The Keystone pipeline is in our news. At first, i thought this was some new super-grand totally bitchin thing, like the Alaska Pipeline, that was going to create a whole new economy unto itself.
To hear some of the right-wing talkers, you'd think that's what it is.
I did some research. Not very difficult research either cause 80% of what I now know was found on Wikipedia page.
A few things:
--The Keystone is has not only been built, but most of it is already online, and has been for nearly a year. Over 1300 miles of it in the United States, delivering it's product to Oklahoma and two locations in Illinois.
--The big "Keystone" in question is an extension of the already existing system, Phase 3, delivering it's product into Texas; combined with additional pipeline capacity running the equivilant length of the already existing line from Alberta, Phase4.This is actually known as "Keystone XL", and not merely Keystone.
--The new section of pipeline runs right through the Ogallala Aquifer, a major source of groundwater for eight states. An oil spill here (like a broken gushing pipe) would be a rather inconveniently bad thing, but it can be safeguarded against without too much difficulty.
All this sets the stage for a super primo election year issue that, if played right, is sure to push a few buttons with 'right' partisans.
The GOP is trying to force Obama to 'make a decision', one in which he cannot win. The Enviros want to protect the ground water. That is a worthy cause. But the groundwater protection issue was already taken care of for the most part when they built the existing infrastructure. The know-how is there and it will be applied.
I believe many of the those who receive the monthly news letters are not aware of the fact that substantial quantities of the hated oil is already traipsing over the groundwater as these are also oil producing regions. Phase 4 should be of minor concern, and certainly not big enough to hold a presidency hostage over.
If Obama approves the "XL", he will lose the support of these enviros who have already been activated by their leadership.
If he denies, he will face the charge by the GOP that he is against providing energy to the economy and be blamed for the high price of gas.
Either choice will hurt him, so he says that he will make a decision 'after the election'. This just further exposes him. From what I can see, he's already lost the issue at the ballot box.
Meanwhile, there are those politicians on the right claiming that if we don't build a pipeline from Canada, China will come along and take 'our' oil. Hey, there is a pipeline from Canada.
But it's a non-issue. The pipeline will be completed. There is too much money at stake for the right the people for it to not happen.
Yeah, it makes for good soundbites, but soundbites are normally emotion-feeding bullshit that hides facts and gets hucksters elected.
The only real question the voters need to ask, and demand an answer for, is how many politicians and their family members will benefit monetarily from it.