Supporting The Keystone XL Pipeline - And Response

Friday, October 18, 2013

As a consumer, citizen and former military officer I support the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. By reducing oil imports from overseas sources and increasing imports from Canada, we would divert revenues from unfriendly governments and reduce defense budget allocations for protecting access to those overseas sources. Additionally this would allow for greater flexibility in the country’s foreign policy. 

The Keystone XL Pipeline will help protect us from undue influence and outright intimidation, as well as mitigate the consequences of sudden shortages or price spikes that might otherwise cause serious damage to our economy and our security. 

The financial benefits of the pipeline are hard to overstate. Recent estimates indicate that for every dollar spent in Canada 0.85 cents returns to the U.S. From the Middle East the number is 0.35 cents. The pipeline construction will create more than 15,000 high-paying American jobs and add more than $20 billion to our economy, while safely delivering crude oil to U.S. refineries through the world’s most sophisticated and closely monitored pipeline. During the first few years of its operation, as many as 350,000 new American jobs and $34 billion could added to our economy. Some of these jobs could go to unemployed and/or homeless veterans,

Canada is already our largest supplier of oil, and represents a safe and reliable source for the oil. Increasing imports from a friendly neighbor, while decreasing imports from potential enemies, makes sense. 

The pipeline will cost American taxpayers nothing. It will be privately funded and built on private land. It has been approved by every state it will traverse, and it has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. State Department (a document of more than 15,000 pages). A majority of Congress and nearly two-thirds of the American people support the pipeline. All it lacks is the go-ahead from President Obama.

This project will help revitalize our economy and improve our security. It’s a project worth fighting for – one that could prevent us from having to engage in a more deadly fight defending our access to overseas supplies. 

Please join me in urging our Commander in Chief to sign off on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Cdr. John Flanagan, MD, U.S Navy (Ret.) 

* * * 

The commander seems to be under the impression the Keystone pipeline would eliminate our need for oil, cost us nothing, be environmentally friendly, and provide an abundance of jobs.  Not one bit of that is true.  Let's look at the facts. 

Canadian oil companies have been attempting to find a path to the ocean for this tar sands oil, or dirty oil, for some time.  Their original intent was to pipe it west, to utilize the Pacific shipping lanes.  The Canadian government nixed that idea, because of environmental concerns.  Then they tried to attain an east pipeline, and again, they met a brick wall.  That left one access to them, a south line to the Gulf. 

The commander said the states involved in this idea, were in favor of the idea.  Not true.  In fact, the land to be utilized by the pipeline, is now being taxed, and bringing money into the state coffers.  Through arrangements, the pipeline property would receive tax breaks, costing the states millions. 

The commander also insinuates the people are willing participants.  If that is the case, why have so many individuals been arrested, attempting to keep their property from being seized?  Some celebrities have been arrested, alongside property owners, attempting to defend the rights of the owners. 

Environmentally friendly?  The pipeline is to go across the largest aquifer in America.  This aquifer supplies the water that supplies Americas "breadbasket."  One leak, like the ones in Canada now going on, and that aquifer will be destroyed.  This so called dirty oil, is more corrosive than that being pumped through Alaska.  Because of that, existing pipelines currently carrying this oil, have had multiple eruptions, destroying miles and miles of land. 

Dirty oil costs more to refine.  That cost will be passed along to the consumers at the pump.  Not to mention recouping the costs involved in construction of this pipeline.  Saturating our market with this oil would actually raise prices.  But, the intent is not to saturate our market.  There is only one reason to build a pipeline from central Canada, to the refineries in Houston, and that is to utilize the shipping availability.  This oil is to be sold to China, and other nations, not fill our domestic supplies. 

Cornell University and the Department of Labor have both done studies on the labor prospects from such a pipeline.  Completed separately, they both concluded the pipeline will realize a total of only 35 full time positions.  Not hundreds of thousands.  A total of 35 jobs, to defile our environment, increase our pump prices, and seize property from Americans.  Doesn't hardly seem worth the cost to me.  Of course, the oil companies involved are drooling though.  It has been speculated they would realize hundreds of billions in profit. 

Rod Dagnan

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