I've been following the rants of the editor of the Tribune Chronicle editorials railing against President Obama and his decision to delay the Keystone Pipeline. Before everyone gets excited about all this oil coming through the United States and thinking this is the best thing to come along since chocolate pudding, let's discuss some realities related to the pipeline and tar sand oil.
First, all fossil fuels are guilty of causing most of the planet's climate change, some more so than others, such as natural gas which is harmful but a slower rate, but still adding to our planet's demise.
The tar sand oil, on the other hand, will be one of the dirtiest energy solutions on the planet and is even worse than coal. This isn't Fox News or the Tribune Chronicle type of information, this is proven fact.
Manmade climate change is fact. Urgency to change energy solutions is fact. We all have to be willing to get involved to find out what is fact and what is ideology driven political rhetoric.
The Tribune editorial made the statement if the pipeline isn't installed, then the tar sand oil will probably be shipped from the west coast to China.
Here is another fact: If the pipeline is installed, the oil will move through the United States to the Gulf Coast and will probably be sold to the highest bidder. Unless we are willing to pay five to six dollars a gallon for gasoline made from the tar sand oil, then it's probably going overseas, quite possibly to China.
Also with a direct route to the gulf coast refineries, oil extracted from the Midwest may also wind up going to the highest bidder, possibly resulting in higher gas prices at the pump for us Midwesterners. Remember, people, in a market-based economy, this scenario for the oil is a standard, everyday occurrence. This scenario was conveniently omitted by the editor in his rants.
The jobs the pipeline produces will be fleeting, maybe three years. The damage (from the pipeline installation and subsequent oil leaks) to the environment will take decades to repair. Damage to the planet from the tar sand oil will last generations, if not centuries.
There is an old saying "Don't mess with Mother Nature," and every time we advocate the use of fossil fuels for cheap energy, that is exactly what we are doing, messing with Mother Nature.
James C.K. Fell