Our good friend Jason Scott of the Delaware Liberal is just aghast that Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) has stated that he will support the Senate bill by hopefully-outgoing Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) to get the Keystone XL pipeline project approved. Stan Merriman added this comment:
This support by Carper is an outrage. As a recent transplant here from Houston, we were painfully close to Cancer Alley where the refineries are that will process that sludge. This is harmful to the already harmed Houston environment, harmful to the landowners along the pipeline’s east Texas route and an environmental disaster. I’ve written Sen. Carper on this, not expecting he’ll reverse his support but I owe it to my Houston friends to try.
Mr Merriman posted another article stating that President Obama’s deal on carbon emissions with China is a BFD, which I assume stands for big f(ornicating) deal, and that opposition to it constitutes treason, so I feel that it’s somewhat safe to say that he is pretty intense on this subject.
It is my guess, at this point, that the Keystone XL pipeline will not be built. Even if approved, the left can be counted upon to file lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit to try to stop it, most certainly delaying it for years upon years. I believe that the left have already won on this issue. And what have they won? Nothing, nothing at all, other than to prevent the pipeline construction jobs from being created, because the oil that Keystone was supposed to pump to Gulf Coast refineries is still going to be used! From The Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Refiners Don’t Care if Keystone Gets Built
Railroads and Rival Pipeline Firms Are Making the Keystone Pipeline Less Necessary.
By Ben Lefebvre | Updated Sept. 5, 2013 5:28 p.m. ET
U.S. companies that refine oil increasingly doubt that the controversial Keystone XL pipeline expansion will ever be built, and now they don’t particularly care.
Railroads are carrying soaring amounts of crude from Canada down to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast, reducing the need for the TransCanada Corp. project, which is still awaiting approval from the U.S. government after two years of delays.
Meanwhile, a rival pipeline company, Enbridge Inc., is expanding existing pipes to carry Canadian crude south—and it doesn’t need federal permission because it’s using existing pipeline rights of way. In addition, so much oil is sloshing around the U.S. from its own wells that refiners don’t need lots more heavy crude from the north to keep busy.
Much more at the original. But we have previously noted another Journal article on the expanded use of railroads to ship crude oil. The oil is still getting shipped, the oil is still getting refined, and the oil is still getting used. Delaying and (probably) stopping the Keystone XL pipeline has not stopped any of that, because, the protests of the left notwithstanding, the country needs to use petroleum to power our modern civilization.
As for the Keystone pipeline construction jobs that won’t be created? Well, they’re probably a net wash, if not actually fewer jobs lost than were created when new rail terminals for handling the increased crude oil flow were started, and there are probably more jobs with the railroads for handling the increased rail traffic, and more jobs created as new oil tanker cars have to be built.
Of course, rail transportation requires more handling, and involves more workers, along with the diesel fuel to power the locomotives which pull the oil trains, and that means greater costs involved for transporting the oil, costs which are passed down to the end consumer, which means that the good, hard-working people that our friends at the Delaware Liberal tell us they support have to spend more for the fuel they use, making them poorer in real terms. The left tell us that they want to increase the minimum wage, but they continually support policies which eat away at people’s wages, policies which make them poorer. We’ve said it many times before: if liberals actually understood economics, they wouldn’t be liberals anymore.
Of course, while rail transportation is very safe, accidents do happen, and people get killed. Pipelines can also leak or break, but they have normally not involved anyone being killed. Pipelines are generally safer, and can be made safer still, but nothing is completely risk-free.
So, the left have wasted all of this time and effort to stop the dreaded Keystone XL pipeline, and have probably succeeded, but the oil they wanted to stop will still be used, and the oil that they wanted to stop will still be moved, albeit less safely, and the oil that they wanted to stop will still be needed, and bought, by consumers, though more expensively. I wonder: how Pyrrhic do they like their victories?