Keystone XL Pipeline
At the very least, we expect the leader of the free world to be truthful. That would not be Mitt Romney. He told us a whopper in the debate Tuesday night. He said the Keystone pipeline would provide 60,000 new jobs. Even TransCanada Corp claims greatly diminish that figure.
According to a study by Cornell University barely 6,500 jobs would be created and the pipeline would kill more jobs than it would create, by reducing investment in the clean energy economy. The Cornell study finds only 2,500 to 4,650 temporary jobs over two years would result from building the pipeline.
Romney also said that if elected, he would approve the pipeline on day one. Consider that statement in light of the fact that the pipelines already built have caused billions of dollars worth of damage by fires, explosions, leaks, and the lives of at least 22 workers.
Let me be clear. My objection to the Keystone Pipeline has to do with protecting our fragile land, resources, and lives – not oil.
The Keystone pipeline will carry a highly corrosive and benzene-laced mixture of sand, clay water, and bitumen at some 1,400 pounds per square inch. The pressure is so great a leak in another Keystone pipeline once shot tar sands six stories high.
A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has identified peat as an additional source of carbon emissions. In part, the study reports that “Mining the oil in the tar sands, dubbed “oil sands” by the industry, will require the wholesale destruction of nearly 30,000 hectares of peatlands, emitting between 11.4 and 47.3 million metric tons of additional carbon.”
And oh by the way, once destroyed, peat, valued by farmers and gardeners to augment their soil, can never be replaced.
Even President Bush understood the destructiveness of Canadian tar sands oil. He signed into law Section 526 of the Energy Independence and National Security Act of 2007 prohibiting the US government from using taxpayer dollars to purchase fuels that have a higher carbon footprint than conventional oil. Crafted by Congress, this little-known law is “significant because its explicit intent is to block the US from buying Canadian tar sands oil, considered the dirtiest oil on the planet.”
We in the middle part of the country should really be paying attention to this for it is us who will be most effected if the Keystone Pipeline is finished.
I’m not crazy about the term ‘whistle blower’ because it implies something cowardly or distasteful when in fact, people who tell the truth about bad practices should be praised. Mike Klink, a former inspector for Bechtel, a major pipeline contractor, is one of these. Klink, an engineer, said he had major concerns about shoddy materials and poor craftsmanship as the pipeline was being built.
He isn’t saying pipelines shouldn’t be built, just not the Keystone XL pipeline.
“This thing shouldn’t be leaking like a sieve in its first year — what do you think happens decades from now after moving billions of barrels of the most corrosive oil on the planet?”
It takes courage to stand up to the big oil companies.
It takes self-interest and fear to give in to them.
Which side are you on?