The Crude Logic of Daryl Hannah

Rich Trzupek is a veteran environmental consultant and senior advisor to the Heartland Institute. He is the author of the new book Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry (Encounter Books).


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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently promised that the Obama administration would finally make a decision on whether or not to permit construction of a new pipeline that would deliver Canadian crude oil to the United States. The Keystone-XL pipeline would create jobs, provide a significant and stable new source of oil and give the economy a badly-needed shot in the arm. So, naturally, environmentalists are outraged by the plan.

On Tuesday, protesters led by actress and environmental activist Daryl Hannah demonstrated in front of the White House, calling on the administration to stop the pipeline, which would eventually deliver over 800,000 barrels of crude per day to refineries in Texas. To put that in context, the United States currently consumes about 18,000,000 barrels per day of petroleum products, so 800,000 barrels is a substantial number. Hannah has likened the protest against the pipeline to the civil rights movement and maintains that civil disobedience is necessary to fight what she and her fellow environmental activists see as a monstrosity. True to her word, Hannah was arrested after ignoring orders from U.S. Park Police to move from the spot where she was sitting down in front of the White House.

Following their playbook, environmentalists have tried to demonize the Keystone-XL pipeline in any way they can, no matter how spurious the argument. For example, the crude that will flow through the pipeline originates in the tar sands of Alberta. It is “dirtier” (in the sense that it has more contaminants that must be removed) than “sweet” crude. Because it’s dirtier, environmentalists claim that refineries will pollute more when processing it. Like so many aspects of the environmental movement, this seemingly logical conclusion doesn’t hold up once you scratch beneath the surface a bit.

Refineries are subject to a plethora of standards that limit the amount of pollutants they can release into the air and into the water. None of these standards is based on the type of crude oil that a refinery processes. The EPA does not care if a refinery is processing the sweetest crude available or if it’s processing crude so foul that it’s sometimes called “dinosaur dung” in the trade. The limits are the limits – period – and refineries that process crude from the tar sands will be held to the same standards to which they have always been held. So rather than polluting more, refineries that process dirtier crude have to improve their processes in order to handle them and still meet pollution limits. This modernization process has already begun.

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  • NatureLover

    Wow you don't even pretend to know what impartial means

    • AL__

      I hate hippies

    • mike grunewald

      hey nittwitt don't want oil ..walk you should be barred from driving ,flying an
      d living in comfort

  • artcohn

    On O'reilly, Hanna said that we should have wind power rather than use this tar sand oil.
    This shows her total ignorance. Wind power can only be used for pumping or to make electricity, and that only intermitantly. Very little of our electricity power production uses oil as its fuel. Most oil goes for vehicle propulsion. Only when the public buys appreciable amounts of battery powered vehicles can there be any substitution of electric power into vehicles . But since most recharging occurs at night when there wouldbe no solar , aand little wind power, there wouldn't be much of this substitution in any case. The oil from the tar sands will substitute for the OPEC produced oil, and thus lessen the huge amount of money transferred to the oil producing nations that are the main sponsors of terrorism

  • Angus

    Guess they will just need to build the refineries in Canada.

  • StephenD

    She is an actress…so she knows better than we do. We should LISTEN TO HER ~ DAMN IT!! LOL
    The sad fact is these people take themselves serious and think we should too. So now we have a new line-up.
    Alec Baldwin, PresidentJesse Jackson, Vice
    Janine Garofalo, Secretary of StateMike Moore, Health and Human Services
    Mat Damon, EducationOlbermann, Press Secretary
    Daryl Hanna, EPATrumka, Labor
    Van Jones, TreasuryRosie O’Donnell, Justice
    Al Sharpton, well leave him where he is
    I’m sure everyone here can add their own names to the list. In fact, I’d get a kick out of seeing the perfect fictitious “ticket” drawn up for them!

    • johnnywoods

      I am still amazed that Hollywood types think that they should be regarded as "experts" on anything. I am also wondering when the majority of the people will quit listening to the "inviro nut bags" and demand action from the government to get out of the way.

  • SoCalMike

    The US is literally sitting on OCEANS of oil and natural gas yet we can not touch most of it because precious environmentalist sensibilities might be offended.
    Without realizing it, these idiotic confused children driven by guilt for winning life's lottery like Ms. Hannah are actually running dogs for multinational oil which more than anything wants to cut small American producers out of the picture.
    The multinationals have been at it since the mid 60s but after the fall of the Wall they passed the PR baton to the newly hatched environmental movement who enthusiastically joined the cause.
    Children can't be expected to follow the money trail but adults must.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    Maybe without the socialism that props the US oil cartel and GM and prevents good people from registering home built cars, the free market can develop and use electric cars and then all these fossil fuels people can go hang. BUT Nooooooo! Valero Corporation has a stake in the pipeline and Valero has been awarded multiple multi-million dollar contracts by the U.S. Defense Energy Support Center to provide fuel to Israel. And Israel is bucking to be a market for tar sands and shale oil development. So America can screw itself. Israel must be allowed to enrich itself.

    • stern

      Nice one, Flip. Way to turn an argument that has absolutely nothing to do with Israel into yet another case of "It's the Joos! It's always the Joos".

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        When is this site not about Jews? It's a hasbara site.

        • Ghostwriter

          I'll ask one more time,would you please stop your anti-Jewish drivel? It's becoming annoying!

          • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

            I was talking about Israel. Stern brought up Jews.

    • Chiggles

      Well why shouldn't Israel enrich itself? Then it wouldn't have reason to be propped up by American taxpayers.

    • AL__

      ron paul's brown shirt

  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    Daryl Hannah

    A darling, darling woman pitifully wasting her time and talents on a bad cause.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/helpandcounsel/home Lyn

    Celebrities are supposed to be for entertainment purposes only. Really they should come with a disclaimer. After listening to talk show interviews of Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, and others it is hard for me even to watch them in my favorite movies any more. I'm sorry that anyone takes them seriously. They're flakes.

  • Questions

    Daryl Hannah, one must admit, was pretty cool in Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol II," even though her evil character deserved her fate at the hands (and feet) of the even cooler Uma Thurman.

  • flyingtiger

    hannah is a great actress and I enjoy her movies. She should stick to acting, instead of this nonsense.

    • mike grunewald

      never seen her she is BLOND Peabrain

  • Ghostwriter

    Personally,if we're going to get oil from anywhere,I'd rather it be the Canadians. They actually seem to care about us and they seem to me,at least,to be good neighbors. I don't have a problem with this pipeline and judging by how Darryl Hannah was on "The O'Reilly Factor" last night,she's a bit clueless.

  • jasonz

    the problem with hannah and peeps like her is that she has very little understanding of things. nobody is saying trash the planet, but in order for us to get off fossil fuels we MUST find alternatives that work as well if not better. people like her drive priuses, and electric cars thinking they are helping. but that electricity came from somewhere it it damn sure wasnt any windmill in their front yard or solar panels.it WAS from the nuke and coal plants you are trying to shut down…more electic vehicles used means more electricity needed and more nuke and coal plants needed. everything has an envitomental costs. for every windmill you put up you MUST clear land, just as you do with solar panels, clear land good wind/sun. that means cutting down trees, and Birds getting whapped. not how many of each will you need to create our power reqirements. now what happens when the wind stops blowing and the sun sets?

    • switch607

      solar panels are still too much for me to use, 200 dollars for 15 w's? really?

  • fuzybrat

    If we had listened to enviro nuts like Hannah, we would still be living in caves and debating the value of fire.

    • jasonz

      actually the cave part sounds kinda cool..you see them underground houses in Austrailia…hehehe. but heck no environuts would not let us do that eaither claiming the poor aminals are kicked out

      • http://geosciblog.blogspot.com on-the-rocks

        You are right. The plight of homeless animals – driven from their caves by humans – will be the new liberal cause.

        • switch607

          hey if we let them stay homeless long enough, without large scal white guilt intervention, they might be able to grow into wild beasts and take care of themselves! but if we take them tell them they're orphans all day long… expect them to be weak!

  • Pathena

    How did Daryl Hannah and the "environmental activists" who protested against the proposed pipeline from Canada get to Washington? Did they walk? Or did they use airplanes, buses, and cars, which use gasoline? What do they eat – foods that are delivered to market in trucks? What are their clothes made of?

    And what does the term "activist" mean? Do these people not value reasoning or do they think that screaming, yelling, etc. are really how to conduct human affairs?

  • tagalog

    For environmentalists, the choice always seems to be framed as giving up petroleum-based energy sources in exchange for … well, nothing.

    We are told that we are wrong for depending on foreign sources of petroleum products, but when the issue of our exploiting our own petroleum resources arises, the enviros say "Don't do that!"

    Then we're told wind and solar farms will provide the energy we need. But when it's suggested that cloudiness and lack of wind are troublesome, that is a lesser issue. Then the question of the environmental affect of wind and solar farms arises, only to be ignored.

    Then the issue of nuclear power is raised, and all nuclear reactors are automatically as unsafe as the Soviet-designed Chernobyl plant.

    So I find myself considering really only three alternatives: (1) continue to depend of foreign production, relying on the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists and their supporters providing our oil, or (2) exploit our own resources and damn the enviros and their theories, or (3) giving in to the crackpot theories of wind and solar, and going for it. Personally, I think option (2) is the hot ticket, but I'm a conservative.

  • Jim_C

    I'm not a conservative but how are you going to develop alternatives to fossil fuel unless the fuel supply is literally drying up? Which is why I'm all for gas guzzlers and the like (provided emissions are safe). Use that fuel. Enjoy your vehicle!

    • switch607

      Agreed, nobody bys into anything until the crisis point. Would you? I know I dont wake up and smell the coffee until i'm at the funeral

  • AL__

    She is such a flake

    • mike grunewald

      and these Idiots make Headlines shows how dumb the Media is

  • Asher

    These Hollywood people are sooo stupid! This country still runs on fossil fuels and these idiots on the Left can afford to make life difficult for others while they sit in their Ivory Towers. If we could get a President that believes on getting off foreign oil, and start drilling off our shores again, the oil prices would go down…We should be disarming these Terrorist Arab States by not sending our oil dollars to them…It like voting for your enemy to destroy you. The Left is responsible for the Decline of America because of their phony-(Line your pockets schemes.)

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