Keystone makes sense for jobs and national security

We've focused a lot on the economic benefits of building the Keystone Pipeline. The delay has been criticized all over, including an outstanding Washington Post editorial

"At this point, there is little doubt about the big picture. After two thorough environmental analyses, State Department experts determined that the pipeline’s impact probably would be minimal, even on climate change-inducing carbon dioxide emissions. The economic rewards of extracting Canadian oil are too attractive and the options for getting it out of the country are too numerous. We would rather see Canadian crude traveling a well-built, well-regulated pipeline in the United States than on the rail cars, barges and ocean tankers that will move it until cheaper options inevitably come online.

That does not mean we like burning dirty oil sands crude. But symbolic gestures will have no impact on climate change. Governments should steadily reduce global carbon dioxide emissions with smart, economy-wide policies such as carbon taxes, which meaningfully and permanently cut demand for carbon-heavy fuels. Alberta’s provincial government, which oversees much of Canada’s oil development, is considering enhancements to its fairly weak carbon price system, which could redress some of the excess emissions associated with pulling the viscous oil out of the ground.

If activists want to make a real difference on carbon dioxide emissions, they should devote their energies to establishing an ambitious carbon price across Canada and in the United States — or, if that’s not achievable, any number of second-best but serious policy options. In a comprehensive and efficient system, it might well make economic sense to burn some Canadian crude for quite a while as the world slowly transitions away.

As for the pipeline’s routing, planners and regulators have already considered all sorts of options through Nebraska, and they already shifted the route once. Neither route posed environmental concerns of a sort that would justify concluding that Keystone XL is outside the national interest. It is bizarre to imagine that a new route from an even more careful process in Nebraska would significantly increaseenvironmental concerns.

The administration’s latest decision is not responsible; it is embarrassing. The United States continues to insult its Canadian allies by holding up what should have been a routine permitting decision amid a funhouse-mirror environmental debate that got way out of hand. The president should end this national psychodrama now, bow to reason, approve the pipeline and go do something more productive for the climate."

Beyond jobs, and that's no small matter in this economy, or our relationship with Canada, a major trading partner and friend, the other benefit of this pipeline is that promotes North American energy independence. 

Every barrel that we buy from Canada or Mexico is one less barrel that we have to import from the Middle East or the anti-US Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela.

Yes, this delay is embarrassing.  It tells the world that the president of the US can be put on his knees by a rich guy who promises to contribute to politicians who will vote against the Keystone Pipeline.  

You'd better believe that David Brooks is not the only person in the planet who thinks that President Obama has a "manhood problem". 

 

P. S. We spoke with Brian Lloyd French, Canadian author & journalist, PLUS Barry Jacobsen, military historian & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

We've focused a lot on the economic benefits of building the Keystone Pipeline. The delay has been criticized all over, including an outstanding Washington Post editorial

"At this point, there is little doubt about the big picture. After two thorough environmental analyses, State Department experts determined that the pipeline’s impact probably would be minimal, even on climate change-inducing carbon dioxide emissions. The economic rewards of extracting Canadian oil are too attractive and the options for getting it out of the country are too numerous. We would rather see Canadian crude traveling a well-built, well-regulated pipeline in the United States than on the rail cars, barges and ocean tankers that will move it until cheaper options inevitably come online.

That does not mean we like burning dirty oil sands crude. But symbolic gestures will have no impact on climate change. Governments should steadily reduce global carbon dioxide emissions with smart, economy-wide policies such as carbon taxes, which meaningfully and permanently cut demand for carbon-heavy fuels. Alberta’s provincial government, which oversees much of Canada’s oil development, is considering enhancements to its fairly weak carbon price system, which could redress some of the excess emissions associated with pulling the viscous oil out of the ground.

If activists want to make a real difference on carbon dioxide emissions, they should devote their energies to establishing an ambitious carbon price across Canada and in the United States — or, if that’s not achievable, any number of second-best but serious policy options. In a comprehensive and efficient system, it might well make economic sense to burn some Canadian crude for quite a while as the world slowly transitions away.

As for the pipeline’s routing, planners and regulators have already considered all sorts of options through Nebraska, and they already shifted the route once. Neither route posed environmental concerns of a sort that would justify concluding that Keystone XL is outside the national interest. It is bizarre to imagine that a new route from an even more careful process in Nebraska would significantly increaseenvironmental concerns.

The administration’s latest decision is not responsible; it is embarrassing. The United States continues to insult its Canadian allies by holding up what should have been a routine permitting decision amid a funhouse-mirror environmental debate that got way out of hand. The president should end this national psychodrama now, bow to reason, approve the pipeline and go do something more productive for the climate."

Beyond jobs, and that's no small matter in this economy, or our relationship with Canada, a major trading partner and friend, the other benefit of this pipeline is that promotes North American energy independence. 

Every barrel that we buy from Canada or Mexico is one less barrel that we have to import from the Middle East or the anti-US Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela.

Yes, this delay is embarrassing.  It tells the world that the president of the US can be put on his knees by a rich guy who promises to contribute to politicians who will vote against the Keystone Pipeline.  

You'd better believe that David Brooks is not the only person in the planet who thinks that President Obama has a "manhood problem". 

 

P. S. We spoke with Brian Lloyd French, Canadian author & journalist, PLUS Barry Jacobsen, military historian & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

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