Here are Some Facts About the Keystone XL Pipeline Republicans Really Don’t Want Americans to See

pipelineThe other day I was talking with someone about the Keystone XL pipeline and I said it reminded me somewhat of the story of the tooth fairy. Only small children could believe such a ridiculous story about a magical fairy who travels all over the globe, exchanging money for discarded teeth. At least with Santa Clause there’s some kind of an elaborate backstory with elves, a wife and a “naughty or nice” list. Heck, we even feed “him” cookies. But with the tooth fairy, the ridiculousness of the story is easy for children to overlook because we distract them with money or treats for their teeth. So they don’t really question the story about a fairy with an odd obsession with discarded teeth – they just want their money/treat.


To me, that’s what the Keystone XL pipeline is – propaganda that’s so absurd that if those Americans who support the pipeline would actually just think about it for a moment, they would realize how pointless of a proposal this really is.

The problem is, they’re too distracted by the endless stream of Republican lies about the tens of thousands of jobs – it absolutely will not create.

According to most Republican propaganda, they claim that this pipeline would create “around 42,000 jobs.” That number is at best highly misleading. It will create thousands of temporary jobs. Not only that, but included in that number are jobs they’ve speculated might be created such as motel clerks or restaurant workers due to these temporary construction crews being in the area during construction. But again, even those jobs are temporary and will probably vanish as soon as the pipeline’s construction is finished in that particular area.

Not only are these jobs temporary, but they’re not even good temporary jobs. Sure, if these were 42,000 temporary jobs that lasted a full two years, that might be a decent pitch for “job creation” – but they’re not. Most of these jobs will only last a few weeks or at best maybe a few months.

But when all is said and done, the Keystone XL pipeline will only sustain about 50 full-time jobs.

That’s it. 

And let’s just look at a glaring reality that millions of Americans seem to not understand: This is not American oil nor is the Keystone XL an American pipeline. 

This pipeline will take Canadian oil down to the Gulf of Mexico to be shipped out and sold on the global market at whatever price oil is going for at that particular time.


Let me reiterate this again: The Keystone XL pipeline has nothing to do with American oil, helping America’s energy independence or anything at all to do with anything remotely related to the United States as it relates to satisfying our energy needs and demands.

This is a pipeline that will cut straight through the heart of the United States so that TransCanada can sell their oil at the going global market rate… with most of it probably ending up in China.

And what will the United States ultimately end up with? About 50 jobs and a massive pipeline over 1,000 miles long that will almost assuredly be responsible for some kind of catastrophic oil spill sometime in the future.

While Republicans distract simplistic minds with the false promise of thousands of jobs, these people never stop to ask themselves, “Hmm, how exactly will helping Canada sell their oil on the global market help the United States gain energy independence?”

Republicans really hope Americans don’t start asking that question because the answer is very simple: It won’t. 

And the GOP is doing everything it can to distract Americans hoping that they’ll never figure that out.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

Comments

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  • 26ave

    Wrong !!!!!! 30% of this oil will come from North Dakota and when it’s finally build it will flow from Canada also instead of a Muslim run state known to have backed terrorism in the world.

    • William Knowles

      Right about North Dakota, but ALWAYS sold to the highest bidder. We will always buy from the low cost producer Muslim or not.

      • 26ave

        export of oil from Huston refineries requires permits granted by the feds.Why would that happen when the need is still so great domestically?

      • fel121

        This oil cost insane amounts of money to pump out of the ground and refine, far more then light sweet crude, this is a fool dream and you are being sold propaganda.

      • William Knowles

        Who told you that about needing a permit to export oil and oil products? We have a glut of oil now and no real need, gasoline usage has gone down.

      • 26ave

        A glut when you are importing oil from Venezuela oil sands to be refined in southern state refineries?

      • William Knowles

        You need to get out more Venezuela is importing oil.

      • pinchalong

        It will also go over the area which provides much of the water for the southwest. What will happen to this water supply in the event of a leak? Also American companies pay into a fund which is used to help pay for oil spill cleanups.
        This Canadian company does not want to pay into this fund. Is this Canadian company going to use American made pipe for the pipeline? Is this company going to use American workers? Are they going to pay prevailing wage rates? I just want to know what benefits America is going to receive. It looks to me as though this foreign company will get lots of benefit while America will get almost none.

    • Dawn Hilton Oliveira

      Yes and that oil will be placed in the Global Market where Russia and China already have a big investment in it. The drilling also has been disrupting California with stronger earthquakes. The plan disrupts the Andreas Fault line, get educated.

      • 26ave

        Wrong again !!! pipeline laying does not involve drilling ;you get educated.It’s fracking !!!!!

      • Mike Tell

        I don’t think you understand what fracking is. Fracking is essentially short for Fracturing, as in fracturing a well. There is always a well involved (admittedly my experience with it is limited to natural gas, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

      • 26ave

        I understand it,Dawn doesn’t

      • Mike Tell

        No, clearly you don’t understand it when you say that pipeline laying doesn’t involve drilling.Pipeline laying is purely a transportation issue, there is a pipeline anytime a well is drilled, regardless of the kind of well it is. The environmental issue with this is how dirty fracking is and how much clean fresh water is required for the technology to extract the oil/nat gas from the shale/sand.

      • 26ave

        Does the oil sands in Canada involve fracking?If you think it does,do a bit of educating.It is a mining operation and also at times a SAGD process where hot water,not chemicals ,are injected into the oil layer.After a predetermined time the emulsion is brought to the surface and the two components (oil and water) are separated and the water treated and reused.

      • Mike Tell

        Ok, you initially said in reply to another commenter “Wrong again !!! pipeline laying does not involve drilling ;you get educated.It’s fracking !!!!!” I just explained a few things, that pipelines have absolutely nothing to do with the how the oil/nat gas is removed from the earth. and that fracking generally has a ‘well’ I stand corrected, your google-fu is decent, perhaps the extraction is through mining (Doubtful as right now North Dakota is where the Boom is at for the industry as a whole) but the process you describe happens within the well. Also you are kidding yourself or your source of information is false if you think that there are no chemicals involved. The separation happens through chemical processes. Hot water is part of it, and no, you cannot reuse the water endlessly. When they say the water gets treated and reused, it is not reused for the initial part when it was clean, fresh water. That was way longer than it needed to be, TL:DR Redstate is thattaway…I tried to explain how it works from the perspective of a member of the Oil/NatGas production industry, you got some information that is disingenuous at best and used it to make me “wrong” no worries, I shouldn’t be feeding the trolls anyway. Apologies

      • Shinjo Dun

        Actually yes, in some of the areas fracking is used. So your implication that it is not is a little off.

      • 26ave

        not true,name the location and the company that do the fracking with regard to oil sands oil.

      • fel121

        You still have not responded her comment about the fact that this pil will traded on world markets and in good ole’ free market fashion will go to the country willing to pay the highest price for the most oil, so how does this help lower American oil prices?

        This is soon to be a mute point, as of yesterday a barrel of oil was trading for $78 and that is for light sweet crude which is easy to drill and refine unlike this tar you and your right wing propagandist are trying to sell.

      • 26ave

        Go to the dictionary and look up the definition of tar and then compare it to the oil which will flow through this pipeline.

      • fel121

        Perhaps you should read a bit more about the thing you are advocating, it seems clear you are not very well versed about what you are advocating for.
        The stuff these companies are hoping to extract from the ground are oil sands, mixture of sand, water, clay and bitumen.

        Bitumen is not normal oil in the sense which you think and it does not flow unless it is heated, how to you intend to heat hundreds of miles of pipe so this “tar”, will flow freely?

      • 26ave

        It’s not tar no matter how loud you shout

      • fel121

        Seeing as you are not an American citizen, why do you care so much about what our Congress does and why do you crow so loudly about every right wing issue in American politics?

        Could it be that you are not really from Calgary as you claim and that most of what you say is bullspit to try and seem knowledgeable and intelligent?

      • 26ave

        Have lived there since 1968 and worked in the oil and gas business in such places as Alberta ,Louisiana,Texas,Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.I acknowledge that not every thing about this business is on the up and up but then what is?

      • 26ave

        What other American right wing issue have I commented on?

      • 26ave

        I worked in this field for more than 40 years,don’t tell me that I am not informed

      • Rick Flash

        Yo man, not to intrude, but judging by your writing, you’re the one that needs an education.

      • 26ave

        What part of my description is scientifically untrue.Name it.

      • 26ave

        Russia is a net exporter of oil and has no interest in Canadian oil

    • Schratboy

      All commodities are bought and sold by the highest bidder across the world. There is no local market for oil or gas. There are also certain refineries that can handle the very crude crude contained in tar sands. It’s a very dirty process. Transmission pipelines are like roads: there’s a cost for installation which creates some temp jobs, then on-going maintenance requiring even fewer workers. Infrastructure build-out sells steel and related parts but is NOT a sustainable opportunity…unless one embraces constant churn and redevelopment. This isn’t a viable solution, nor is a pipeline in terms of US energy needs and jobs.

      • Mike Tell

        This guy gets it.

    • Erik Hansen

      The production in North Dakota is Shale, IE, natural gas it has nothing to do with Tar Sand Oil. That production has made a wasteland of large parts of N. Dakota

      • 26ave

        Do you dispute that oil from North Dakota is not already flowing in this line.Keep in mind that this line exists already.It is a new shorter route we are debating here.

      • fel121

        You are still not address the comment about how oil is traded on world markets, I wonder why that is…

      • 26ave

        Because it has nothing to do with the pipeline

      • fel121

        Are you kidding; it has everything to do with it!
        What purpose does it serve to undertake this massive project instead of; fixing bridges in desperate need of repair, updating roads and power grids, fixing school and utilities across the country in favor of this pipeline?

    • ithey

      OMG 26ave. What drugs are you on?

      • 26ave

        Insulting me is not going to change facts

  • xxnostradamusxx

    I wonder if everyone realizes that none of this will make gas prices cheaper in the U.S. Hell we won’t be using any of the oil ourselves.

    • Jim Valley

      I have found that right-wingers who support the pipeline know absolutely nothing about where the oil would go, how the price is determined, how the international oil market works – NONE of it. What they do know is that liberals are against it, so they’re for it, and that’s about it.

      • 26ave

        Wrong!!!!

      • Brokinarrow

        Care to provide some evidence for Jim being wrong, or are you just going to stand there and stomp your feet?

      • 26ave

        Do see Jim providing any facts to back up his statements?

      • Lisa Hudechek

        The facts were just stated in the above article….

      • 26ave

        And you believe every thing it states?Go to wikipedia and look up XL pipeline and get some real facts

      • RJB, PhD

        Bwahaha, did you just direct people to Wiki for “real facts?” Is that the best source you could come up with?Sigh.

      • 26ave

        read it and then question where it is wrong and we can have a meaningful debate

      • Dean Marshall

        You want to “debate a PhD? Good luck w/that!

      • Charles Sullivan

        It is at least a reference able source compared to an article that makes a statement with no real references. I also know that the XL pipeline will carry US oil from the Bakken to the grid at a discounted rate. If you want to do some real research the bill is always available to be read.

      • Dean Marshall

        Wiki? You realize that Wiki “Facts” are sent in by anon. persons and corporate entities and little real vetting of the info is used?

      • wifather2000

        If you had no fingers you would still be able to use them to count knowledgeable repuglican’ts!

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      • trueamerican1776

        I doubt there would be as many leftist loons or independents who would know either. I have found that leftists think they are smarter and like to troll safe havens and make outlandish and one sided statements that the general left bents will agree with.

      • Jim Valley

        In general, liberals ARE smarter. You MUST have noticed by now.

      • Reason And Believing

        Actually, your IQ’s are 12 points less on average and including blacks and latinos who have the lowest average IQ

      • regressive teaparty trash

        ” you have found…………”
        well; we have found that cretins who wave americans flags while calling themselves TRUEAMERICAN1776 and always the white trash regressives who praise jesus and hate all non white/ non religious/ non hetero americans

      • Reason And Believing

        Regardless of left/right , religious /atheism, no one like perverts.

      • trueamerican1776

        It’s interesting how you don’t know someone, yet you accuse them of hating. If you knew me or people like me you would apologize for your remarks. It must be a lonely life for you when all you do is condemn people you don’t know. You must be demonstrating the liberal love and tolerance. You are why you lose your arguments. You have no fact, you react as a pissed off child would by just name calling. You have my pity, I feel so sorry for you that this is all your life amounts to. See you didn’t even respond to my comment, you just attacked on a different subject. I just pointing out that most people left, right and the “middle” didn’t know what they were for or against. One day you will realize that your hatred does not advance your cause or beliefs, you will realize that your party really doesn’t look out for you. So sad, sweetie…

      • Saaby000

        If you do a “cost benefit” analysis there is no way the XL pipeline comes out benefiting the average US citizen… So, why are we even considering it?

      • Victor Lynn Avera

        The Koch will benefit from it, it is greed over that of the citizens, it is the KOCHsuckering way of the corporatist’s owned GOP fascisms.

      • Reason And Believing

        The Koch’s aren’t even a corporation, They own their own business and profit share directly with their employees .

      • Reason And Believing

        Oil drilled in the US is the only cheap oil we have. It’s directly effects the price and its the exact reason prices are so low now
        You people live in a fantasy world.

    • BentDemocrat

      If there’s any doubt that money (and not American interest) is driving this, look at the supporters, their war chests, and where the money came from.

      Congress should not be for sale. Yet it has been sold many times to the lowest people.

  • Robert Scalzi

    well put Allen. I have been trying to tell cons that for three fucking years – they just don’t get it…

    • 26ave

      And Allan is not spouting a biased opinion ,I suppose !!!

      • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

        I don’t believe that he is actually! I have read about this pipeline from various sources and it’s true that it is NOT our oil that will benefit us in any way except for the short term jobs it will offer. And then the same people who got those short term jobs will be out looking again for a job. Maybe you should do some research of your own 26ave.

      • 26ave

        It is your oil when you buy it and then pay for transportation in the pipeline.TransCanada gets a fee for the use of the line but by that time the oil is yours.

      • surfjac

        How is oil taken from Canada, owned by monied interests, that is refined for consumption on the world market “yours” or “ours”?

      • regressive teaparty trash

        he will not answer

      • Victor Lynn Avera

        Nice KOCHsuckering spin, How is it owned here when it is slated for export?

      • Rick Hughes

        except the millions of gallons from the Bakken oil fields in the Dakotas.

      • Robert Scalzi

        I don’t converse with internet trolls such as yourself. Goodbye.

      • JanMutcher

        Bye don’t let the door hit you!

      • Shinjo Dun

        Well, the opinion of the Republican governor in Nebraska when the bill first came up was that Obama reject it, so clearly its not that biased.

      • surfjac

        But it was the Nebraska governor that had to sign off on it first.

  • Linda Doucett

    C’mon, our Canadian Koch Brothers need to sell their oil… this way if there is a spill, it won’t hurt Canada. It won’t benefit the US much at all. Well, they will keep at least 50 people employed… that’s something. JOBS think JOBS 😀

    • 26ave

      Take time to really get all the facts about this project.It has many technical and political aspects to it.When all is said and done it is a net positive for all of North America

      • JanMutcher

        No it isn’t. Who is paying you? The XL pipeline is set to go directly over the Ogalala (sp?) Aquifer, the LARGEST water supply in the Midwest. When there is a leak and there is and ways a leak, who is going to clean it up? It will be in OUR backyard not theirs. They don’t even want to pay into the cleanup fund. I like Canada and all but JUST SAY NO!

      • 26ave

        Have you ever seen a map of the American pipelines crossing this aquifer and the qualified scientists who have commented on the low level of environmental impact.Have a look at the wikipedia facts relating to this pipiline

      • ithey

        Bless your pointed little head 26ave. Wiki can be edited by anyone who wants to state an opinion on that site.

      • 26ave

        These are facts presented by certain folks ,that is correct,just as the ones stated by Allan Cliffton and subject to the same scrutiny.He makes statements that I know are biased.

      • fel121

        Hey the midwest types all vote (R) so perhaps they get what they deserve, maybe some businessman will sell them all the water they need at $12 a gallon.

  • Conservationist

    If the Keystone pipeline is so great, then why are American oil companies against it? They are against it because it is Canadian oil, a competitor, and it will tie up distribution hubs in Texas making harder for American oil companies to get their product to market. The Republicans only want it because the Koch brothers has paid them to want it, the Koch brothers are big investors in Canadian oil.

    • Victor Lynn Avera

      It is a KOCHsuckering scam.

    • TMB

      Who else is big in Canadian oil? Would it be Warren Buffett the guy that owns the trains that carry Canadian oil to the south through the U.S. I guess if one of these train cars derailed there would be no spill at all.

  • Keith kowalski

    i did it work for transcanada last year. i learned quite a bit about this company.

    first of all they just transmit the oil/gas in the pipe. it is not “their” oil. it is some other rich oil industry barron’s. your factual writing is going downhill lately. maybe take a break for a few weeks?

    that said they are a heavily inefficient bureaucracy. i wouldnt want them building a tar sands pipe in my neighborhood.

  • Support Small Farms

    plus a pipeline made with steel from India….not Indiana

  • Libbylove

    Sounds like someone needs a global economics lesson. Talk about temp jobs. Sounds like what Obamacare did. Force a lot of people into part time status.

    • fel121

      Your comment, and desperate attempt to get the word Obamacare into your non sequitur make you sound like a complete fool.

      • Libbylove

        Good deflection from the issue. I understand how Libbies work. They don’t understand the basics taught in Econ 101 so they lie and talk about something else. You want to see a fool? Look in the mirror.

  • Jazzenjohn

    This story is almost as biased as the republican story. It’s a pipeline, so it is simply a method of transferring oil from one place to another. The alternative is trucks, trains, and oil tankers. The pipeline is more efficient, if it is in the right place, since all those other methods can go almost anywhere and the pipeline goes one place. The people who sell or lease the land the pipeline is on will benefit. There will be some temporary welder/pipefitter jobs till it’s built (Not 50,000), and then a few inspector/repair jobs after that. It will make the Gulf ports a more important force vs OPEC. It won’t have any effect on gas prices. Where the oil goes doesn’t really matter since it is a global commodity. It can be safe if it’s built well, but will it?

    • surfjac

      The point is the amount of greenhouse gas it will produce as much as anything else.

  • pauly

    But the pipeline will create thousands of thousands of sustainable fulltime jobs that will last for years, and years…and years……and years. As soon as the first oil spill happens the pipeline will simply back away and allow the local people to do the work on tax payers dime. SEE Fulltime employment that will probably never run out.

  • Jim Bean

    Everywhere I look there is a liberal clamoring for more tax dollar consuming temporary infrastructure jobs. There, temporary = GOOD. But when it comes to the tax revenue PRODUCING jobs associated with XL, temporary = BAD.

    I can’t keep up. They don’t make sense. Senselessness makes me irratable.

    • surfjac

      The point was made in the article that the temporary jobs building the pipeline will only last weeks and in the best case, months. This versus year- or years-long jobs created by rebuilding and/or remediating roads, bridges, tunnels, sewers, water lines, dykes, dams, electrical grids, etc.
      And, the solar power industry, still in it’s infancy, has already created 120,000 jobs. So why not more of that rather than a potentially catastrophic disaster from a pipeline. Have you ever looked up the koch bros. record on pipelines, for instance, and who they killed by allowing them to fall into a state of disrepair? Or the spills that have occurred and the damage done and the fact they are not yet cleaned up? Do you realize that making a turn the wrong way into a one way street could get you into a serious accident?

      • regressive teaparty trash

        jimbo will either spin away from that or simply not answer

      • Jim Bean

        ‘Catastrophic disaster?’ We’ve already got 2 million miles of oil and gas pipelines and no ‘catastrophic disaster.’ What’s different with this one? And the oil is already being transported anyway by rail car which is more dangerous. If you are concerned about disasters, why are you opting for the more hazardous option?

        Have you ever looked at how many people have been killed by a driver with marijuana in his system? But, oh yeah! Lets legalize that.

      • useless

        Different oil. Full of sand. Abrasive and corrosive to pipes. Too late anyway its almost built. Been working on it for the last year.

      • Ralph Moyer

        Just last year there was large oil line breaks. Check with Michigan, Arkansas, and California for the location and the damage they caused

      • Jim Bean

        Last year there were large railcar spills. Ain’t no liberals trying to make sure no more miles of railroad are created. This is just another irrational Left wing phobia.

      • Rick Hughes

        Of course they wont talk about railcar spills. Those belong to the ultra liberal mr Buffett.

      • Jim Bean

        And a pipeline eats away at his bottom line.

      • regressive whitetrash GOP scum

        I doubt with his wealth he is worried about that

      • surfjac

        There are spills all the time and some of them have serious consequences.
        400,000 gallons of crude oil spilled in North Dakota train crash
        January 13, 2014
        Kalamazoo River oil spill
        2013 Mayflower oil spill
        Oct 3, 2014 – Canadian Natural Resources Limited – 11Km East of Delia – 10,000 litres of Crude oil

        Oct 5, 2014 – Nexen Energy ULC – 2.5Km SouthWest of Kinosis – 5,800 litres of Toxic water

        Oct 5, 2014 – Cenovus Energy Inc – 56Km East of Brooks – 9,800 litres of Toxic water

        Oct 5, 2014 – Nexen Energy ULC – 41Km SouthEast of Ft. McMurray – 13,000 litres of Condensate

        Oct 10, 2014 – Husky Oil – 30Km SouthEast of Vermilion – 50,000 litres of Crude oil and 25,000 litres of toxic water

        Oct 13, 2014 – Arc Resources – 5Km North of Redwater – 150,000 litres of Toxic water

        Oct 11, 2014 – TAQA North Ltd – 44Km SouthWest of Spirit River – 24,000 litres of Crude oil

        Oct 14, 2014 – Whitecap Resources Inc – 37Km NorthWest of Sexsmith – 10,000 litres of Toxic water

        Oct 15, 2014 – Penn West Petroleum Ltd -14Km SouthEast of Slave Lake – 52,000 litres Crude oil

        Oct 14, 2014 – Zargon Oil & Gas Ltd – 26Km NorthWest of Vauxhall – 8,000 litres of Toxic water

        Oct 17, 2014 – TAQA North Ltd – 32Km NorthWest of Rocky Mountain House – 18,000 litres of Toxic water

        Oct 21, 2014 – Harvest Operations Corp – 20Km East of Galahad – 200,000 litres of Toxic water

        Oct 26, 2014 – Apache Canada Ltd -9Km East of Zama City – 50,000 litres of Toxic water

        Total = Over 625,000 Litres of toxic crap spilled in Alberta for just
        the month of October and not one Mainstream media reports about it.

      • Jim Bean

        You changed the debate from ‘catastrophic’ to ‘serious’ and then went to great lengths to win the debate against yourself. Congratulations. You won.

    • Ed Graham

      “irratable” .Senselessness makes you irratable and obviously a bad speller.

    • Victor Lynn Avera

      Real Jobs are production jobs that produce real products of real value in the country of which they are being sold. Buying “Made in USA” products are paying for and supporting Jobs in the USA.

      • Jim Bean

        I agree. But the USA made products cost much, much, more. Its just a question of whether you’d prefer to have more money and fewer possessions or less money and more possessions. The buying advantage of having access to products made using ridiculously cheap labor is lost if everything is made here and the standard of living for those on low and fixed incomes would be dramatically diminished.

    • Jim Valley

      “I can’t keep up. They don’t make sense. Senselessness makes me irritable.”

      This is EXACTLY how I feel about today’s conservatives.

  • Obie Link Guard

    Funny thing, the ad that is running is on this page (for me anyway) is for BP oil and how they create jobs!

    • surfjac

      Look at how many people they hire when there’s a spill.

  • David A Palmer

    The REPDEM Party, Corporate Business in Government. 2 Parties 1 Master. YOU SUCKERS

  • Richard Davis

    You left out two important parts to bolster the”no pipeline” message:

    Keystone XL includes a tie-in to the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, and a contractual agreement to ship 100,000bbls of that oil per day to the Gulf, and,

    The Wood River refinery on IL is already getting Alberta tar sands oil from Keystone first phase, producing lower cost petroleum products now.

    Keystone XL will only cause domestic price increases for petroleum products, and diminish our growing energy independence.

  • Young Solider

    Step 1 – Don’t Be a Massive Tool

    The public’s interest would be best severed by getting the facts from
    well moderated public debates between actual subject matter
    experts.

    The current methods of selecting the facts from celebrities,
    curmudgeons, talking heads, and internet bloggers that support your moral
    outrage do nothing to save the planet, heat your home, or drive you to work.

    Our news media needs to spend more time interviewing climate
    scientists, petroleum engineers, energy visionaries, and activists who are
    reflective and educated.

    Music legends, brilliant actors, and “Senior Energy
    Correspondents” (Senior anything for that matter) can sound impressive because
    they are used to being in front of a camera.
    In reality they are regurgitating the opinion of (At best) one side of a
    debate from the subject matter expert they choose to listen to.

    And for the public’s part stop wasting time and internet
    bandwidth being so morally outraged.

    If you are angry that the oil industry isn’t putting up more
    wind turbines let’s take a look at the obvious flaws to that line of thinking.

    The same industry you are criticizing is the same industry
    you are now asking to save you. Every concern
    the public has for a fossil fuel energy project are the same concerns that they
    will have (And should have) for a non-renewable energy project.

    I can tell you from my 20+ years in the energy industry. Yes I am part of the energy industry and I am
    actually in favor renewable energy. Every energy project (Either renewable or
    nonrenewable) will have one or more of the following concerns:

    1.
    Ongoing and or unresolved treaty dispute with
    that countries aboriginal population

    2.
    Land use agreements with that countries
    agricultural community.

    3.
    There will be a species of animal that lives,
    migrates through, mates, or hibernates in the proposed area. Some of these species will be endangered or
    heading in that direction. Some won’t be
    but they will be cute which will lead to more public focus and media attention
    for some reason.

    4.
    There will be residents of rural areas who will
    have concerns about increased road usage, health concerns, infrastructure
    littering the once pristine landscape, energy companies encroaching on or using
    their land.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s an oil rig or a wind turbine. All the concerns are the same.

    If you haven’t considered any of this before I highly suggest you start.

    And I hate to rain on your parade but if you are protesting
    a pipeline, or fracking, or the Alberta oil sands. Yes its oil sands not tar sands. I also say Merry Christmas, wear white after
    Labor Day, and parade around the beach in socks and sandals so deal with it.

    Even if you win the protest you lose. Do
    you know why you lose? Because currently
    there is no way to track the energy that is being used in your country, what
    type of energy it is (Wind, coal, nuclear), and where it comes from.

    Example:

    A proposed pipeline that will deliver 100,000 barrels of oil a day gets
    canceled due to public protest.

    Well what happens after that? 100,000
    barrels of oil is obtained somewhere else.
    It will most likely from existing sources.

    Why does this happen? Because there is no public policy that says not one
    barrel more, not one more Kw of electricity from coal, Nuclear, or that new
    wind farm. We will get by with what we
    are using. And even if there was public
    policy setting energy limits there is no tracking system that can prove that the
    proposed energy celling is not being exceeded.

    You want to do something today? Find out all the different types of energy your
    country uses, what countries that energy comes from, and what those countries
    are like.

    There is a great doc (Second half, 14:30) from our good friends at Vice
    Magazine:

    HBO Season One: Gangs & Oil (Episode 9)

    Have a celebrity do an ice bucket challenge there.

    Let’s say best case scenario happens and the energy industry
    listens, decreases fossil fuels and increases renewable resources like wind,
    solar, and tidal. Sounds pretty good
    doesn’t it. Except when you realize that
    where your energy comes from is still in the hands of a private corporation
    that answers to its shareholders. And
    this industry is a major part of your countries economy. It is one of the basic building blocks of our
    modern society actually.

    And if you are poor, vulnerable, or barley getting by then please consider the
    following:

    1.
    How many people heat their house with fossil
    fuels (Natural gas from fracking as an example)?

    BTW wood counts as a fossil fuel. Yes
    wood emits GHG when burned.

    2.
    How many of these people actually live in an
    environment where you can die from the cold?

    Sorry southern California. You’re my favorite place on the planet you truly are
    but your winters in the valleys and beaches are so easy.

    I’ve spent winters working in the lower part of the Artic and I’ve lived my
    whole like in Canada.

    People die from exposure from cold. If
    this is not your day to day experience then try having empathy with those that
    it is.

    3.
    How many of those people are on the poverty
    line?

    4.
    If you remove natural gas from fracking from the
    market how many of these people won’t be able to heat their house?

    5.
    How many are elderly, handicapped?

    6.
    How many people who are just making it now will
    be on the poverty line when heating prices correct themselves?

    7.
    What percentage of these people will become
    venerable if something else goes wrong? IE a spouse gets sick, someone loses
    their job?

    8.
    How many of those people make a monthly decision
    to either eat or pay their utility bills?

    9.
    What celebrity is standing up for them…today?

    You want a plan of action?

    1.
    Don’t be a massive tool all the time. Try being thoughtful and reflective it’s
    awesome.

    No one likes a bible thumper or soap box types “Trying to educate” the
    masses.

    2.
    Stop being so butt hurt and morally outraged all
    the time.

    I’m sure you feel great being right all the time but it does zero good.

    Also it’s annoying and making me cry.

    3.
    Try taking in new information that doesn’t
    support your current belief system.

    4.
    Work with your buddies to get a tracking system
    in place that follows every barrel of oil, every pound of Coal, every Kw of
    electricity.

    Know where energy comes from and of what type it is.

    5.
    Don’t automatically demonize an energy project
    because it has something you don’t like.

    And don’t automatically green light every energy project that has something you
    do like.

    Every energy project requires critical thought.

    Consider the merits and demerits of every project.

    6.
    Don’t leave it up to others all the time. You want some say, be a shareholder.

    If you haven’t got much cash get together with a few hundred thousand of your
    buddies and be a shareholder. You will
    be on the radar.

    7.
    Make a new buddy. Talk with someone you have been
    demonizing. I don’t care what side of
    the argument you are on. If you are in
    the environmentalist camp talk to someone in the energy industry. If you are in the energy industry then please
    talk to someone in the environmentalist’s camp.

    8.
    Get ready for the butt hurt.

    Being in the energy industry you will be the target of public outrage.

    9.
    Go back and read this again except this time
    stop trying to find all the places you think I was wrong and find all the
    places I have a valid point.

    I don’t actually care if you think I’m right or not.

    This is the big picture here so if you think one side is
    right or one side is going to win your wrong.

    If you actually read all of this thank you.

    Respectful, helpful, and thoughtful comments are always
    welcome.

    I won’t call you names if you don’t call me names.

    Grammar Nazis are also welcome as long as you remember step
    1.

  • Tim Corbett

    Anyone that thinks that this pipeline will create good jobs and stimulate the economy should look at Anthony, Kansas. Two years the oil industry came into town with the promise of jobs, etc. The town, of 2,400 people bought in and built not one but two hotels, restaurants opened and other shops were opened. Fast forward two years, the oil work didn’t pan out, business closed, the restaurants failed and there are two practically brand new hotels that average about three guest a week, combined. The cost of creating the new infrastructure far out weighed the benefits. This will happen along the length of the pipeline. Not a good idea.

  • Ralph Moyer

    The Koch Brothers own a large share of the Canadian oil sand holdings. That is why the politicians are pushing the pipeline. Both parties have Congress members and Senators who receive backing from the Koch Brothers. I don’t think it can be stopped.

  • BobWojcieszak

    Reading all these comments, it’s amazing how no one seems to know much about basic economics – the oil may be going on the world market – so what? The fact that it is going to market is what will have the impact. The more oil that is on the market will determine what the price for the product is. Or to put it another way – Sarah Palin was criticized to the high heavens when she said “Drill, baby drill.” Funny isn’t it amazing that the reason the oil prices are down is because of all the drilling going on in the United States? It has been pointed out that the U.S. has a larger reserve than Saudi Arabia. Amazing! We produce, they react to that by lowering their price, which in turn lowers the price at the pump – competition and free markets are wonderful things. Build the Keystone Pipeline!

  • West_of_I35

    It’s not even oil. It’s an oil-like product, made from crushed shale and suspended in water. All that it can refined to make is low-grade diesel. Canada made it illegal to refine there because of the environmental effects.

    It’s crap, and we don’t need to be part of it.