It would appear that President Obama has painted hmself into an energy corner. Sitting on an authorization for the Canada to Texas pipeline and trains carrying crude from the oil sands in Alberta.
First scenario, His political base of rabid ecologists keep opposing the pipeline not based on clean pipeline routes, but the ecology in China. While it is commendable to help in the fight for clean air, this opposition doesn't stop China from using coal or oil in their industries. This outrageous interference with China's right to self determination. Opposing the pipeline is parallel to using the spotted owl to interfere with logging. It was about not cutting any more trees anywhere. Still, it was an issue wholly within our territorial limits. In the case of activists lobbying against the pipeline this is not going to stop China, it will just hurt our neighbor, Canada. Oh and our selves as well.
Second scenario, we ship all oil from the region by train. Well, it seems like the crude from tar sands has more volatility than our domestic product and is a danger to the citizenry from derailments. In three lurid examples of derailed oil trains, One blew the center of a town up, causing 41 deaths. Railroads were originally designed to connect cities with each other, so products and services could connect them. Rerouting trains through rural areas in high population areas, is impractical and beyond any sensible investment.
The choice between the two solutions is not the only one, however.. If we force Canada to build their own pipeline from scratch rather than just connecting with our domestic system, and trough terrain that makes construction problematic. If our government chooses either there are dire consequences. For one, we get a large percentage of our oil and natural gas from Canada. There is nothing to stop Canada from refusing to ship any petroleum products to this country. A boycott would prove that our natural gas industry to come to a screeching halt.
By your intransigence, we are between a rock and a hard spot. Get off the dime and choose which method to use, but remember, our good neighbor Canada has no barrier unusable. Shooting urselves in the foot is not the answer.
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