Keystone Pipeline – Is it worth the risk?
There are plenty of folks still talking about the State of the Union so I won’t bore you. Suffice to say, President Obama is not going to let the Right wing roll him over on all the things he has accomplished like Obamacare. Lately however, we hear that Yellowstone Park is victim to yet another oil spill from an already established Canadian pipeline. As indicated this is not the first time. According to ThinkProgress, “In 2011, an Exxon Mobil pipeline spilled 63,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone near Laurel, Montana.” The DailyKos reported that “The Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement Monday evening that elevated levels of hydrocarbons have been found in Glendive’s water supply.” Keep this in mind progressives, the proposed Keystone pipeline is 3 times the diameter of the current pipeline that spilled. So yes, we have lots of pipelines all throughout the US and many of them 60 years old. The question for Americans is whether it is worth it. The Right-wing has it as a first order of business to pass a Keystone pipeline bill as a “jobs program.” Actually, many Americans favor the pipeline thinking it will bring jobs and have no clue about the environmental hazards.
So what the facts? The State Department estimates that 26,100 indirect and induced jobs ” would be supported by construction of the proposed project” during the construction phase. The jobs would be in providing the supply chain to Keystone as well as employee spending on lodging, food, entertainment, health care, etc. Also, 3,900 “average annual” jobs over one year of construction, or 1,950 jobs each year if the project takes two years to finish.
Folks, here is a must read extract from an article from ThinkProgress, 7 Facts That Weren’t In The New State Department Report On Keystone XL:
“Alberta’s oil pipeline network has experienced 28,666 crude oil spills in the last 37 years according to a recent investigation by Global News. Spills like this have led to hugely damaging environmental disasters. Pipelines already carrying heavy crude oil from Canada have caused spills that have emptied neighborhoods like Mayflower, Arkansas. Shipping crude oil by rail is not just unfeasible and expensive — it’s also incredibly dangerous. Forty-seven people died and the center of the town of Lac Mégantic, Quebec was destroyed when an oil train came loose and ignited in a huge fireball last summer. In November, an 80-car train carrying oil derailed and exploded in Alabama. In December, a crude oil train derailed and exploded in North Dakota. A crude oil train derailed on a bridge in Philadelphia earlier this month.” “So if large amounts of the Canadian tar sands oil product goes to foreign markets, this would do little for any concept of American energy security. What Americans would have to deal with are spills and leaks, which are already getting a preview with the already-constructed southern leg of the pipeline. As that leg was being built, TransCanada had to excavate and fix over 125 dents and sags, and fears from locals in Texas have led to the formation of a sort of “giant neighborhood watch” to monitor for leaks.”
So there you have it. If the jobs you believe the Keystone pipeline will bring are worth the additional environmental hazards sure to come, then I guess you can be for it. I suppose it’s fine so long as its not your local water source that gets contaminated – right?
The Progressive Latino
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Pic credits to: ThinkProgress & Billings Gazette
Media Matters: The Keystone XL Jobs Myth That Won’t Die