I hate this. I absolutely abhor the reality that I currently am staring in the face. Money talks and energy is money. It’s obvious since energy companies are some of the most profitable businesses in the world nowadays, albeit being highly regulated by the EPA. However, highly is a subjective word. USA’s relationship with Canada has historically been a good one since we gained sovereignty from the British; which is part of the reason we are currently in an environmental predicament. Canada in the past decade has tapped into it’s vast shale oil resource, though awful for the environment, Americans love to purchase because we’re not ruining our own environment, it’s cheaper, and doesn’t come from a hostile country.
Here’s the billion-dollar question: How do we get their oil here? My personal favorite answer to this question is simply, we don’t. We invest in other green technology and we mine in our backyard where we can regulate and protect the environment to our liking, while still meeting the needs of the American consumer. Here’s the more realistic answer, via the Keystone Pipeline. Unfortunately, I agree with Russ Girling, TransCanada Petroleum CEO, when he says, “I’m a fundamental believer in the market.” He’s right. Right now his oil is cheaper and more easily attainable than finding an alternative fuel source. Moreover, Canada has been importing a ghastly 2.57 million barrels of crude oil into the U.S. Gulf refineries daily. The oil arrives by railcar and already existing pipelines. Girling states, “As production continues to grow in North America, we want to be able to feed that to markets right here on the continent.” If they did in fact revise the bill to state that the oil would stay here on the continent, as opposed to the original plan of going to China, I would regrettably have to swallow my pride and admit that the Keystone Pipeline would be a good economical idea for Americans to become independent of middle-eastern oil.
You may wonder why I have this blatant anger towards pipelines, and your inquiry would be justified. Foremost, necessity has always bread invention and sadly I believe this will make the general public less worried about finding alternative energy sources. Second, pipelines aren’t good for the environment. The EPA in a report found that the pipeline would not increase greenhouse emissions but pipelines notoriously leak, it’s practically unavoidable. Oil kills vegetation and contaminates ground water and it’s running all the way up the U.S. through the Midwest. Third, it could be a potential site for terrorist threats. Although not probable, the possibility still exists. Finally, and admittedly with the most biased, I don’t believe TransCanada Petroleum when they say that they want the oil to stay on the continent. As I said, money talks, and if you can get more money shipping to China, then why wouldn’t you?
Regrettably, as I said, money talks, and I believe it’s only a matter of time before TCP gets the bill to pass through Congress and the pipeline is built. I just hope my worries are unjustified.