Friends, neighbours, offspring,
Yesterday I had a bit of a problem with this blog and the associated website. In retrospect, it is laughable and embarrassing that it occurred, but I won’t bore you with the details, other than that, while I was busy writing about what follows in this posting, I copied and pasted the piece a number of times in trying to fix the problem I had been trying to cope with. Every time I did that, I also thought of a better title for the piece. The last two candidates I rejected in favor of the one I chose were these.
Constructing the global thermostat, a billion dollars a project
Blowing CO2 up Mother Earth’s derriere
If you can think of a better one, let me know, but it’s too late for this posting. Large newspapers have headline writers who do that sort of thing for a living.
A few concerns emerged through correspondence from Shell, through a phone call from Integrity Land Inc. and through the discussions I had with Shell personnel I met at Shell’s open house in Bruderheim, Nov. 3, 2010, in connection with their proposed CO2 project and pipe line.
Although in my case I have grave concerns about lost-opportunity-costs due to land-use restrictions (which restrictions will also affect all other land owners near the proposed CO2 pipe line), my concerns are not just my own but apply to all land owners whose properties are located on or near the CO2 pipe line. Furthermore, I have concerns about the lack of wisdom driving the project. It is a make-work project with non-existent, at best questionable benefits that will not ever justify the expense of the project.
Shell’s CO2 project will not even come remotely close to paying back what the taxpayers must pay into it: at the very least close to a billion dollars, about $270 for every man, woman and child in Alberta — and that is just for the first billion dollars in expenditures for such useless catering to people who well know that their intentions are futile., and I don’t mean the poor people at Shell who for all intents and purposes are being forced to construct “their” CO2 capture and storage project (they did not tell me that, but that is the way it is). The project is a waste of good money, the taxpayers’ money.
Regulating atmospheric CO2 content is not possible. Attempts at controlling man-made CO2 emissions will not affect total atmospheric CO2 contents by one Iota. It is not possible to construct such a project and to see it put to use as a thermostat that will regulate the global climate. After all, man-made CO2 contributions comprise no more than 4 percent of total atmospheric CO2, a trace gas. The other 96 percent of atmospheric CO2 result from natural processes over whom mankind has not the slightest control. Besides, CO2 is a vital life-giving gas without which no life as we know it would exist on Earth.
We must find ways to stop insanities like this that amount to nothing more than expensive sacrifices by taxpayers to political expediency through catering to alarmist hype and hysteria.
Together, and with the help of others who cannot or don’t want to shell out useless environmental head-taxes of $270 a shot, we will be able to do it.
The following will explain some of the details of what it is all about.
——– Original Message ——–
|Subject:||CO2 pipe line: concerns|
|Date:||Fri, 05 Nov 2010 16:58:02 -0600|
|From:||Walter H. Schneider|
|To:||Ian Silk [at Shell]|
|CC:||Margit Phillips[at Shell]|
It was a pleasure meeting you at Shell’s Nov. 3, 2010 Bruderheim open house, where I had promised to send you a copy of a letter, dated October 18, 2010, that had been send by Shell to me. (Copy appended; two files, one each for page 1 & 2 of the letter).
Obviously I did not remember key issues correctly when I told you about the letter at the open house, such as the changes in pipe diameter and operating pressure. It is good that I was wrong. That will simplify things, but I still have grave concerns.
As I had mentioned, someone from Integrity Land called the other day (I believe it was Ken, on Nov. 1st or 2nd) to tell us on Shell’s behalf that the letter we had received had been sent in error and should not have been sent.
Looking now at the letter again, I wonder whether it truly had been sent in error and whether it is Integrity Land or Shell that is a bit mistaken. Of course, if the contents of the letter that was allegedly sent in error that I hold now in my hands contains erroneous information, I may not need to worry about much, but I wonder.
I will explain what I conclude on the face of the evidence.
Shell envisions that my land at NW2-57-20-W4 will be encroached by an Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) that extends to a distance of 450m from your proposed CO2 pipe line. That is an encroachment which does not presently exist but will occur if your proposed CO2 pipe line goes into operation.
It is not clear from either that letter or from the information I observed at the open house with respect to the proposed CO2 pipe line right-of-way, how wide the EPZ will be, that is, whether the proposed CO2 pipe line will run along the centre-line of a 450m EPZ or whether the EPZ will extend 450m in either direction from the proposed CO2 pipe line. I would appreciate having you provide a map that will clear that up and show whether and which portions of my land at NW2-57-20-W4 will be affected by the EPZ. That should remove or confirm all of our doubts relating to that.
When Integrity Land called, they told me that I should not have received the letter, and the caller apologized on Shell’s behalf for the fact that I did. Shell’s October 18, 2010 letter informs me that Shell understands (sic, implying that Shell does not know with certainty) that I am “located further” (sic, I assume what was meant was “farther”) than 450m from the proposed CO2 pipe line and that I am “no longer located in the EPZ.” I truly wonder which of those truly confusing contradictions would stand up in court, but there is more.
Logically, I never was and never will be located in the EPZ, given that I reside in Bruderheim and would find myself in the EPZ only if I were to visit or work within it. However, some of my land would be, and any of its occupants could be, located within the EPZ, contrary to Shell’s assertions that imply that no portion of my land is within 450m of the proposed CO2 pipe line. After all, If I were to walk 450m in a westerly direction from the location of the proposed CO2 pipeline east from our quarter-section of land, I would find myself on our land and not quite a quarter mile away from the residence located there.
Is that why Integrity Land called me to say that the letter is wrong? Are portions of my land located within the EPZ? If so, which portions are they? A map that shows the EPZ superimposed on my land would make that perfectly clear. Therefore I request that you provide such a map to me.
Still, it seems to me that I am not the only one who errs now and then. Shell’s letter dated October 18, 2010 indicates that, “These changes [that is, the reduced outside diameter of 12"], combined with a reduced operating pressure, still being calculated [as you also confirmed at the open house], will also result in a reduced Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) of approximately 450m.” Perhaps the letter should have stated as well that the precise extent of the EPZ cannot be determined until those calculations have been completed. I expect to be informed by Shell of what the precise extent of the EPZ will be.
I cannot escape the conclusion that portions of my land at NW2-57-20-W4 will be impacted by land-usage restrictions on account of being located within the EPZ. For example, it may be that nothing is permitted to be constructed on land being put at risk.
Regardless of what the risk would be to any individual who finds himself within the EPZ during a however-unlikely catastrophic failure of the pipe line, land-use restrictions will apply because of the perception of that risk, for which reason the concept of an EPZ exists. Therefore the term EPZ is a euphemism for the more precise term “activity exclusion zone”.
It is such perceptions that determine the market value of real estate. The “precautionary principle” (which you so beautifully mentioned in rationalizing the need for Shell’s CO2 project) kicks into action when land transactions take place. The precautionary principle in this case, regardless of what I personally or any of my descendants may wish for, will materialize in the form of lost-opportunity-costs, through a considerable reduction in the potential sales price for the land of concern. At land prices that Shell is only too well aware it had to pay in the recent past, the lost-opportunity-costs in the case of our land could easily be in the order of $2 million or more within the foreseeable future.
I had explained that particular concern to you at your November 3rd Bruderheim open house. You offered to send documentation (in digital form) that will explain in more detail what the specific land-use restrictions in an EPZ are according to applicable legislation. I look forward to receiving that from you as well.
As things stand, Shell informed me in writing that neither I nor my land will be endangered by Shell’s CO2 pipe line, while I received verbal instructions by one of Shell’s contractors that I should disregard that written statement. Yet, the facts pertaining to the location of the CO2 pipe line indicate that I must be prepared for substantial lost-opportunity-costs, while other risk to life, health and property on our land remains undetermined. I think that Shell needs to do better. I am not a lawyer, but I know that a lawyer could make a lot out of what Shell informed me off as of now. It seems like misrepresentation to me. Shell needs to clarify how things stand. Am I correct about me being not the only land owner who should be concerned about that compendium of confusion?
Further in our discussions about your proposed CO2 capture and storage project (mislabelled by Shell as “Carbon Capture and Storage Project”, as it is not carbon but CO2 that is involved), I expressed my well-founded concern that Shell’s CCS project, requiring a one-billion-dollar expenditure of taxpayers money, is a wasteful scheme that is not based on settled science. It is a make-work project that you are being forced to launch to comply with a government-bureaucracy-perceived solution to imaginary problems the perception of which is driven by irrational climate fears, hype and hysteria.
This letter to you is already lengthy enough. I will therefore continue with addressing that aspect of our discussion through posting at http://lce.folc.ca information that presents rational views and objective facts relating to those irrational fears.
Still, I must add more right now, so as to complete the summary of the impressions I gained at the open house. My wife and I observed with dismay that some of Shell’s representatives at the Bruderheim open house did not have sufficient scientific education and accreditation to enable them to offer more than unsubstantiated opinions as to the merits of Shell’s CCS project. They presented what are in essence articles of faith as allegedly indisputable scientific facts. Most of them had not even any idea that at the most-often visited science blog in the world the latest study reports by prominent climate scientists relating to the role of CO2 in our climate are being presented and discussed.
To the credit of those presenters and upon my insistence, they referred me to someone better qualified to discuss the scientific facts of the impact of CO2 on climate trends. However, there is no doubt in my mind that many of the visitors to your open houses will fail to perceive such problems and will leave quite satisfied, happy in the knowledge that little tokens like flashlights, plastic shopping bags, memory sticks (containing the slick presentation CCS101.ca — permeated with weasel words), pens and so on (all products from China) are generous gifts, while being totally unaware that they, and only they, will pay the price of an estimated billion dollars (amounting to a cost of at least $270 for every man, woman and child in Alberta for every $ billion so spent) for an enterprise that will do nothing to alleviate an imaginary problem whose science is not settled. They may as well employ you in the pursuit of a project to lengthen the daylight hours during the winter by having you hire chain-gangs of taxpayers to shovel light into barrels in the summer for release in January. That at least would be totally safe for the environment and no environmental impact assessment would be required for that, although our government-bureaucrats would probably still insist that one be done for that, too.
It is too bad that our governments cater more to the political expediencies of alarmist climate fears than to the necessities of our lives. A billion dollars, with more billions to follow, for funding such hare-brained schemes surely would be more appropriately spent in solving a large portion of what is wrong with things that we truly should be spending money on to fix, except that the truly important things that we should do are being neglected on account of government-revenue-shortfalls caused by reckless government-spending. That needs to be stopped.
Walter H. Schneider
P.S. I have a bit of a problem with my regular e-mail account. Please be so good and respond to email@example.com
Cc: Lamont Leader, some of our descendants, Bruderheim and area residents, http://lce.folc.ca
— End of quoted letter to Shell —
Friends, if you have come this far with reading about this billion-dollar Alberta CO2 scam, then you may also have some ideas on what to do about it. I will gladly help with searching for facts, mailing, operating the blog on the Lamont County Environment and such things, but I can no longer be as involved as I was with the opposition to the Hazco Sulphur Project (a project for which we now pay through the nose but on which the bubble is burst, perhaps until someone, about 30 years down the line, begins to blow another bubble).
The interesting aspect of the CO2 capture and storage project is that, although it will do nothing to affect the global climate, once it is in operation, it is estimated that it will add a whopping four percent of nitrogen oxides to the atmospheric nitrogen oxides background levels that already exist in the Fort Saskatchewan area air-shed.
This issue requires someone younger, and I am going the other way. Please, let me have a bit of rest, just not too much peace and quiet.
Write to me, preferably at http://lce.folc.ca [about this or any other related issue], where others can read what you have to say. By the way, if I happen to be your father or grandfather, you don’t have to mention it. Let’s just do what the politicians seems to be incapable of doing, use common sense.