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Oil sands, U.S. tight oil offsetting unstable crudes
A new study by energy consulting firm IHS CERA has found increases in oil sands imports have not impacted Greenhouse Gas (GHG) intensity levels in the United States. This study comes as a record level of Canadian crude is reaching American refineries and U.S. domestic production reaches highs not seen since the late 70s.
A press release from IHS CERA states:
“The new IHS CERA Oil Sands Dialogue study calculated the GHG intensity of the average oil sands refined in the United States by estimating the mix of oil sands products pipelined to and refined in the United States in 2012. This calculation is intended to provide a more up-to-date comparison of the products’ GHG intensity compared to other types of crude that are processed in the United States.”
“Oil sands are often singled out for having higher GHG emissions than other sources of U.S. crude,” says IHS CERA’s Kevin Birn.
“The more recent data shows that crude oil from the Canadian oil sands is within a GHG intensity range of nearly half the crude oil supplied to U.S. refineries.”
– Kevin Birn, IHS CERA
The IHS CERA findings once again refute the rhetoric from activists about the climate implications of the oil sands. Canada’s oil sands produce a fraction of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions — one seventh of one percent. A 2013 IHS CERA report found that Keystone XL would have no material impact on U.S. GHG emissions, and GHG emissions from the pipeline would not be substantial. This study reaffirms that.
North American production pushing out overseas oil
The study found that North American crude “has displaced comparatively higher carbon light crude oil from offshore, while a reduction in imports of other heavy crudes of a similar carbon intensity to oil sands has kept the overall GHG intensity of the U.S. oil supply mix unchanged.”
Opponents of the Keystone XL Pipeline have tried to tell Americans that Keystone XL won’t enhance energy security. They said the oil was destined for China. They were wrong. They’ve said this oil won’t displace higher-priced overseas imports. They were wrong. They’ve said that rail is too expensive for oil sands operations. They were wrong.
The reality is that more and more North American production is reaching North American markets. U.S. reliance on Venezuelan and Russian oil is down considerably; just take a look at the stats. The United States’ crude oil supply is safer and more stable now than at any time in modern history. With Keystone XL able to deliver up to 830,000 more barrels per day of stable North American crude this positive trend can continue.
Further reductions possible
The IHS study found that “refined products from Canadian oil sands have well-to-wheels life-cycle GHG emissions that are between one and 19 percent higher than the average crude oil consumed in the United States in 2012. This places oil sands within the same GHG intensity range as nearly of all the crude oil supplied to U.S.”
This study verifies what we have said before: Keystone XL will help push out more overseas crudes that are higher-priced and have comparable carbon footprints. With this information in hand, the United States have enough reason to green light Keystone XL will full confidence that further reductions in greenhouse gas intensity can be achieved. Keystone XL will take hundreds of trucks off the road in North Dakota every day, replace thousands of oil trains a year and hundreds of tankers annually. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 19 million tons, or the equivalent of taking almost four million cars off the road.
Time to choose
Keystone XL is a choice between investing in domestic energy and domestic energy infrastructure — or investing in Venezuelan and Middle Eastern oil and infrastructure. We believe most Americans agree getting the oil they need from a stable, friendly neighbor makes sense — oil and refined products to start their cars every morning, heat their homes and travel on airplanes to visit loved ones. Canada is that stable, sensible choice — and our countries have enjoyed one of the world’s closest and most respected trading relationships.
Both Canada and the United States have strong environmental rules and regulations in place and it makes sense to get more of the oil we need closer to the refineries that create the products we all rely on. It makes more sense to get the oil from Canadian and U.S. oil fields so we can improve American energy security, minimize the environmental and safety impacts of moving that oil to U.S. refineries and support American jobs and businesses to build this modern infrastructure. Keystone XL continues to have the support of a strong majority of Americans and Congress and remains in America’s national interest and needs to be approved.
- See more at: http://keystone-xl.com/taming-the-rhetoric-on-oil-sands-ghg-impact/#sthash.kVgwxurQ.dpuf
View from above the Angel Fall, the largest waterfall in the world, located in the Auyantepuy Massif in Bolivar state in the south of Venezuela. These titanic mountains in northeastern Amazonia were formed roughly at the time of the opening of the Atlantic (c. 135-100 Ma). Although this is a species rich region, it is relatively less diverse than Andes dominated (younger) western Amazonian region.
Credit: Luis Carillo, VenezuelaView full size image
The extraordinary biodiversity seen in the Amazon rainforest — one of the most species-rich ecosystems on Earth — may have evolved mainly due to the rise of the Andes, research suggests.
The Amazon, the world's largest river basin, is home to the largest rainforest on Earth, covering about 2.58 million square miles (6.7 million square kilometers) in nine countries. This area, known as Amazonia, holds a mind-boggling array of life, harboring one in 10 known species in the world and one in five of all birds.
"Many previously unseen species are discovered and documented every year," said John Lundberg, curator of ichthyology at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.
Published on 28 Oct 2013
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With rapid growth in the number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and students, it was only a matter of time before corporate American sat up and took notice. The How Corporations Use MOOCs Infographic presents 7 ways corporations use MOOCs to meet some of the professional development and training needs of their work force, partners, and customers.
7 Ways Corporations Use MOOCs
1. Building Talent Pipelines.
350+ companies are paying Coursera and Udacity to identify the best and brightest students in relevant courses and refer them as possible job candidates. The webinar also cited AT&T as sponsoring the development of an MS in Computer Science at Georgia Tech in which the firm can then enroll employees.
2. Onboarding Employees.
This point gave us a bit of pause. Cited during the webinar was McAfee’s wild success in adopting the “MOOC approach” of blending formal, informal and social learning to overhaul of its 80-hour employee orientation program. However, that approach to learning is not unique to MOOCs; in fact, it predates MOOCs and is SOP within many college distance learning environments.
Then there’s the question of whether a course designed for a limited population (McAfee employees) can really be called a MOOC, which is by definition “Open” to a general population. Not all eLearning is a MOOC. As an aside, we’re wondering if we’re witnessing a real-time etymological case study. Will the term MOOC come to be applied to any online course in the same way that any tissue came to be called a Kleenex and any photocopy a Xerox?
3. Self-directed Career Development.
Deloitte, Yahoo!, Jardine Lloyd Thompson and Datalogix are cited as some of the companies that encourage employees to enroll in MOOCs for career development purposes. Not all of these companies give credit for MOOC completion, but creating a means to do so was highly recommended in the webinar.
4. Workforce Training.
Google has enrolled 80,000 employees in Udacity’s HTML5 course, a great example of using a MOOC for workforce training. Also cited was a “proprietary MOOC” developed by Aquent for its employees (if a MOOC can be proprietary and still be a MOOC). Finally, TELUS was named as an example of workforce training using “the MOOC approach,” even though the course of interest was not online.
5. Channel/Customer Education.
Some interesting developments have occurred here. SAP offers its own MOOCs to train customers and partners; because they are open to anyone who registers, these are legitimate MOOCs. The IMF has been working with edX to develop courses about debt and financial policy making for government officials. It’s not clear whether these courses are open to the public.
6. Brand Marketing.
The University of California, Irvine offers the course Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead. While this is not a first in using pop culture as pedagogical material, what’s distinctive about this course is that it is funded by AMC in order to “drive a deep sustained connection with the show.”
7. Collaboration and Innovation.
The combination of formal, informal and social learning methodologies, dubbed “the MOOC approach” in the webinar, has served as an effective tool to find solutions to real-life business problems. Over 100 companies have used the University of Virginia/Coursera platform, Coursolve, to do just that. This may be one of the most promising business uses of a MOOC.