July 10 2013

Will a Canadian Tragedy Boost the Keystone Pipeline?

Charlotte Hays

Our hearts go out to the people of the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, a large part of which was destroyed when a parked train carrying crude oil somehow careened off its tracks.

We don’t yet know the death toll, though 13 are known to be dead and 40 people are still missing.

We don’t want to politicize this terrible instance of human suffering, but it must be said: the Keystone XL Pipeline, the object of misguided hatred from environmentalists, is a much safer way to transport oil.

An editorial in Investor’s Business Daily states:

"One of the unintended consequences of delaying Keystone XL is that more oil has been getting to markets in Canada and the United States using rail, truck and water-borne tankers," Shawn Howard, a spokesman for TransCanada, said in an e-mail. "None of those methods of transportation are as safe as moving it by pipelines."

Environmentalists fighting Keystone XL ignore that there would be no greater danger than that posed by any of the more than 50,000 existing miles of safely operating pipeline already crisscrossing the U.S., including Nebraska and the Ogallala Aquifer.

Environmentalists should be clamoring for the Obama administration to approve Keystone. The oil is coming out regardless, and it's going to be shipped by either pipeline, rail or barges.

Of course, that is not going to happen. Environmentalists want to do away with not just Keystone but the use of fossil fuels. That the environmental impact of Keystone has been studied to death and found to be minimal doesn’t make any difference to them. Keystone would create jobs, but a hefty proportion of environmental leaders are trust fund babies for whom the concept of needing a job is alien.

There was an anti-Keystone demonstration on Connecticut Avenue last Saturday. I overheard some of the protesters speaking—erroneously—about the impact the project would have on the environment. Facts don't seem to cut it in the environmental world.

Still, the Free Beacon says that the disaster may give Keystone a push.

Hat tip: Mark Perry at AEI

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