My sIde of the pipeline

The Keystone Pipeline

Okay, why not build the pipeline? The objections seem to be the following:

1. Oil in general is bad. Americans should not have any more of it. Oil contributes to global warming.

2. The pipeline could burst, and the environmental consequences of that are at issue.

3. The pipeline could harm wildlife migration.

And the pro-pipeline side says:

1. It will create jobs. Estimated at 1,500, some numbers are higher.

2. If we don’t take the oil, someone else will.

3. Canada is our largest trading partner. It already sends us a third of all imported oil.

4. Oil is used for transportation, heating, manufacture of plastics and all sorts of other products.

5. The price of gas and petroleum based products would go down.

There are thousands of opinions on this, nearly as many official studies and professional pronouncements, and citing facts is a cesspool of selective data presentation to support one side over the other. It is the quintessential deductive reasoning to justify prejudice.

I probably did not summarize the positions of both sides adequately. Especially to anyone who already has an opinion. And the more entrenched one’s opinion is, the less they want to consider the other side, the less they would consider my presentation of the issue. Ah, politics.

For whatever the value of it, I come down on the side of let’s build it. Where else would this oil go? China of course. Who has higher environmental standards? And which country needs to employ skilled workers more? And which country would benefit from the increase in trade? Which country would rather have more Canadian oil than from the Persian Gulf? Our humble USA. Is lobbyist money all over this issue? Sure. I imagine Big Oil has many times more bucks on K street than the NRDF. But on a rare occasion, business has a point.

I think the bottom line is that Canada will pump this well as long as it can sell it. Green energy will eventually overshadow oil, but this pipeline does not change the global energy market. I am good with subsidizing green energy (carefully). And I am good with protecting oil, which is what our guys can do better than the other guys.

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About Jim

I've been leading outdoor environmental education in the YMCA since the 1970s. I love teaching nature, history, current events, being a dad, fixing stuff, groups, and general thinking.
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