Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why this author wishes he were wrong. Read and remember and tell your friends all the right reasons for the Keystone XL Pipeline!!

How I Wish I Was Wrong About The Keystone XL Pipeline

By Jay Lehr, Ph.D
Science Director
The Heartland Institute 

Most people do not realize that major oil pipelines extending 2,151 miles from the Canadian Tar Sands have already been completed and are operational from Hardisty, Alberta, east through Saskatchewan and Manitoba and south through eastern North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas and then on to refineries in southern Illinois and central Oklahoma carrying 590,000 barrels of oil each day.

If they did, they would certainly wonder what is the uproar about adding the capacity of an additional 830,000 barrels a day through new pipelines from Hardisty, Alberta, through eastern Montana and southwestern North Dakota where it would pick up United States oil from the now famous Bakken Fields then move further east through South Dakota and Nebraska  to Steele City, Nebraska, where the existing pipeline travels on to Cushing , Oklahoma, and then continue it about 500 more miles to the Gulf Coast of Texas where so many refineries are located.

Canadian oil is cleaner than most we get from Venezuela and the Persian Gulf.  If we do not get the Canadian oil, it will not slow development of the tar sands, which is a supposed goal of the environmental activist, as Canada will simply build a pipeline to Vancouver and sell the oil to Asian countries.

Marita Noon, Executive Director of Energy Makes America Great, Inc., blogging on March 4 quoted the Heritage Foundation as follows: “the project will create some 179,000 jobs on American soil, and continue good trade relations with a close ally."  What is not to like? Well plenty. 

Prominent environmental activist Paul Ehlich is famous for having said 30 years ago that having cheap energy was the equivalent of putting a machine gun in the hands of an idiot child.  That, I am afraid, is exactly what our alphabet soup of environmental activists groups believe, which is certainly why they support wind and solar energy with all their energy and funds because they know it will never be cheap. In fact they know it will never be even economically feasible.  

Now they are panicked over the game-changing ability to develop heretofore uneconomical shale gas with the advent of horizontal drilling and hydro-fracking, the latter technology having been used for 60 years in conventional oil drilling, without any environmental damage whatsoever.

For years now our government has ordered up environmental impact studies on the Keystone XL Pipeline, and when a study concluded that there were not serious problems, they ordered up a new study.  There have been four in all, the latest from the State Department of all agencies, which again concluded that there would be no major environmental impact to limit the pipeline's construction.  Now the State Department is interested in public feedback despite the fact there have been tens of thousands of public comments already.

In mid-March 17 Democrats voted with 45 Republicans in the Senate for a budget amendment supporting the pipeline, which was up from 11 Democrats voting for a similar amendment last year.  That is good news as is a recent Fox News Poll reported on in the Wall Street Journal on March 27 that 70% of registered voters support construction of the pipeline.

Add to that the conflicted unions, which while voting Obama into office are four square in favor of the pipeline for the jobs it will bring.  So how can the pipeline lose? Easily is the answer.

Recently the environmental activists staged a demonstration in Washington to convince the President not to give in.  Few showed up and some were even arrested, but it was not a loss as environment expert Daryl Hannah, best known for her role as a mermaid, stated that the State Department report was “totally wrong, flat out totally wrong”.  Can the President challenge that?  I think not.  His office is a wholly owned subsidiary of the green movement, which has financed billions and billions (as Carl 
Sagan used to say when referring to stars) of failed green projects. 

But there could still be a happy ending for most of us.  It is called “the railroad."  Remember the old, nearly or really bankrupt railroads of the 1970s?  Well, they are back and stronger than ever.  Currently they have saved North Dakota from overflowing with a glut of oil by filling miles and miles of tank cars on Warren Buffet’s Burlington Northern Line with 500,000 barrels of oil each day and carrying it to refineries on the west coast of the United States. By year's end, their capacity will rise to 700,000 barrels a day. They are capable of building new track connecting the Dakotas with our Gulf Coast, unless Obama figures that this would be an environmental hazard as well.  Stay Tuned.

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