Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Not to Be Missed: Important Meeting on July 9

On Wednesday, July 9, from 6 to 8 p.m., Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson will make a presentation, right here in Hudson, about the risks of crude oil transportation in the Hudson Valley. The presentation is co-hosted by the Hudson Sloop Club and made possible by the generosity of Basilica Hudson, where the event will take place.

Afrodite and Riverkeeper boats screenshot cr DanaGulley 450
Photo credit: Dana Gulley

Gossips has posted about this issue a few times in the past, but if you need more information to persuade you that this event is important, here's some background provided by Riverkeeper:
Until recently, there was little or no crude oil transported in the Hudson Valley. The growth of oil production in North Dakota and elsewhere has spurred industry to make the Hudson Valley into an international conduit for crude oil. Up to 5 billion gallons of crude oil is being transported through the Hudson Valley annually by train, barge and ship. All three transportation methods--what is being called by industry a "virtual pipeline"--could affect our communities and environmental resources in Columbia and Greene Counties. Spills, explosions and fires--some resulting in the catastrophic loss of life--have occurred elsewhere on this virtual pipeline. Further, proposed Hudson River oil facility expansions could increase the transport of crude oil locally by as much as 1.8 billion gallons annually.
To educate yourself further about this significant threat to our city and our valley, mark your calendars and plan to attend the presentation on July 9.


  1. Wouldn't the Keystone pipeline lower the amount of crude flowing down the Hudson?

    1. While we're waiting for an OK on the pipeline, get Giffy to craft an ordinance restricting river use to Hudson Power Boat only.

  2. Wouldn't dedicating the necessary resources to renewables eliminate the need for either?

    1. Yes, although the transition would take place over a couple of decades. In the mean time, improved safety standards - river pilots for the ships and redesigned tank cars for the trains - can be implemented more quickly.
      The longer term solution I support is a "carbon fee and rebate" - imposing a fee per ton of fossil fuel, the revenue from which is distributed evenly to every household in the US.


    2. I'm afraid I need more details.

      To VM's question, there are no "renewables" that can compete with carbon, period.

      Short of someone realizing nuclear fusion in the lab, in the near future utopian-type "renewable" energy fantasies are a drop in the bucket, and a losing proposition. Even green Germany is backing out of its over-comittment to "renewables," realizing that it was all an unrealizable and expensive pipe dream.

      In that case, let's be realistic and secure some compromises on behalf of our river.

      What does the "carbon fee and rebate" imply for oil in barges on the Hudson? Granted we're going to continue using fossil fuels (and I appreciate the realism there), but why not try and prohibit its transport on the river?

      The captain of the Exxon Valdez was a neighbor of mine growing up, so personally I'm less interested in stories about the competence of river pilots than I am in considering a compromise with one of the several alternatives for Keystone to keep the Bakken oil out of here.

      Why doesn't anyone other than Joe and I connect these dots for the purposes of negotiating? It doesn't matter what percentage of the Bakken oil will flow through that pipeline, it is a negotiating point and a means to an end.

      Of course it's easier in every way - intellectually and morally - to be an uncompromising utopian than it is to accept the less than perfect, to compromise.

      The puritan tends to lose everything while retaining his self-respect, though there's a good argument to be made there for egotism and "spiritual pride."

      It's better, and smarter, and more difficult to weigh the safety of the Hudson River against the dozen or so alternatives in eastern Nebraska, but no one is doing that. As long as it's politically profitable to make fatuous arguments about renewable alternatives, it's my opinion that we're being bad stewards of the environment, I mean because we'll lose. And what good is that while you're still using fossil fuels? It's just hypocrisy.

    3. Would this redistribution of the carbon tax go to households that receive HEAP?

      Recipient could use that money for more minutes on their free phone.

      Beautiful country...

  3. Take a bow Sloop Club and Basilica - thanks for arranging and sponsoring this event.

  4. Michael O'Hara - Smart and correct as usual.

  5. Does Riverkeeper run on bio? Basilica have AC? Isn't there a (little) outboard on the back of Captain Nick's sailboat?

    Mr, O'Hhara timeline (decades) is correct and that oil is flowing now by rail and tanker. It took 50 years clean and in fifty minutes, we could be back at scratch...

  6. Please can anyone inform me/us as to the destination of the oil that is being xported thru the Hudson Valley.
    And is the oil to be used for U.S. use or export or a combo?

    1. Good guess might be NJ to be refined...