Monday, June 12, 2017

Editor of New 'Sham Journal' Is Climate Science Denier With Ties to Heartland Institute

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By Graham Readfearn

The title alone of the scientific paper could have suggested one of two things — either the author deserved a Nobel prize in science, or something very odd was going on.
Professor Steve Sherwood knew it was not the former.
The paper’s title was grandiose but sincere — “The Refutation of the Climate Greenhouse Theory and a Proposal for a Hopeful Alternative” — and appeared in a publication with a name that sounded like a legitimate scientific journal. But appearances don't always stack up, and neither did this paper.
“The paper is laughable,” Sherwood told DeSmog.
“It is so riddled with unsupported, fantastic and … or … unintelligible claims, arranged in a disorderly fashion and sprinkled liberally with innuendo,” said the director of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Australia.
DeSmog has found the journal which that paper appeared in, “Environment Pollution and Climate Change,” is being led by a climate science denier who is advising notorious think tank the Heartland Institute.
The journal's editor-in-chief, Arthur Viterito, has signed several open letters dismissing the science linking greenhouse gas emissions to dangerous climate change.
Climate scientists have told DeSmog that anyone considering publishing in the “pseudo journal” should steer clear or risk damaging their reputation.
After just two issues, the journal has published six papers claiming to refute the science linking human activity to dangerous climate change — claims that run counter to the conclusions of all the world’s major science academies.
Climate scientists have described the papers as “garbage” and “ridiculous.”
Since being contacted by DeSmog, two academics have asked for their names to be removed from the journal’s “editorial board.”
OMICS defended its journal and choice of editor, saying: “For critics grapes will always be sour.”

OMICS Journals

The journal’s owner, OMICS International, says it publishes more than 700 “leading edge, peer reviewed” journals.
But OMICS is currently facing deception charges in the United States in a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The FTC alleges the company has been engaging in deceptive marketing practices by claiming their journals were following rigorous peer review standards and had high “impact factors” — a measure of how often published papers are cited by other scientists.
OMICS also organizes hundreds of “conferences.” DeSmog has revealed that its so-called “4th World Conference on Climate Change” scheduled for Rome this coming October was being hijacked by a group of climate science deniers who claim to be investigating climate scientists for “fraud.”
After being contacted by DeSmog, both the World Meteorological Organization and the European Environment Agency said they were not involved in the meeting, despite the names of staff members being used on the conference website.
OMICS journals operate on an “open access” system where articles are publicly available but academics have to pay for their work to appear in them.

Acceptance Letter a 'Complete Fraud'

Two scientists listed as editorial board members at Environment Pollution and Climate Change told DeSmog they had not been aware of the nature of the climate articles being published at the journal.
One scientist, Manolis Tyllianakis, an environmental economist working at a UK government agency, had accepted an email invitation to be on the editorial board before the first issue had been published. He told DeSmog he had not read, written, or reviewed any articles.
He said he was “very sorry I was included in such a journal” and said his own research showed he was “completely against” the views being expressed.
OMICS had also published on the journal’s website what appeared to be an auto-generated “acceptance letter,” purporting to be from Tyllianakis saying he accepted the offer to be on the editorial board of the “prestigious journal.”
The letter, which Tyllianakis was unaware of but described as a “complete fraud,” claimed he was “happy to render my continuous support and suggestion(s) for the betterment of journal [sic] in favoring the dissemination of scientific knowledge for the respective research community.”
Tyllianakis has asked the journal to remove his name from its website. Another academic, who asked not to be identified, made the same request after being contacted for comment by DeSmog.

'Denialist Garbage'

Viterito, a geography professor at the College of Southern Maryland, has published his research in another OMICS journal suggesting that global warming might not be caused by increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but rather by heat from undersea volcanoes changing ocean circulation patterns.
Sherwood said while “in science we do not try to stifle views that contradict prevailing expectations,” if he had been sent that paper for review, he would have recommended any journal reject it.
He said: “The peer-review process is meant to ensure that contributions to the literature explain clearly, do not violate known physical laws, and only make claims that are proportionate with the evidence presented.”
“The paper does not explain how a tiny heat flux at the bottom of the ocean could drive global warming while CO2, which traps hundreds of times more energy in the system, cannot.”
“Even worse, the overturning time of the deep ocean is over a thousand years, so it would take a thousand years for the heat to arrive at the surface making the alleged detailed relationship over the last few decades impossible.”
Professor Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University and a vocal opponent of climate science denial, told DeSmog: “This isn’t science. It’s politically motivated denialist garbage.”
He added: “Such sham journals make a mockery of the scientific process and must be exposed for what they are. Associating in any way with this pseudo-journal would endanger one’s scientific reputation. Keep your distance from this toxic mess.”

Skeptics Taking Advantage

Climate scientist Professor Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M University explained that in traditional scientific publishing, “journals made money by subscriptions and the incentive for the journal was to publish really good papers because nobody would subscribe to crappy journals.”
He said while there were several good open-access publishers, the incentive for some was to “publish a lot of papers, since you make money from each paper you publish regardless of whether anyone actually reads the paper.”
He added: “From this market failure arose the predatory open-access publication, where marginal academics can get stuff published that would never get published in legitimate journals.
“Climate skeptics have simply taken advantage of this to get their particular brand of bullshit published. Ultimately, though, most people know a fourth-rate journal when they see it and I don't think these faux peer-reviewed papers are taken seriously by anyone. At least I hope not.”
Viterito took the role as editor-in-chief  three months after the FTC announced its court action against India-based OMICS International.
Viterito said he was “concerned” about the FTC case, but said the “main claim made against OMICS is that they do not disclose publication fees with prospective authors” — an issue he said did not apply to his journal, which clearly stated the US$519 publication fee in its “instructions for authors.”
A lawyer at FTC dealing with the case has told DeSmog the allegations center on the way OMICS journals and conferences are marketed, and claims made about academic rigor.
OMICS has dismissed the allegations and has filed a court motion to dismiss the charges.

Viterito Defends Journal

Viterito is listed as an “expert” on the website of the Heartland Institute — a “think tank” which is among the most enthusiastic pushers of climate science denial and which has received funding from ExxonMobil, the Koch family foundations, and the Mercer Family Foundation (a major financer of Trump's campaign).
Viterito said he was not paid by Heartland. He said his affiliation with the organization was “limited to attending a few of their conferences, presenting some of my research findings for their podcast, and corresponding with their editors and analysts.”
He added: “I have also been invited [by Heartland] to comment on questions of concern in the areas of climate research, and have been quoted in their newsletter.”
Viterito said all papers sent to his journal had “three reviewers” and the peer review process was “fair and straightforward.”
But commenting on a paper in Viterito's journal — the one claiming to refute the greenhouse gas theory — Professor Sherwood said: “Among its claims is that the ‘greenhouse theory’ cannot be correct because real greenhouses have glass roofs and the atmosphere does not. Enough said. The fact that this paper was accepted demonstrates a total lack of any meaningful review procedure at the journal.”
Viterito added: “As for those who are critical of papers we have published, again, I say, that this is how science works. It is a marketplace of ideas, and some of those ideas will not be popular and many will ultimately prove to be false. Others, however, will stand up to their critics and become accepted.
So, if some readers think that certain ideas questioning the nature of the greenhouse effect are wrong, then by all means they should debunk those ideas using the best science possible. At that point, those ideas will become part of the immense dustbin of discredited science. This, in turn, represents new knowledge in the sense that we now know what is not true.”
Many climate scientists argue the claims made by deniers have been explored and debunked many times over in the scientific literature, to the point where some scientists call them “zombie myths” because of their refusal to die.
Viterito is also a member of a group known as “Clexit” which claims that “global warming has occurred naturally many times in the past and is not to be feared — it is not controlled by carbon dioxide or humans.”
The group's statement adds: “This vicious and relentless war on carbon dioxide will be seen by future generations as the most misguided mass delusion that the world has ever seen.”
Viterito also signed an open letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to withdraw from the United Nation’s Paris climate agreement. The letter claimed that carbon dioxide was “not a pollutant but a major benefit to agriculture and other life on Earth” and that any warming from increased CO2 would be “benign.”
The FTC has published a guide for academics and scientists, warning them to “beware of predatory journal publishers.”

Sour Grapes?

In response to questions, DeSmog was sent a long and idiosyncratic email from “OMICS Journal of Environment Pollution and Climate Change co-ordinator Rachel Martin” which said: “With our journal we are acting like a bridge between the science and the world. Please don’t create havoc/fake publicity by defaming our publisher or journal. Now last but not the least, raising question is very easy but acknowledging the hard work behind the publication is never considered by critics. For critics grapes will always be sour.”
The email added: “All the articles published in our journal have gone through a thorough peer review process. All assigned editors and reviewers thoroughly study the manuscripts and they provide their views/comments, which are forwarded to handling editor/editor in chief for final decision. We have even rejected several manuscripts which were not worthy to get published.”
Only one academic had requested their name be removed from the journal's editorial board, the email said.
The email also sought to confirm Viterito's suitability for the role, stating: “We would like to clearly verify that our esteemed Editor-in-Chief Dr. Arthur Viterito was invited from our side on basis of his research and contributions towards environment science.”
The journal co-ordinator provided DeSmog a list of Viterito's affiliations to scientific associations and also a list 14 articles written or co-written by Viterito — 13 of which were at least 24 years old. The exception was Viterito's research published in a different OMICS journal.

Nigel Farage is 'person of interest' in FBI investigation into Trump and Russia

Exclusive: FBI interested in former Ukip leader’s ties with people connected to US president and WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

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By  and 
Nigel Farage is a “person of interest” in the US counter-intelligence investigation that is looking into possible collusion between the Kremlin and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the Guardian has been told.

Sources with knowledge of the investigation said the former Ukip leader had raised the interest of FBI investigators because of his relationships with individuals connected to both the Trump campaign and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder whom Farage visited in March. 
WikiLeaks published troves of hacked emails last year that damaged Hillary Clinton’s campaign and is suspected of having cooperated with Russia through third parties, according to recent congressional testimony by the former CIA director John Brennan, who also said the adamant denials of collusion by Assange and Russia were disingenuous.
Farage has not been accused of wrongdoing and is not a suspect or a target of the US investigation. But being a person of interest means investigators believe he may have information about the acts that are under investigation and he may therefore be subject to their scrutiny.
Sources who spoke to the Guardian said it was Farage’s proximity to people at the heart of the investigation that was being examined as an element in their broader inquiry into how Russia may have worked with Trump campaign officials to influence the US election.
“One of the things the intelligence investigators have been looking at is points of contact and persons involved,” one source said. “If you triangulate Russia, WikiLeaks, Assange and Trump associates the person who comes up with the most hits is Nigel Farage.
“He’s right in the middle of these relationships. He turns up over and over again. There’s a lot of attention being paid to him.”
The source mentioned Farage’s links with Roger Stone, Trump’s long-time political adviser who has admitted being in contact with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker whom US intelligence agencies believe to be a Kremlin agent.

Farage’s spokesman said he had never worked with Russian officials, and described the Guardian’s questions about Farage’s activities as “verging on the hysterical”.
“Nigel has never been to Russia, let alone worked with their authorities,” the spokesman said. But he did not respond to questions about whether Farage was aware of the FBI inquiry; had hired a lawyer in connection to the matter; or when Farage first met Trump.
The spokesman also declined to comment on whether Farage had received compensation from the Russian state-backed media group RT for his media appearances. RT, which has featured Farage about three times over the last 18 months, also declined to comment, citing confidentiality.
On Thursday Farage dismissed the story as “fake news”. He said he visited Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in March at the behest of LBC Radio “with a view to conducting an interview”.
He added: “I consider it extremely doubtful that I could be a person of interest to the FBI as I have no connections to Russia.”
Farage has said he only met Assange once has but declined to say how long the two have known each other.
The FBI’s national press office said it had no comment on Farage. 
The former Ukip leader has voiced his support for the Russian president, calling Vladimir Putin the leader he most admired, in a 2014 interview. Ukip also has history with Assange: Gerard Batten, a Ukip member of the European parliament (MEP), defended the Wikileaks founder in a speech in the European parliament in 2011.
One source familiar with the US investigation told the Guardian that the examination of Farage’s activities was considered especially delicate given his role as an MEP.
Neither Farage nor Trump have made a secret of their admiration for one another. They emerged as unlikely winners last year in contests that have reshaped the world order: Britain’s vote to leave the EU and Trump’s surprise ascendency to the White House.
Both men credited their ability to tap into the worries of struggling and neglected citizens for their victories. But at the heart of the US investigation lies a deeper question: whether Trump campaign officials and people close to the former reality TV star sought to work with state players in Russia to try to influence the US election result.
Last July, Farage attended the Republican national convention in Cleveland, Ohio, when Trump became the party’s nominee.
According to an account by the Ukip donor Arron Banks, Farage first met Trump at a campaign stop in Mississippi in August, where he spoke at a Trump campaign event.
But Farage’s relationships with people close to the US president began years earlier. Farage first met Steve Bannon, Trump’s strategist and former campaign chief executive, in the summer of 2012, when Bannon, who was interested in rightwing movements in Europe, invited the then Ukip leader to spend a few days in New York and Washington, according to an account in the New Yorker magazine.
There Farage was introduced to, among others, the staff of the then senator Jeff Sessions, who is now the US attorney general. Speaking of his longtime admiration for Bannon, Farage told the New Yorker last year: “I have got a very, very high regard for that man’s brain.”
Two years later, in 2014, Breitbart News, of which Bannon was executive chair, opened an office in London. A top editor, Raheem Kassam, later went on to work as Farage’s chief of staff.
In 2015, Breitbart News arranged a dinner in Farage’s honour at “the embassy”, the nickname for the house the news group rented in Washington. According to a report in Bloomberg, attendees were “blown away” by Farage’s speech at the event, which was also attended by Sessions.
Then, on 24 June last year, the day after the UK voted to leave the EU, Farage thanked Bannon during an interview for Breitbart News’s coverage of the leave campaign. Bannon, in turn, congratulated Farage on his victory, saying he had led an extraordinary “David v Goliath” campaign.
Farage’s ties to Stone are also under scrutiny, it is understood. Stone has frequently publicised his relationship with Assange and described him on Twitter as “my hero”. 
Stone publicly predicted the 2016 release of hacked emails from the Clinton campaign that now lie at the heart of the federal inquiry. Democrats on the House intelligence committee have named Stone in their hearings and, according to the New York Times, he is now under investigation.
Last summer, just a few weeks before Farage met Trump in Mississippi, Stone bragged about having a “mutual friend” who served as an intermediary between himself and Assange. He also mentioned in a separate tweet that he had dinner with Farage, though the date of the encounter is unclear. 
After Trump’s victory, Farage was one of the first foreign politicians to meet and celebrate with the Republican president-elect, and had his picture taken with Trump in front of a golden elevator in Trump Tower just days after the US election.
In November, Trump suggested in a tweet Farage should become the UK’s ambassador to the US.
The tweet prompted a curt response from Downing Street, which pointed out that there was “no vacancy”. A spokesman said: “We already have an excellent ambassador.”
The pair met again in February, when they had dinner together with Trump’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka, and her husband and White House adviser, Jared Kushner.
Farage was asked about his relationship with Assange in a recent interview with Die Zeit, the German newspaper, after he was seen on 9 March leaving the Ecuadorian embassy where Assange has lived for years. Farage, who declared he had “never received a penny from Russia”, said he met Assange for “journalistic reasons”.
Pressed on his meetings with Russian officials in the past, Farage initially denied having had any, but then acknowledged that he had met Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to the UK, in 2013.
Asked by Die Zeit what he was doing now, and whether he saw himself as a politician or a journalist, Farage concluded: “Changing public opinion. That’s what I have been doing for 20 years. Using television, media. Shifting public opinion. That’s what I am good at.”
A spokesman for Farage told the Guardian he had only met Assange on that one occasion. “The meeting was organised by a broadcaster, they could have easily sent another presenter instead.”

Key players in Russia-Trump investigation

Donald Trump
The US president’s campaign team and people close to him are being investigated for possibly colluding with Russian state actors to influence the outcome of last November’s election. Trump, who has called the investigation “fake news” and recently fired the FBI director leading the case, was a staunch defender of Farage’s Brexit campaign and has met the former Ukip leader, whom he proposed several times as a possible UK ambassador to the US. While Trump recently said he would be OK with the US arresting Assange for leaks of sensitive information, he has previously sided with the Wikileaks founder, repeating Assange’s claim that he did not receive support from Russia.
Nigel Farage
The former Ukip leader was an enthusiastic supporter of Trump’s presidential campaign and attended the 2016 Republican national convention. He also has links with Steve Bannon, Trump’s White House strategist, and Roger Stone, the president’s decades-long political mentor. Farage has praised Vladimir Putin as a strong leader and has appeared several times on RT, Russia’s English-language propaganda channel. Farage has declined to say how much money RT paid him. Sources say Farage is a “person of interest” in the FBI’s investigation into whether Trump’s associates colluded with Russia during the presidential election.
Steve Bannon
The president’s chief White House strategist, who served as chief executive of the Trump campaign, has known Farage since 2012, when he was working as a senior editor at Breitbart News, the rightwing news website. The former investment banker – seen as the driving force behind Trump’s “America First” nationalist policies – hosted Farage in the US while he was leading Ukip and introduced him to key US conservatives. Breitbart strongly supported the leave campaign during the EU referendum in the UK and Bannon is seen as the main conduit between Trump and Farage.
Roger Stone
The Republican operative, who has known Trump for decades, is at the centre of the FBI investigation. Stone, who reportedly keeps in touch with Trump, boasted last year that he had a “back channel” to Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, and predicted the release by Wikileaks of emails that damaged Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Last summer, Stone tweeted that he had dinner with Farage – confirming the pair’s relationship – and had contact with Guccifer 2.0, who claimed responsibility for the hacking of Democratic party emails.
Julian Assange
The editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks played a key role in the release of hacked Democratic party emails, according to US intelligence agencies. They allege Russian hackers working for two Moscow spy agencies – the GRU and the FSB – gave the emails to Assange in London. WikiLeaks then published the leaked emails in July and October. This damaged Clinton’s campaign and helped Trump’s, US intelligence says. Assange denies the emails came from a state. In March, Farage visited Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, just days after he had dined with Trump in Washington.

Goldman Sachs-backed Firm Invests Big in Shipping Tar Sands by Train Along Keystone XL Route

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By Steve Horn

USD Partners, a rail terminal operator owned in part by Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, has signed a nearly three year deal to facilitate moving tar sands by train from where it is extracted in Alberta, Canada, to an offloading terminal in Stoud, Oklahoma, in a route mirroring that of the Keystone XL pipeline.
From Stroud, the heavy oil can be sent via pipeline to the nearby oil storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma. USD's announcement, which said the company could transport up to 70,000 barrels per day of tar sands in rail cars, came in a June 2 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The deal, centering around the purchase of the Stroud terminal, also included the acquisition of 300,000 barrels of storage space in Cushing, a town known by oil and gas industry observers as the “pipeline crossroads of the world.” 
We are proud to announce the successful repositioning of an underutilized asset to create a competitive network solution for our new customer’s growing oil sands production,” Dan Borgen, CEO of USD Partners, said of the deal in a press release. “Our Hardisty to Stroud rail solution delivers immediate takeaway capacity, preserves the integrity of our customer’s heavy barrels and enables substantial end market optionality at Cushing with available pipeline capacity to the Gulf Coast.” (Note: Tar sands are also known as “oil sands.”)
Ironically, as reported by DeSmog's Justin Mikulka, Goldman Sachs penned a 2013 report titled, “Getting oil out of Canada,” which said tar sands–by-rail was not economically viable. However, in the years following that report, USD, with the backing of Goldman, has entrenched itself more deeply in the tar sands–by-rail market.
In Hardisty, Alberta, where the tar sands–by-rail journey begins, USD Partners owns a major oil-by-rail shipping facility. The Hardisty facility currently has the ability to handle two tar sands–by-rail shipments per day, equivalent to 120,000–140,000 barrels per day of crude. This latest deal will represent a quarter of the site's business.

“Inbound product” shipped from Alberta to Stroud “is delivered by the Stillwater Central Rail, which handles deliveries from both the BNSF and the Union Pacific railways,” explains the USD Partners press release. BNSF is owned by Warren Buffett, who is a major campaign contributor to Democratic Party candidates, including 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has shown deep support for tar sands development, to the dismay of environmentalists.
“No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there,” Trudeau said in March at CERAweek, a major oil and gas industry conference held in Houston, Texas. “The resource will be developed. Our job is to ensure that this is done responsibly, safely, and sustainably.”
The tar sands have a larger carbon footprint than other oil products when accounting for the product's entire life cycle — making it bad news for the climate.
“Tar sands crude … would have a carbon footprint of 632 kilograms per barrel,” InsideClimate News explained in an April 2017 story, pointing to an environmental impact statement done for Enbridge's Line 67 pipeline, a tar sands–carrying pipeline. “That compares to an average U.S. refinery mix of 521 kilograms per barrel of carbon dioxide emissions.”
The announcement by USD comes as the investment research and management firm Morningstar has released a report which concluded that tar sands are currently being carried at record levels via rail, up to 183,000 barrels per day in March, with those figures likely on the rise.
“Given that no new crossborder pipeline capacity is expected on line before 2019, we expect Canadian crude-by-rail traffic into the United States to continue growing as production increases,” reads the report.

Goldman Sachs Ties to Trump, Clinton

Several former Goldman Sachs bankers serve in the Trump administration, including Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn, who previously worked as the bank's president and chief operating officer. Steven Mnuchin, Trump's Secretary of the Treasury, also formerly worked for Goldman as chief information officer.
Another senior economic adviser, Dina Powell, has served as president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, while Steve Bannon, one of Trump's top aides, was a vice president for Goldman.
Goldman Sachs also had a key person in Hillary Clinton's corner: CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Blankfein endorsed Clinton's run for president both in 2016 and 2008. Cohn was also a donor to Clinton both as a U.S. Senator and during her 2008 run for office, giving $5,600 in total to Clinton's campaigns, according to data posted on And the banking giant itself paid Clinton $675,000 to address company executives three times after her tenure as U.S. Secretary of State.
Prior to surrounding himself with Goldman Sachs bankers, Trump critiqued what he described as their “control” over his opponents during the 2016 election cycle.
I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over him,” Trump stated in a February 2016 campaign rally of his primary opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). “Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.”

Oil by Rail Hub

Stroud, Oklahoma, was the end point for the first delivery of oil-by-rail shipped from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota in 2010. Until purchased by USD Partners, the Stroud facility was owned by EOG Resources, a company formed out of the ashes of the now-defunct Enron.
“Because current crude oil production in North Dakota exceeds the existing pipeline takeaway capacity, EOG developed the crude by rail concept and agreed to a strategic transportation arrangement with BNSF Railway,” EOG wrote in a press release about the premier shipment. “The initial target for EOG’s rail system is one unit train per day with a maximum capacity of 60,000 gross barrels of oil per train, although initial shipments may be less frequent.” (Note: A unit train is composed of cars carrying only one type of cargo.)
Just weeks earlier, Buffett announced the purchase of BNSF through his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, which sent shockwaves through the shipping market for U.S. oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and opened the door for the “bomb trains” boom.

Stroud, according to the 2013 environmental impact statement (EIS) published by then-President Barack Obama's State Department, has the capacity to handle a similar amount of oil per day as TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, approved earlier this year by President Donald Trump's administration. The Alberta-to-Oklahoma oil-by-rail route was viewed as a prospective pipeline alternative. “Under this scenario, up to 15 unit trains per day would arrive at Stroud” and “seven rail terminals would be built,” according to the EIS.
The Gulf Coast pipeline, the southern leg of Keystone XL approved by President Barack Obama during a March 2012 presidential campaign stop in Cushing, also passes through Stroud on its way south to Port Arthur, Texas.

USD: Oil by Rail 'Pioneer'

The American Journal of Transportation described USD Partners as a “pioneer” of shipping oil by rail and tar sands by rail, crediting the company with reshaping U.S. oil markets.
USD has “helped introduce the energy markets to specialized terminals that can quickly load mile-long oil tank trains heading to the same destination — facilities that have revolutionized the U.S. oil market,” explained the publication in a 2013 article. “USD is shifting its attention away from the best-known U.S. shale oil plays toward Canada, announcing plans two weeks ago to help build what might be the biggest oil-by-rail terminal to serve the northern oil sands patch.”
USD also maintains a considerable fleet of rail cars, numbering more than 3,300 as of December 2015, according to its website. Those cars have the ability to heat “heavy viscous crude oil grades” such as the Alberta tar sands, “reducing the need to blend these heavier crude grades with diluents.”
The head of USD Partners has in turn credited Goldman with its increased clout in the oil-by-rail orbit.
“Their investment has allowed us to grow at a more rapid pace than we otherwise would have,” Borgen told Reuters in 2013. “We have similar cultures, and they're some of the smartest in the business.”