Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pro Environment and Pro Keystone Pipeline

This is one of those political topics where common sense seems to have been lost.  I'm a pro-environment voter, and here are the basic reasons why I support this project.  First, the biggest environmental risk is in Canada at the source of the drilling.  Canada has cleared the project and is ready to go; they're drilling with or without the U.S.  Second, the pipeline itself has been studied, and studied, and studied some more.  The environmental risks are not significant.  While it's understandable that people often don't like the 'risk is not significant' assessment as it infers there is still a risk, remember 'no risk' is virtually non-existent. There are risks to transporting oil by truck, train, or tanker.  The alternative to no pipeline is not 'no risk.'

The maddening and hyper-political piece of this puzzle that some seem to have trouble grasping the fact that Canada is going drill regardless of what the U.S. does or thinks.  The only question is whether we will accept Canada's oil via pipeline.  Why would we not do this?  Would it be better if the oil was shipped to China?  In an ideal world the U.S. would energy independent, in the next best scenario the U.S. would get it's energy from Canada.

High energy costs burden those with the lowest incomes most.  It acts as a regressive tax, because people can't really live without it.  Simple supply and demand economics dictate that the Keystone Pipeline would mean lower energy costs.  The building of the pipeline would also translate to more jobs, another economic boost. Finally, sourcing our energy from North American sources is so much better than purchasing oil from countries that are hostile to the United States.  Ideally one day we'll be using only renewable energy sources.  However, that day is not today and is certainly not likely to occur in the next decade.  So until that day arrives, how about a practical approach to energy... Canada is good, and so is their pipeline.