New York Times article today:
(Summary: The woman objects to the Keystone Pipeline because it may kill some cows in Nebraska if anything goes badly wrong).
So you don't like the Keystone. You also don't like fracking. You don’t like refineries. You don’t like drilling. There’s nothing about the oil industry you DO like (except possibly the TV show “Dallas”).
I guess you prefer us to continue to have to kowtow to the Middle East for oil. That Sultan of Brunei, he’s a real charmer (“Stone the gays”). Then there’s the ever-so-charming Saudi Arabia, where “human rights” is a joke, where they regularly chop off body parts for minor offenses, and where people just “disappear”. The Saudis are NOT our friends. They are our trading partners.
If you want to be angry at someone, be angry at our great-grandparents (or great-great-grandparents, depending…). They’re the ones who bought the Model T’s, paved the cowpaths, and took the family for a Sunday drive. They’re the ones who wanted independence from the railroad companies’ schedules. Main Street, USA at Disneyland and Walt Disney World is a really great fantasy, one I love to indulge. Imagine those places with the streets covered in up to a foot of horseshit (sorry), because unlike Disney, the cities didn’t have an army of people following the horses around every minute picking up the poo. So it wasn’t always just lovely. Yeah, our great-grandparents wanted away from all that.
Then there are our grandparents and parents. They fought “the Big One”, then came back and moved en-masse from the crowded cities to the Levittown-clone suburbs, so they could enjoy a better life for their kids, including nice, new houses with modern conveniences, good schools, etc. They then ripped up the trolley car tracks and bought diesel buses because they were told, and believed, that “what’s good for GM is good for America.”
Speaking of GM, how about blaming big business for getting us here? John D. Rockefeller (Standard Oil > S.O. > Esso > Exxon), Billy Durant (GM), Walter P. Chrysler, and oh, yeah, that Henry Ford fella…They made the automobile available and accessible and everybody wanted one. They provided the product and Americans made them all rich beyond the dreams of avarice. All cheerfully financed, of course, by J. P. Morgan and the other wolves of Wall Street (Wall Street is the dirtiest whore in the world, second possibly only to “the City” of London).
I’m not defending the oil industry; it’s as dirty as business gets. Well, not as dirty as the banks/bankers/financiers, but almost.
Regardless of how we got here, we’re here NOW.
Look, kids: There is no alternate source of energy. Trust me, the oil companies are making huge research investments, because if there IS an alternative energy source, they want to be out in front of it. We have built this current infrastructure of ours over a century. How are we going to replace every gas station, every pipeline, and every car if an alternative energy solution DOES show up? Who's going to pay for it if we do?
There's not going to be anything different in alternate energy for at least the next 50 years.
Canada is going to sell that oil. They're either going to ship it to Houston, where it'll be refined and sold, or they'll ship it to their Pacific Coast, where China will be delighted to buy it. We might as well have it come here.
If you think there aren't pipelines all over the place now--think again. They're literally EVERYWHERE. The average age of a petroleum-related pipeline in the United States is 62. With all the technology we now have, this will be the safest pipeline ever built.
Everyone who wants to whine about the petroleum-based economy we now have, cool. Please get out of your cars at once (don't know how you plan to get around, but that is your problem). Also rid your home of any petroleum-based products (everything plastic). Don’t think your completely plastic-lined Pious (Prius) is making you more environmentally friendly—the batteries in those things, as of now, are chock-full of poisonous material that must be “safely disposed of” (how? by burying it…kind of like nuclear waste, that you also don’t like).
One more little thing: National Security. It’s that much more oil if we ever need it, if we’re threatened. Plus, really: wouldn’t it be nice to be free of the tyranny of the Middle East? They can go back to killing each other with reckless abandon, and we can get on with our western lives.
I like my car. I like my freedom. I could go everywhere on the bus—but I don’t WANT to. That means that periodically, I have to pull up to my “friendly” neighborhood gas station and “fill’er up”.
Build the damn pipeline.
Things I failed to mention in the above rant:
- JOBS for Americans: Surveying and prepping the land. Building the pipeline. Operating the pipeline. Maintaining the pipeline. Refining the oil. Loading and shipping the refined product.
- TAX REVENUE for America: Just think of all the Federal, State, and Local tax revenue that’s going to generate. Shame to leave it on the table.
- (from a friend in the O&G business): Increasing population and demand for oil. World population expected to increase by 20% in 20 years, most of it in developing countries (China, for example) which are consuming it by great gulps. This equates to a 40% increase in energy demand. We’ve got to have the oil from somewhere.
- Extrapolation from above: It’s the old supply/demand curve. We’re players on the world stage whether anyone wants that or not (nobody asked you, nobody asked me. You want to live in the United States, that’s part of the price). If world demand goes up 40% and world supply stays stagnant, increases marginally, or decreases, what happens to price? More people wanting fewer items = price increases. Economics 101, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, 1975, thank you very much. So, if you’re paying $3.50 a gallon now, enjoy it, because $10 a gallon (or more) is coming unless we tap all our available sources. That’s a crippling blow to our economy.
- Ethanol: far from being “environmentally friendly”, ethanol is a bane to mankind for an amazing variety of reasons: 1. It causes cars to use fuel less efficiently, thus reducing mpg, thus increasing gasoline use. 2. It takes food from the food supply (most of the corn used for ethanol is used in livestock production, i.e., it’s fed to the pigs and cattle. Supply and demand; with ethanol demand up, corn demand up, supply constant, price increases to ranchers/pig farmers, which goes right down the chain to us. 3. Brazil is happily bulldozing the world’s greatest rainforest (doing immeasurable and irreparable damage to the global environment) to make fields to raise corn to make into ethanol. Ethanol is possibly one of the greatest frauds ever perpetuated. It is NOT environmentally friendly, any more than Pious batteries (hint to Pious and other battery-powered car owners: the Honda Civic gets almost the same mileage on regular gas, with a standard internal combustion engine).