Realpolitiks with . . .
With oil prices reaching more than $100 a barrel nowadays, the last thing we need is a pipeline to ship our oil thousands of kilometres to Texas.
First off, Texas is like the American version of Alberta, home to oil barons and cattle farmers. Why they need our oil simply boggles my mind. The Dakota Oil Field rivals the size of the Saudi’s reserves, so it makes me question why the Americans would want our crude oil when they could create jobs and income in their own backyard.
Secondly, it’s going to take a lot of oil to create this pipeline. You need to run the machinery to build the pipes, gas to get the workers to the job site, electricity to power the lights at night and so on. The costs begin to skyrocket when revolts in countries like Libya force oil prices up, and when the cost of oil goes up, so does the cost to transport the oil.
Last on my list is the fact we’re getting very little out of this deal. It’s great we get this big construction contract with the States, but the majority of the pipeline is located in the States.
Permanent jobs will be few and far between in Alberta, while we pump our precious crude into the U.S. market never to be seen again. In my opinion, and I think Bruce Campbell would agree this pipeline gives us two things: Jack and shit. And Jack left town already.
At the end of the day, we’re left with a never-ending cycle of ridiculously over-inflated costs for nothing more than a barrel of dead dinosaurs.
It’s time to start thinking about how we can save a buck or two if we’re going to keep relying on oil to run the world.
What TransCanada needs is to put its money into refineries, not pipelines. If we could create gasoline right in our own province it could drastically cut down on a lot of costs we currently face.
I know the whole ‘not in my backyard’ motto puts a limit on where you can have a refinery, but I’m sure we could squeeze one in somewhere without Greenpeace raising too much trouble.
There will always be environmental concerns when dealing with a toxic sludge such as oil, but a pipeline that stretches from here to the Gulf Coast seems to have a few holes in an otherwise ‘rock-solid’ plan.
With more than 6000 km of pipe, there’s bound to be a few faulty welds here and there. Disasters like the BP oil spill or the Exxon Valdez have shown the world how even the most sophisticated technology is prone to failure. The chances of a disaster actually happening are quite slim, but they’re still there.
Crude rules everything around me. We live in a world where a thick, viscous muck can be sold for more than most precious metals out there, and that fact alone frightens me a little. The day will come when we pump the last drop of oil out of the ground, and everything will start snowballing downhill from there. Thankfully, we’ll all be long dead by then.
Kevin Penny is a 21-year-old, second-year journalism student at Grant MacEwan University. As a tenderfoot journalist, he looks to give some straight sense in the world of politics by defending truth, justice and the freedom of choice.
In recent months political instability has become the norm in many Middle Eastern countries. Due to the regions vast oil reserves, this instability has contributed to the steady rise in oil prices and subsequently gas prices we pay at the pump. When oil prices rise, so do the costs of every commodity and product needed by the average consumer.
One remedy to Middle East volatility is to produce a steady and safe supply of crude from non-Middle East countries. A stable supply of oil is critical for the world economy and especially North American markets. While Canada, with its vast oilsands reserves, has the potential to provide this needed supply, transportation of this crude to refineries located in the United States is currently not sufficient.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline project would run from Alberta, through Saskatchewan and into the U.S. Midwest and would provide transportation for millions of barrels of crude each year to U.S. refineries. The project would employ thousands of workers, many of which would be high paying jobs and stimulate further growth in Canada’s oil patch.
However, the pipeline has received staunch resistance from environmentalists and special interests groups who would prefer not expanding the infrastructure of what they deem to be a dying industry. This claim doesn’t pass the logic test.
World demand for oil will only increase in the coming decades. The west needs crude from a stable region and most of the refining capacity in North America for Canadian oilsands is located in the U.S., so why not allow private industry to build a pipeline that will satisfy the world’s oil demands?
One argument against the pipeline is the environmental risk to local ecosystems if a pipeline leak were to occur. Well, TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, has high safety standards and appears dedicated to maintaining their environmentally friendly record. Secondly, with modern technology, pipeline safety is one of the safest, if not the safest way to transport crude in today’s world.
The future of North America’s energy supply may not rest in oil, but the current economic climate and available technology dictate that oil will remain an important resource in helping fuel our energy demands.
The Keystone XL pipeline project will provide the infrastructure to help develop Canada’s crude oil, create thousands of high-paying jobs and most importantly, the pipeline will help relieve our dependence on unstable, Middle East oil. The project should be approved if TransCanada meets all the necessary regulatory requirements, which appears to be the case.
The fear mongering and cries of pending environmental disaster are not justified with this project. It’s important to remember, on any given day, at any given time, something can go wrong in life, whether it be something of great significance or small and petty. It is equally important to remember that though there are risks we should not be beholden to this risk. Important economic decisions should not be held hostage to something that “could” happen. If reasonable safety standards are met, the Keystone pipeline should be approved and be another success story for North America’s energy industry.
Mitchell Cooper is a 22-year-old, third-year Grant MacEwan University political science student with ambitions to attend law school. He’s worked two years in government, and on several political campaigns. He hopes to have the privilege of holding public office one day.