In the usual corporate trash in the Rapid City Journal opinion page is a column by Charles Krauthammer that reaches new lows-- even for Krauthammer. In the Journal, it is titled "Why is Obama Kicking Canada around".
Krauthammer claims that the XL Pipeline is a settled matter and we are leaving Canada hanging humiliated, disrespected undeservedly and supremely. And Krauthammer rues Canada's lack of loud outrage (and I assume Krauthammer would also prefer Canada to be making really vicious attacks on Obama personally).
Krauthammer claims no environmental threats from the XL Pipeline. He claims the only reason for not approving XL is narrow partisan politics. We might wonder if the Republicans loud support for XL is not also narrow partisanship driven by huge contributions from the fossil fuel industries. Krauthammer claims unless XL is built, tar sands oil will go to China. He claims "thousands of jobs" will be lost because a "shovel-ready" project is not approved. This job claim has been admitted by Trans-Canada to have been grossly overestimated.
In short, Krauthammer is full of crude oil pollutants up to his ugly ears.
Trans-Canada has told Bloomberg news that the primary purpose of XL is to get crude oil out of the midwest in order to drive up gasoline and diesel prices 20 to 30 cents per gallon. The crude oil will end up as foreign oil exported from the Texas gulf coast.
And the environmental issues are actually not settled... or if settled, certainly not in the way liked by XL Pipeline supporters. Krauthammer mentions dangers of rail transportation of crude and the crashes and explosions recently in the news. The dangers may exist, but they can be eliminated or greatly reduced by tough government regulation of railroads.
While Krauthammer is shedding crocodile tears for Canada in his attemt to malign Obama, he neglects mentioning the many years Canada had high taxes on US goods in order to "protect Canada's infant industries"., Krauthammer also fails to note the Chinese government investment in tar sands oil and related oil systems.
Currently, oil produced from US domestic wells cannot be exported. The oil industry is lobbying to get that changed however. In the meantime, I assume the refiners can use Canadian tar sands crude and export it at will. So, Krauthammer's concern about China getting the oil is irrelevant. China will get the oil whether it leaves the Texas gulf ports or from the ports in the Canadian Pacific coast. Either way, the Tar Sands Crude is expensive to mine, separate from sand, and dilute with other chemicals to make it possible to pump it through pipelines. Those process are all environmentally dirty compared to oil from Bakken crude for example.
The XL Pipeline would also cross southern South Dakota near Ogalalla aquifer wells for Winner, SD, Colome, SD, Gregory, SD, and probably also for rural water systems. It also crosses several rivers and streams in South Dakota. With a 36-inch line moving crude with very high pressures, it would not take long to generate major dangerous pollution with crude oil and dangerous solvents entering SD waters.
If you wish to email Krauthammer, mailto: email@example.com .
You might also let the RC Journal know that Krauthammer is neither amusing nor informative.
** Stay tuned and think about US energy independent of fossil fuels.-- Doug Wiken