may not win, but I'm going to hurt them."
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.