We can’t say we didn’t see this one coming. Obama has vetoed the bill allowing the construction of the Keystone Pipeline, giving himself control over its future:
With no fanfare and a 104-word letter to the Senate, Mr. Obama vetoed legislation to authorize construction of a 1,179-mile pipeline that would carry 800,000 barrels of heavy petroleum a day from the oil sands of Alberta to ports and refineries on the Gulf Coast.
In exercising the unique power of the Oval Office for only the third time since his election in 2008, Mr. Obama accused lawmakers of seeking to circumvent the administration’s approval process for the pipeline by cutting short “consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest.”
By rejecting the legislation, Mr. Obama retains the right to make a final judgment on the pipeline on his own timeline.
Great. This pipeline could have done even more to shake control of our oil supply out of the hands of oil-rich Middle Eastern countries, most of whom obviously don’t have American interests at heart. But that’s not really that important apparently in the face of the vast environmental dangers of the pipeline.
What are those environmental dangers, you may ask? The simple version from environmentalists is two-fold: increased carbon emissions and increased fossil fuel dependency.
The energy strategy is to introduce large quantities of oil from Canadian tar sands. According to the US Department of Environmental Protection, the greenhouse gas emissions from Canadian oil sands crude oil will be more than 80% greater than oil refined in the US. Independent estimates run up to three times more global warming pollution than conventional oil.
Once the Keystone XL is in place, a wide area of the US will become dependent on oil from Canadian tar sands. With no available alternative, pressure will grow to import more and more of it. Even more dangerous, the pipeline will lock in dependence on fossil fuels for decades to come and remove the pressure to convert to renewable alternatives.
Are these concerns valid? Perhaps. It’s hard to tell. If you reject anthropogenic climate change theory and believe that oil dependency is inevitable, your argument will be that depending on oil from Canada is better than depending on it from OPEC, and you will also argue that carbon emissions do not have as much of an environmental impact as environmentalists think. What do you think? Is the Keystone Pipeline worth it? Or is it another crony scam from our bloated civil government? Does it actually present major environmental problems? Or is that just more hot air from the global warming quacks?