Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline

I’ve been waiting for the right inspiration to begin updating this site again, and found it in this video from Rebuild the Dream:

Let me start of by saying that I spent my teen years in Fort McMurray, where all this tar sand comes from, and I can vouch for just how dirty the oil extraction process is. Removing oil from the ground requires a lot of energy and resources. It pollutes the air and creates ponds of highly toxic water, and the final product requires yet more processing to become fuel.

Does this mean we should shut down the tar sands? It would be hypocritical to say we should. Our world revolves around oil – not just to power our cars – and until we change that, we are going to need more sources of it. And given the options, it makes sense to get our oil from a stable source like Canada.

But, we need to treat this source of oil with extra caution, and because of that I see no reason at all why it makes any sense to build the Keystone XL pipeline:

Energy independence for the US? No – this pipeline sends the tar sand oil to a processing/shipping port. In other words, it’s for other markets in other countries. The communities with this pipeline in their back yard will shoulder the risk so that multinational companies can make profits selling this stuff to other countries.

Jobs and money for American workers and companies? As this video points out, the number of jobs this produces is negligible and pales in comparison to the environmental risks involved in having this massively long pipeline crossing the country.

If this oil were going to be used to help the United States wean itself off overseas oil, I would be more inclined to support it. If it were going to improve the economy in the United States, I would be more inclined to support it. But to take on the risk of an oil spill in one of several states this thing will go through? To support the bottomline of some multinational megacorp?

Look at the track record in recent history, along the Gulf Coast, in Arkansas, and in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Terrible spills compounded by inept corporate responses, designed to try to cover up the issue with PR and news blackouts more than to actually clean the mess they caused. We’ve had enough oil disasters. No to Keystone XL.