Keystone XL – Is there a better route for transporting the oil?

Source: Politico

Read this this morning in the Wall Street Journal:

Credit Suisse analyst Ed Westlake puts it this way: “From a transportation perspective, which is more environmentally risky: Shipping crude across the Rocky Mountains to the British Colombia coast, loading the crude onto tankers which sail down the California coast, through the Panama Canal and into the Gulf of Mexico or building a [southern] pipeline to the latest safety specifications?”

Quite so.

In a related column on the First Enercast Financial website that uses the same quote, there is a bit more discussion of the reasoning of opponents of the pipeline and a good analogy is offered. The underlying issue is simply opposition to use of oil – especially ‘dirty oil’ as an energy source and this is an attempt to restrict access in the hopes of reducing usage. Quite likely these folks would like to kill it at it’s source – the tar sands fields. But killing either the pipeline or tar sands generally is misguided for many reasons, imo.

This deep felt opposition to fossil fuels development is one of the most fundamental economic problems with the liberal / environmental agenda. If anything, we should be figuring out to how to develop and use a lot more North American oil, coal, and gas.

A column in Politico also characterizes Obama’s decision as a “punt” and goes on to quote a labor union president as follows:

“Environmentalists formed a circle around the White House and within days the Obama administration chose to inflict a potentially fatal delay to a project that is not just a pipeline, but is a lifeline for thousands of desperate working men and women,” Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’s International Union of North America, said in a statement. “The administration chose to support environmentalists over jobs — job-killers win, American workers lose.”

Per my post yesterday, it is awesome to see a union president also using the term ‘job killer’. How great is that?

It is also interesting to see how environmentalists beat out even unions in this case. Democrat against Democrat. Must have been a tough call Obama. No doubt he will throw the next one over to the unions – got to keep everyone happy.

And it reminds me of a related type of schism in the Democratic party over Cape Wind. In that case, it is environmentalists vs. environmentalists. The green energy part of the movement wants the thing. Other parts don’t and they are fighting to the death. I’m amazed the project continues at all given how long it has taken and how expensive it must be to keep going. I imagine there are large government incentives and subsidies at the end of the line that help grease the skids.

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