Pipeline Projects boost America’s energy Security
Posted: February 10, 2017
The extended national argument over whether to lay a couple thousand more miles of pipe from oil field to market, in a national already criss-crossed by tens of thousands of miles of oil pipelines, has long been overwrought. Opponents have exaggerated the environmental risks, while supporters have exaggerated the economic benefits.
President Trump, following through on his campaign promise, came down on the right side of the debate recently by advancing construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota access pipelines, both of which had been blocked by the Obama administration.
Killing the pipelines never made sense. Refusing to build new pipelines, as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is about as logical as halting construction of any more gas stations. Like it or not, America's economy and energy security still depend on petroleum, which powers 250 million vehicles on the nation's highways. Keystone will give the United States a significant new supply of oil from a trusted neighbor, Canada.
The Obama administration claimed the $8 billion Keystone project was never adequately evaluated, even though officials had scrutinized it for seven years. Environmentalists claimed that exploiting the tar sands oil in Canada that the Keystone project would deliver to Gulf Coast refineries would mean "game over" for the planet.
But pipeline or no pipeline, the oil was never going to stay in the ground. There were always other pipeline routes, including one already approved by the Canadian government. Or there were trains and tractor-trailers, where the odds of deadly environmental accidents are far worse.
Those on the other side of the aisle say Donald Trump's attempt to resurrect the ill-conceived Keystone XL and Dakota access pipeline projects is bad business, even worse energy and climate policy, and against the best interests of the American people. The canard that they would generate significant jobs is just another "alternative fact". In the real world, arguers say, by making it easier to export oil to foreign markets, these projects would make energy more expensive for Americans.
The beneficiaries are the oil companies. Those harmed or placed at risk include millions of Americans: Property owners whose land would be seized by eminent domain; Millions who depend on safe, clean drinking water from the aquifers and waterways the pipelines would cross; And of course, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who are fighting to protect both their sole source of water and their sacred ancestral lands.
Personally, I feel the, no matter the number of jobs created by the pipelines, it is important to build the Keystone project and provide access to the Dakota.