Sunday, November 20, 2011

Next Media Animation on the Keystone XL pipeline


Americans are dying for oil overseas. So why not buy more oil from a friendly supplier like Canada?

The Keystone pipeline transports oil from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma. An extension pipeline, Keystone XL, would extend the system to refineries in Texas.

But green groups have formed an unlikely alliance with conservative Nebraska ranchers and state politicians to oppose the pipeline on environmental grounds, and the Obama administration has given in to their demands. Obama has delayed a decision on the Keystone pipeline until 2013, well after next year's presidential elections.

What will Obama's labor supporters say about the loss of 20,000 shovel-ready jobs? If the US won't buy Alberta's oil, Canada can always sell to the energy-hungry Chinese. In the meantime, American soldiers will have to live with a little less energy security.
I really don't like tar sands as an energy source, but I don't despise it as much as oil shale.* However, I've decided that protesting the concept of the Keystone XL pipeline is futile to the point of being less than useless, as the Canadians would just sell the oil to the Chinese, something the video points out. Therefore, opposing the pipeline as a way of slowing down the exploitation of one of the most carbon dioxide emitting ways of getting oil out of the ground is a waste of time. It's going to be extracted one way or another and opposing the pipeline means that China will benefit from it instead of the U.S. Meanwhile, the global commons will still suffer.

On the other hand, opposing the specific route so that the pipeline will run through less environmentally sensitive areas (building through the Sand Hills of Nebraska was not a good idea) is something that I support, and as you can see, it worked.

*I have a standard rant about oil shale that I promised to post more than a month ago. I'll get around to it after I get home. I'm still on the road. It's just that today is a day off, so I could actually post something.

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