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[1THING] Blog: Archive for February, 2015

[ Tracing the Northern Gateway: View from the East ]

Shell Oil Refinery, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Photo credit: Ann Chen

Shell Oil Refinery, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Photo: Ann Chen

Standing on the outskirts of Edmonton and looking northeast, a cluster of twinkling lights amid tall silvery smokestacks puffing out steam and smoke rises up out of the horizon.

Driving northeast towards those lights, following along the North Saskatchewan River, you will pass through the industrial city of Fort Saskatchewan, where petrochemical processing plants and bitumen upgrading facilities line the roads heading out of town. Train tracks run alongside the road and cylindrical rust stained train cars sit dormant, waiting to be filled with petrol products and sent along their way.

Here between Fort Saskatchewan and the next town, Bruderheim, is where the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline would start. I am on a reconnaissance mission to aerially map the beginnings of the pipeline, which would carry crude from the oil sands here in Alberta west to the British Columbia coast for export.

The last few big box stores fade into the background as the landscape empties out into fields, telephone poles, and industrial facilities. The roads empty out too. A few passenger vehicles whiz by, but the traffic is mostly industrial.

Range Road 214, Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Range Road 214, Fort Saskatchewan, AB. Photo: Ann Chen

Driving along the road, I feel out of place in my station wagon. This feeling is confirmed soon after I pull off the road to take some photographs. A truck coming in the opposite direction makes a quick u-turn and pulls up alongside me. Worried about being questioned for taking photographs, I pull my camera slightly behind my back as I turn towards the men in the truck. “Is that your car up there?” the driver’s friend asks. Did your car break down? Do you need help?

I smile in relief at their friendliness and concern and quickly reply, no, no, I’m fine, my car is fine. They look slightly confused as to why anyone would be walking in the gravel pitch alongside this empty corner of the world, but refrain from asking me more probing questions. I’m grateful for their concern, but it emphasized how out of place I am in this remote landscape.

Photo: Ann Chen

These large haulers are a common sight along this mostly empty road. Photo: Ann Chen

I am standing in what Alberta calls its Industrial Heartland, aka Upgrader Alley. It is also where the eastern terminus for the Northern Gateway pipeline is proposed to be built. The transformation of this agricultural zone into an industrial one did not take place without some nudging. In 1998, the five municipalities in this region just north of Edmonton partnered to form Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, a non-profit association whose aim is to develop the region into a gas, oil, petrochemical and chemical processing powerhouse.

The initiative has succeeded in transforming the region into a heavy industrial zone, with many other energy infrastructure projects proposed or under construction. It is currently Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing region, a fact evident in the patchwork of energy companies that dominate a recent landholdings map.

The air is heavy and sour with an unidentifiable—to me—chemical smell. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but it makes sense that the terminus of the pipeline would be at an oil transfer facility in an industrially zoned area and not in the center of a cluster of residential communities or farms, although the pipeline will eventually cut through both farther down the line.

The Northern Gateway will start in a region named the Heavy Astotin Industrial Area, within 1 mile (2km) west of the Astotin Natural Area, a provincially protected natural habitat. While it is “a relatively small area of forest for a nature reserve,” according to Travels and Trails, an online trail rating site, there are plenty of trails running through this rectangular wilderness zone.

In an environmental sensitivity and sustainability assessment report made in 2005, this northern section of Strathcona County is labeled “a large area of highly sensitive lands” because of its “extensive native vegetation cover and a broad groundwater recharge area.” The sandy composition of the soil made it inhospitable for agricultural development, creating a largely intact area of natural vegetation. The highly permeable soil–again due to its sandiness–meant that surface water could percolate through the soil rapidly to recharge groundwater aquifers.

The area’s dense forest, which includes the only stands of jack pine in Alberta, provides a habitat for wildlife including the broad-winged hawk and northern goshawk, two bird species ranked as sensitive in Alberta.


Shell Oil Refinery off in the distance. Photo: Ann Chen

It’s winter now and most of the ground and vegetation is covered in a thick layer of snow, obscuring most definable landmarks. It’s hard to spot the vegetation that I read about in the report. It would be interesting, I think to myself, to return in the summer to map the park vegetation with an infrared camera, which would help highlight all the vegetative growth. The environmental assessment report mentioned above came out in 2005. What has changed in the interim decade, and could these new maps I intend to make provide any clues?

I get back in my car and drive farther down the road, continuing past the Shell* plant on my left and looking for the beginning of the pipeline. I am scouting the area before returning the next day for the mapping event I had planned. Since it’s legal to take photos on public roads, I want to make sure there are accessible roads we can walk along during the mapping session of the landscapes the pipeline will cross through.


A section of the Northern Gateway Pipeline will run alongside this road. Photo: Ann Chen

“You have arrived”, announces my Google assistant. I step out of the car with my camera, to look around.

Ann Chen is a photographer, multimedia artist and researcher from New York City. She is currently in Western Canada tracing the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline through collective storytelling, community mapping and citizen science. Read her earlier posts here or follow her project on Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

This post originally appeared on National Geographic’s Voices blog.

*Shell is sponsor of the Great Energy Challenge. National Geographic maintains autonomy over content.


[ Obama’s Keystone Veto Elicits GOP Outcry—and Hollywood Applause ]

Keystone XL potesters gather outside the White House in 2012. The controversial project has been in limbo for six years. (Photograph courtesy 350.org)

Keystone XL potesters gather outside the White House in 2012. The controversial project has been in limbo for more than six years. (Photograph courtesy of 350.org)


President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill approving the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is kicking off a new round of denunciations from critics as well as support from Hollywood A-listers, including this week’s best-actress Oscar winner Julianne Moore.

Obama vetoed a bill, passed by the GOP-controlled Congress Feb. 11. and delivered to the White House Tuesday afternoon, to allow a 1,179 mile pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska. His veto, only the third of his presidency, came as no surprise. White House officials had indicated he would take such action to assert his presidential powers.

“Because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto,” Obama said in his veto message to Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said he would hold a vote to override the veto, but neither the House nor the Senate appears to have the two-thirds majority needed for an override.

The pipeline, first proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada in 2008, has become one of the most divisive issues of Obama’s administration. Opponents see it as a test of  the president’s commitment to the environment, arguing it would promote extraction of viscous Canadian oil that emits more greenhouse gases when burned than conventional crude. Proponents, including GOP lawmakers and the fossil fuel industry, say it would create jobs and bolster North American energy security by securing delivery of Canadian crude.

Even before Obama vetoed the bill, conservatives began denouncing the expected move. The conservative group Americans for Prosperity, partly funded by the billionaire libertarian brothers Charles and David Koch, launched a media campaign to criticize it.

“This veto proved once again that it’s politics as usual here in Washington.,” said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute. “Instead of standing with 72 percent of Americans, including a majority of Democrats, who support the pipeline, this decision continues us down the path of indecision and delay.”

Environmentalists hailed the veto as a huge victory. “Today, the pen was mightier than the pipeline,” said Anna Aurilio of the advocacy group Environment America. “President Obama deserves credit for standing up to Big Oil,” she said, adding that it’s time to stop global warming and Keystone would only accelerate it.

Also backing the president was a diverse coalition of more than 100 high-profile individuals that include actors Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Redford, Alex Baldwin. In a “Unity Letter” sent to the White House, the signatories called Keystone a “classic boondoggle” that won’t create many jobs but will pose risks to health and safety and only benefit “a handful of rich oil companies.”

Obama’s veto is hardly the end of the Keystone debate. The president could still approve the project although he’s made critical comments about its environmental impact. Because it crosses an international border, Keystone has undergone lengthy environmental reviews by the State Department.

Congressional Republicans have said they’ll continue to fight for Keystone, possibly by attaching provisions that force its approval to must-pass spending bills. Also, TransCanada says it remains committed to the project, even though it faces other obstacles that go way beyond Washington politics. (See related story: “Two Reasons Why Obama’s Veto Won’t Decide Pipeline.”)

Currently, the proposed northern leg of the pipeline lacks an approved route through Nebraska and a viable construction permit in South Dakota. Until those two issues are resolved, what happens in the White House or on Capitol Hill won’t really matter.



[ Coming in April ]

KEEP ATX BEAUTIFUL CLEAN SWEEP FLIPPER ARTKeep Austin Beautiful’s ‘Clean Sweep Austin’ is coming on Saturday, April 11th. Here’s the 411 and how you can help!

each April, Keep Austin Beautiful hosts Clean Sweep, a city-wide service day spanning 130+ sites in 31 zip codes throughout Austin and resulting in over 29 tons of trash removed by 4,000 plus volunteer who contribute 8,700 hours contributed. The network of cleanups is followed by a not-to-be-missed volunteer party featuring free t-shirts, lunch, live music, children’s environmental activities, recycled art, a unique object contest, door prizes, and more!

Saturday, April 11, 2015
9:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M. Locations all over Austin

Register to lead a cleanup at your favorite neighborhood, school, creek, or park!

  • General Volunteer RegistrationOpens March 6th!
  • See the 2015 Site Map.

For questions regarding volunteering or registering a cleanup site, please contact Rebecca Saltsman, Community Programs Manager, via email or at 512-391-0617

Volunteer Party & Environment Fair!
Saturday, April 11, 2015
11:00 A.M. – 1:30 P.M.
Fiesta Gardens

  • Live Music
  • Free Lunch, Drinks, Snacks, and Treats
  • Free Event T-shirts for early registrants
  • Door Prizes
  • Environmental Education Fair with hands-on activities
  • Most Unique Object Contest
Spread the word:
  • Share our Clean Sweep Facebook event with friends and family – coming soon
  • Tweet about your participation – sample tweets
  • Make an announcement in your neighborhood, school, or company newsletter
  • Share our Clean Sweep Facebook event with friends and family – coming soon
  • Tweet about your participation – sample tweets
  • Make an announcement in your neighborhood, school, or company newsletter



[ 29657: news.nationalgeographic.com/[news-article]/[energy-news]/energy/2015/02/150223-keystone-veto-wont-decide-pipeline/ ]

29657: news.nationalgeographic.com/[news-article]/[energy-news]/energy/2015/02/150223-keystone-veto-wont-decide-pipeline/


[ Two Reasons Why Obama’s Keystone Veto Won’t Decide Pipeline ]

The never-ending saga of the Keystone XL pipeline gets new twists with potential problems in Nebraska and South Dakota.


[ Keeping it Green for the Kiddos… ]

Another way to help out Mama Earth is starting at an early age w/ children keeping their snacks Green.  Here’s a list of 4 things I ran across you can try out.  Keeping snacks Green is a Fabulous 1 Thing to do for your family and Mama Earth!



Packaged snacks are so prevalent that sometimes we don’t even notice how much we’re throwing away. To cut down on the waste, provide kid-friendly refreshments that don’t require any wrapping at all. Making commonly packaged treats at home is fun, especially if you prepare the foods with your child. Cool off with DIY popsicles, try out some flavorful fruit leather, or get a boost from ecofriendly energy bars.


Making food at home lets us have more control over what we’re feeding our families. Plus, homemade food means fewer factory emissions, less packaging, and limiting the harmful chemicals we can ingest with processed foods.

Looking for inspiration? Online cookbooks (think paper-free!), including AllRecipes.com and Cooks.com, offer excellent kid-friendly options. For cooking with children, check out Petit Appetit, a book of organic recipes, Better than Peanut Butter & Jelly, a collection of easy vegetarian recipes, or the classic Betty Crocker kids’ cookbook.


Tasks such as picking out produce and meat at the store before preparing a meal offer opportunities to show kids the importance of shopping smart. When you’ve got children along, explain the difference between organic and nonorganic food and its effects on our bodies and planet. Learning about pesticidescan be scary, so show kids how to get clean fruits and vegetables. You can also bring children to a local farm; seeing the plants and animals that we eat is a great reminder, even for adults, that food doesn’t just magically appear at the store.


Help kids get excited about cooking at home by providing them with some items to get them started. Don’t go crazy buying new stuff – but if you do buy something new, keep it green. You can visit a thrift store or garage sale to find aprons, keeping an eye out for cast-off cookie cutters. Recycled-aluminum bakeware works well for treats like vegan cookies, and these attractive biodegradable liners make baking organic cupcakes fun. Many of the kitchen tools you already have can be used by children, if they’re supervised.




[ U.S. Homes Are Getting Bigger, Again, But More Energy Efficient ]

More McMansions, such as these in Greenwich, Conn., are appearing in affluent U.S. suburbs. Despite the upsizing of American homes, U.S. data show they're using less energy overall because of efficiency gains. (Andrew Watt/Flickr)

More McMansions, such as these in Greenwich, Conn., are appearing in affluent U.S. suburbs. Despite the upsizing of American homes, U.S. data show they’re using less energy overall because of efficiency gains. (Andrew Watt/Flickr)

During The Great Recession, the small-is-better crowd seemed to be winning. After decades of upsizing and the spread of suburban McMansions, the average size of new U.S. single-family homes fell. Yes, it actually shrank.

Architects such as Sarah Susanka, author of the Not So Big House series, cheered the slight downsizing—about 5 percent from 2007 to 2010. They wondered whether their less-is-more view had finally become the new Zeitgeist or whether Americans were simply strapped for cash.

Turns out, it was just the economy. The shrinking didn’t last, and new U.S. homes are now bigger than ever, according to the most recent Census Bureau data. But how bad is this for the environment, since larger homes typically use more energy?

There’s some good news today on that front.  Efficiency gains are offsetting more than 70 percent of the growth in energy use that would result from the increasing size and number of U.S. households, reports the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In fact, energy intensity—energy used per square foot—was 37 percent lower (or better) in 2009 than in 1980. It meant a reduced use of coal, natural gas and nuclear fuel.

Why this progress? The EIA cites factors that include energy prices, shifts in fuel sources and stricter building codes. It also notes the broader use of more efficient technologies—from appliances and lighting to heating/cooling units, some of which were promoted via energy labeling programs such as the voluntary Energy Star.

That’s the good news. The EIA also gives the bad: “The gains from energy intensity improvements would have been even larger if it were not for consumer preferences for larger homes and increased adoption of home appliances and electronics.”

In the three-decade period studied, the average home size grew about 20%. With more square footage came more and larger devices, such as big-screen TVs that gulp energy. So U.S. households actually used more energy overall, 10.2  quadrillion British thermal units (quads) in 2009—up from 9.3 quads in 1980—even though they used less per square foot.

Moral of the story: Efficiency matters but so does size. An accomplished architect I know was once asked by a client how to make a new 10,000 square-foot home “green.” His response: Don’t build it.

U.S. homes are getting bigger but using less energy because of more efficient appliances and materials, U.S. data show.

U.S. homes are getting bigger but using less energy because of more efficient appliances and materials, U.S. data show.


[ Keystone Pipeline Has New Headaches – Beyond Washington ]

Oil pipeline pumping station in rural Nebraska is shown on Feb. 16, 2013. (Shannon Ramos/Flickr)

Oil pipeline pumping station in rural Nebraska is shown on Feb. 16, 2013. (Shannon Ramos/Flickr)

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline encounters new obstacles that go beyond the politics of the nation’s capital.

President Barack Obama is expected as early as next week to veto a bill approving the multi-billion project, but he’s not Keystone’s only problem. Pending challenges also await in Nebraska and South Dakota—two states that the 1,179-mile (1,897-kilometer) northern leg of the pipeline would cross as it moves oil from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Neb.

Right now, the pipeline’s owner—Calgary-based TransCanada—lacks an approved route through Nebraska and a useable construction permit in South Dakota. Until these problems are fixed, whatever happens in Washington, D.C. won’t matter.

On Feb. 25, Nebraska’s Holt County will hold a hearing on whether to expedite the schedule for resolving a legal challenge to Keystone’s route.  Last week, a county judge issued a temporary injunction to stop TransCanada from using eminent domain to force landowners to sell rights allowing the pipeline on their property.

As a result, TransCanada agreed not to use eminent domain anywhere in Nebraska until the state’s Supreme Court finally settles the legal wrangling over the state law that approved Keystone’s route across the state. Just when that happens is difficult to say.

“Both sides are looking for clarity. The sooner, the better,” says TransCanada spokesman Mark Cooper, adding the company expects the process will probably take about a year.

“It could take a year or two years for the Supreme Court to hear the case,” says Jane Kleeb, director of the anti-pipeline group Bold Nebraska, adding the latest Nebraska injunction is a “huge victory” for opponents.

The two sides are enmeshed in a protracted fight. Proponents say Keystone will provide jobs and bolster North America’s energy security by ensuring delivery of Canadian oil. Opponents say it will foster the development of Alberta’s oil sands, which emit more heat-trapping carbon dioxide when burned, and thus exacerbate global warming. (See related story: “Do Plummeting Oil Prices Weaken Case for Keystone?“)

TransCanada, which first proposed the Keystone XL project in 2008, seemed to be making progress earlier this year. The new GOP-controlled Congress said it would force an Obama decision and for the first time, both the House and Senate approved legislation approving the project although not by veto-proof margins. (See related post: “Keystone XL Veto Threat: Does “No” Really Mean No?

Also, the Nebraska state Supreme Court issued a decision in January that upheld the law approving the Keystone route in that state. Yet that ruling didn’t prevent other lawsuits from challenging the law. (See related post: “Nebraska Ruling Throws Keystone XL Decision Back to State Department“)

So in late January, after TransCanada filed paperwork to begin using eminent domain to acquire land from owners who didn’t agree to sell easement rights, landowners sued. Kleeb says about 40 landowners in Holt County and another 20 in York County object to the pipeline on their property. TransCanada says it has approvals from 90 percent of Nebraska landowners along the pipeline’s path.

“For us, it’s the last resort,” Cooper says of eminent domain, adding TransCanada prefers to work with landowners to reach voluntary agreements.

Not all landowners agree. In South Dakota, rancher Paul Seamans says he initially opposed Keystone because of the way TransCanada “treated us, bullied us.” Now, he says he’s also concerned about the potential environmental damage, citing possible pipeline spills into waterways and the climate change impact of Canada’s oil sands extraction.

So Seamans, who leads the grassroots group Dakota Rural Action, along with 42 other individuals and groups are challenging TransCanada’s bid to extend its construction permit in South Dakota.

In March 2010, the state’s Public Utilities Commission approved such a permit as long as the company met 50 conditions and began construction within four years. Since TransCanada was unable to begin construction, given legal appeals in Nebraska and delays in the federal review process, its permit has essentially lapsed.

In September, the company filed paperwork to certify that it continues to meet the 50 conditions. Now it’s up to the PUC to decide.

“It will all culminate in the the first week of May with a public hearing,” says PUC chairman Chris Nelson, noting the hearing could last four or five days. He says there’s no deadline for its decision but the PUC will act quickly. “When I say expeditiously,” he says, “I mean it.”

“We know we have strong support in the state,” Cooper says of South Dakota, adding polls show two-thirds of residents back Keystone and 100 percent of landowners along the pipeline route have agreed to easement rights so eminent domain won’t be needed.

Still, Seamans says there are nearly three times as many groups or individuals challenging the construction permit now than did five years ago. “The tribes have got involved quite a bit more,” he says, noting their concern about protecting tribal lands.

Kleeb, whose Nebraska group is also intervening in the South Dakota case, expects the PUC will grant TransCanada’s certification but might tweak the pipeline’s route through the state. She says such a revision might necessitate a new supplemental environmental impact statement from the State Department, which has responsibility  to review Keystone because it crosses the U.S. border.

The State Department has already spent years studying the environmental impacts of various Keystone routes. TransCanada split the initial, 1,700-mile project into two parts and in January 2014, it finished building the the southern leg—from the Midwest to Gulf Coast refineries.


[ Fiery Oil Train Derailment in West Virginia Involves Newer Tank Cars ]

Derailed oil tanker train cars burn near Mount Carbon, W.Va., Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. A CSX train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm, sending a fireball into the sky and threatening the water supply of nearby residents, authorities and residents said Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Daily Mail, Marcus Constantino)

Derailed oil tanker train cars burn near Mount Carbon, W.Va., Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. A CSX train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm, sending a fireball into the sky and threatening the water supply of nearby residents, authorities and residents said Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Daily Mail, Marcus Constantino)

Another train carrying crude oil has derailed in the United States—this one erupting in flames in West Virginia. Yet it involved newer and supposedly tougher tank cars than are typically used in the rail industry, which is now facing stricter U.S. and Canadian safety rules.

More than 100 tank cars derailed Monday in a snowstorm in Mount Carbon, W.V., causing fires that continued to burn Tuesday. The accident threatened the local water supply and prompted the evacuation of hundreds of families. Officials are testing the water to determine if any of the oil, hauled from the Bakken shale fields in North Dakota, seeped into a tributary of the Kanawha River.

The train’s operator, CSX, said it was working to “contain oil found in a creek that runs parallel to CSX tracks.” Company spokesman Gary Sease said “the cause of of the derailment is under investigation.”

CSX also said that all the oil tank cars on the 109-car train were the CPC-1232 model, designed to be tougher and less prone to puncture than the most frequently used one—the DOT 111. Sease said the cars, owned by leasing companies, meet current federal rules but declined to say whether they would also meet proposed stricter standards.

This newer CPC-1232 model was also involved in an oil train derailment along the same line in April in Lynchburg, Va., that leaked crude into the James River. (See related post: “Oil Train Derails in Lynchburg.”)

The latest derailment, in a small town 33 miles (54 kilometers) southeast of Charleston, is the second major oil-train accident within a week. On Feb. 13, a Canadian National Railways train from Alberta’s oil sands derailed in a wooded area of northern Ontario.

The surging amount of oil moved by rail in North America has led to a spate of derailments, including a July 2013 tragedy that killed 47 people in the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic. The tank cars that derailed at Lac-Mégantic lacked puncture-resistant steel jackets, thermal insulation, and heavy steel shields that could have lessened the destruction.

As a result, U.S. and Canadian regulators have since proposed stricter rules for rail cars transporting flammable fuels. In July, the Obama administration proposed speed limits for trains carrying these fuels, tougher braking requirements, and new design standards for rail cars. It called for the phaseout, in two years, of the DOT 111 unless retrofitted to comply with the new standards. (See related stories: “As Fiery Accidents Pile Up, U.S. Proposes New Rules for Oil Trains” and  “New Oil Train Safety Rules Divide Industry.”)

“We need a new world order” for transporting fuel by rail, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said last year in announcing the proposal, which now faces review by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. He said DOT testing found that oil produced in the Bakken shale region of North Dakota and Montana, compared with other crudes, “is on the high end of volatility” and sometimes improperly classified by shippers as less flammable than it is.

A DOT report, released last year, said Bakken crude shipments travel, on average, more than 1,000 miles to coastal refineries. “There is an increased risk of a significant incident involving this material,” the report says.

In July, Canadian regulators mandated that DOT-111 tank cars built before 2014 be retrofitted or phased out by May 2017. Transport Canada, which regulates rail safety, is also seeking tougher safety standards for new tank cars.


[ Apple’s Going BIG TIME GREEN!!!.. ]

Apple is Rock’n it GREEN! Check this out…

solarCEO Tim Cook said Tuesday that the company would power its new corporate headquarters with energy from a 2,900-acre solar farm being built by First Solar. Apple committed $848 million to the solar project, which was approved for construction last month.

“We know at Apple that climate change is real,” Cook said at the Goldman Sachs’ 2015 technology conference in San Francisco, according to 9to5Mac. “The time for talk is past and the time for action is now.”…

…Environmental group Greenpeace praised Apple’s move.

“Apple still has a lot of work to do to reduce its environmental footprint, but other Fortune 500 CEOs would be well served to make a study of Tim Cook, whose actions show that he intends to take Apple full-speed ahead toward renewable energy with the urgency that our climate crisis demands,” Gary Cook, the group’s senior IT sector analyst, said in a statement.

Apple’s stock price closed at $122.02 on Tuesday, giving the company a market value of more than $700 billion — making it the first U.S. company in history to reach that mark. Click here for more.

A drone video of Apple’s new headquarters, currently under construction.