Well the Republicans, having just cleaned up in the mid-term elections, thought that they would test their probability of Congress passing a Bill to okay construction of the XXL pipeline before the new Congress is sworn in n in January. Environmentalist all agree that to run a pipeline across the United States, from Canada to Texas is just asking for trouble. Meanwhile the Republican Party say that the President is holding up hundreds of “shovel ready” jobs when the country needs them most. Well now as to the jobs, after listening to all the facts, the truth is that there may be hundreds of jobs to begin with, but once the pipeline is built, the total of full time jobs will be about 35. Think about it, it’s going to be an automated system, and all it’s going to need is people to make sure it’s running okay. That means there will be a tech guy every few hundred miles or so to troubleshoot any glitches in the system.
There’s a lot of us citizens here in the states who do not want to be the facilitators of the dirtiest extraction of the dirtiest crude from tar sands in Canada’s far north. And that’s not just coming from the people who’s greatest mission in life is to protect this planet on which we live, but from the people who are afraid of the impact it will have on their lives if a “oops” happens, and suddenly their land is oil covered. Some supporters of this massive project say that could never happen, and those who oppose the pipeline say, “malarkey”. No sooner had we opened up the year 2014, when we read about two ruptures of smaller pipelines contaminating aquifers and covering wildlife with enough oil to top off the crankcases of 1000 automobiles. Maybe those who are in favor of the pipeline will get a firm “slap in the face” when they turn on the tap to get a cool glass of water only to find that the water has the foul stench of crude oil.
While the President may seem like he want to give in to the GOP oil lobbyist, he has a “green” base that he cannot ignore. But what bothers him more than that is the fact that he suspects his own daughters probably won’t speak to him if he approves construction. While the last 4 years has been a net setback for the green movement, the President should be praised for passing an historic increase in vehicle mileage efficiency and limits on the emissions of new coal-fired power plants.
We need to be more realistic about our near-term dependence on fossil fuels, or we will pay a hefty price in the long run. But we also need to be realistic about the need to keep building a bridge to a different energy future, or we will pay an even bigger price.