I am sick and tired of people talking about the Keystone XL pipeline as if it were a new thing that hasn’t ever been built before. This is a failure of the press and our political “leader”ship to to properly educate the populace. The President is (supposedly) about to veto a bill to authorize completing the planned pipeline, so I’ll say all I’ve got to say about this thing:
It’s fine. It’s as safe as can be. It’s approximately environmentally neutral. It will add a few jobs to the economy. It will help USAmerican oil producers. It will be useful for the future energy markets in the world. It should be built.
. . . and it has been built, except for the section that would allow yet more oil to be refined in the USA.
Here is the proposed route for the new section of “XL” pipe (green line) and the existing Keystone pipe already taking Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast:
Wait, what? Existing? But I thought…
That’s right baby, the pipeline is already built. It is currently shipping up to 700,000 barrels per day (BPD) of oil down here RIGHT NOW! The controversy is a watermelon protest over a section of pipe that essentially duplicates existing pipe. Here is the existing infrastructure of all the pielines in the two countries involved with this project:
This is hardly the first pipeline in the country. It’s not even the first pipeline to come through the country from Canada. This one is only going to increase the capacity of pipes that will bring Canadian oil to American refineries. The alternative is to let the oil be produced anyway because they bygod are not going to stop producing oil for want of this one single pipe.
As the cartoonist says: there is one problem with this pipe:
Is there an hypothetical risk to water tables and wildlife on the proposed route? Sure, of course. If you want CLEAN energy you need NUCLEAR energy. The problem with that of course is that watermelons don’t want clean energy, they want NO energy. They are anti-human, against the very idea that people should advance their quality of life at the expense of the least bit of hypothetical risk to the mother earth. Yes it sounds crazy, but the hard core opposition to this sort of project comes in two stripes: communist/socialists who don’t want capitalism to advance at all,ever, and literally-insane crazy people who have lost all sense of perspective and ignore the advances made in safety and technology over the last 50 years.
Done right, modern oil-based energy is clean and safe. Yes, people still have to run things. This pipe not being built doesn’t mean no accidents will happen. It means the accidents will happen somewhere ELSE. There is a third kind of opposition to projects like this: NIMBY. Go be icky somewhere else.
Would you like an oil pipeline in your backyard then?
No, but I’d not shy away from a nuclear reactor several miles out of my city. This pipe is planned for flyover country where basically no-one has a backyard. The objections are to low-risk environmental stuff. They even moved the proposed route to avoid an especially environmentally-sensitive area. State says this pipe won’t affect carbon dioxide ‘pollution’ because they are going to develop those sand fields with or without this pipe, but they’re going to move it to market a different way. President Obama should let them build it already.
It should be noted: the President has made it harder to produce oil on Federally-owned lands, and during his term in office production on these lands has fallen. But it’s harder to tell people what to do on private land – and production on these lands has gone up “through the roof” despite his efforts to make it more expensive. Leaving aside his boasting that during his administration oil production here has increased, and how hypocritical that is, there is one more point. The XL pipeline will also allow easier access to market for some oil from the Bakken field in the USA that is along the proposed route. Some people might say that his opposition to this pipe is because it makes USAmerican oil cheaper and easier. But those people will have to write their own blog posts about the suspected reasons for President Obama not to want us to be independent of the Middle East for our oil needs . . .