Does enactment of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act make sense? Will any amendments make it right? Please ask President Obama to veto this legislation.

Act S.1 was passed by the US Senate.  Debate over and voting on amendments will progress before sending the bill for signing to President Obama’s desk.  Our elected officials need to know that we need clean water more than tar sands oil, with a glut of oil on the market and a need for clean alternatives that do not put at risk our water and air.

We can benefit from time by not fast-tracking extension of a failing delivery system for a product that has better, more productive and profitable alternatives.  One of the flawed arguments is that “if we don’t build the pipeline, there will be more trains delivering crude”:

  • Simply because the oil can be sent by pipeline does not negate the fact that oil will also continue to be sent by rail … whatever way is necessary to get to market; and, as a consequence, it will also find its way into our aquifers whether by rail or pipeline, both methods of delivery are fragile and fail.
  • Even if, as some hope, rail delivery was reduced, the fact remains that, when pipelines fail, they fail out of sight and underground … often leaking for more time than a rail spill before being noticed.  How many are leaking without notice today?

It is said that the pipeline will “grow our economy”.

  • TransCanada is a foreign corporation. They will be making the profit.
  • In the two years that this pipeline will take to build, 42 thousand short-term construction jobs will be available. In the end, there will be 35 permanent jobs in place.
  • The oil will be shipped overseas to places like China after it travels through aquifers in the Midwest, leaking (as these pipelines do regularly) to be refined by international corporate plants in Texas.
  • The price of oil is falling.
  • There is a glut of oil due to overproduction.
  • The trend is toward cleaner and more efficient energy for reasons too diverse and many to list here.
  • Alternative energies like solar would create more jobs and better infrastructure for long–term use of our planet’s resources.
  • How will poisoning our aquifers with tar sands oil, whether by rail or pipeline, grow a sustainable economy?
  • Who will shoulder the repercussions for inevitable pollution and the cost of clean-up?
  • Even if we used American steel for the pipeline, who will benefit and for how long? What more pollution will be created from the mining?
  • If an amendment were proposed to sell TransCanada’s tar sands oil here instead of overseas, would we have enough buyers at prices necessary to make this destructive, filthy, water-polluting, chemical-ridden, expensive process worthwhile?
  • We don’t essentially need another pipeline: Pipelines running from Hardisty, Alberta, to Flanagan, Illinois opened in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and a third pipeline from Flanagan to Cushing, Oklahoma in 2014. This does not include a major expansion of the Enbridge Energy oil pipeline in Wisconsin that would carry more of this heavy crude than Keystone XL line has been designed to carry. There are others …. One need only look in Minnesota of 10,000 lakes to know that while we are fighting the high profile XL pipeline, others will be quietly sending and spilling crude into our aquifers ongoing ….

Another argument that fails the test of logic: “Keystone XL will give us greater national security”.

  • How does polluting our ground and water make this country safer?
  • How do we reduce our dependence on foreign oil by sending it out of the country?
  • How would we be more independent if foreign corporations are allowed to use eminent domain to access US lands that they need to make profit,while preventing US citizens from protecting their lands and waters …?
  • How are we safer by fast tracking another pipeline without the necessary oversight?

The argument that this will “build infrastructure we need” is a false one.

  • The most important thing we have to do now in an environment of increasing natural emergencies due to global climate extremes is to build infrastructure that will support a cleaner fuel and reduce our carbon imprint.
  • We need infrastructure, not for pipelines or oil trains, but for more efficient sustainable growth that promotes life not profit at all costs.
  • We need only look at who will benefit and who will profit from proposed infrastructure projects to know whether we need them or not.