Obama’s ban stops pipeline to progress

By: Brennan Kohls

Last week President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline application, citing “environmental reasons.” congressional Democrats have been fighting the pipeline for almost seven years, all based on the “environmental” aspect. Here is why the Keystone XL pipeline is a good thing.

The Keystone pipeline is a pipe system that would move petroleum from oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast. Part of it is already built from Alberta to Nebraska, but now the debate is over the almost 2,000 mile addition, named Keystone XL, from Alberta through Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska to connect it to already built pipelines sending oil to refineries and ports on the Gulf Coast.

The project could create thousands upon thousands of jobs. TransCanada, the company who applied for the pipeline, has projected about 42,000 jobs will be created directly and indirectly related to the project. It puts Americans to work, it boosts our economy and yet politicians reject it because they are only trying to advance their agenda and not look out for the American people.

The pipeline could have boosted our economy greatly, putting billions of dollars into the economy by giving money to the towns and states it passes through. Nebraska would have gotten about $20 million, South Dakota would get $23 million and Montana would get about $67 million all through revenue taxes on TransCanada.

Of course, the project would also have made transporting oil more efficient and easy while lowering gas and oil prices.

Isn’t it time that we stop sending money to people who hate us in the Middle East for oil and start investing in North American oil? Granted a lot of our oil comes from Canada, but we are still paying regimes that burn the American flag with our purchases of their oil.

The American people wanted the pipeline, they wanted the almost 50,000 jobs, they wanted the economic boost and they wanted the lower gas and oil prices, but our president and congressional Democrats decided that they didn’t want it, so they rejected it. A CNN poll showed that 57 percent of Americans supported the project, and both the House and the Senate passed the bill, but Obama said it’s his way or the highway.

On Nov. 6, Obama said, “The State Department has decided the Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the interests of the United States. I agree with that decision.”

Don’t you think the government is getting too big when it decides what is in your interest and what isn’t? But I’ll save that for another day.

The project would have increased our energy independence. By using oil from Canada and refining it in the United States, we become less dependent on unstable and hostile countries for all of our oil needs. We are consuming seven million more barrels a day than we are producing. We need to increase our energy independence, and the best way was the Keystone XL pipeline.

The big argument against the Keystone XL pipeline was the environmental aspect. Don’t get me wrong. I take care of the earth just as much as the next guy, if not more. I recycle, and I’m an outdoorsman, so over a hundred dollars paid through my fishing and hunting licenses go towards habitat and conservation, so I’m not anti-taking care of the earth, but at some point, it becomes green tyranny, and it hurts our country. TransCanada has a scientific research report consisting of more than 17,000 pages of environmental influence of the pipeline. It concluded that the pipeline would have minimal environmental impact. Several scientific reports have also concluded that it would not affect climate change.

Pipelines are the safest way to transport oil, above trains and trucks. The average spill from a train is about 18,492 gallons, but the average spill from a pipeline is 3,238 gallons of oil. Pipelines are underground, which means they are not affected by weather and other road/rail conditions, making it safer to transport. TransCanada made dozens of changes to the pipeline and extra conditions to make it even safer for transporting oil.

Overall, the Keystone XL could have boosted our economy by putting about $3.4 billion in it. It would have created 42,000 jobs, and it would have made transporting oil safer by not using trains or trucks. Fifty seven percent of the American people wanted it, both the House and the Senate wanted it, but our president didn’t, so it’s was his way or the highway, and, unfortunately, his way was not the right way for America.

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