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The occasional instances of contamination associated with pipeline operations have happened before and will happen again. However, the risks are tiny and we have the rules and technology to deal with problems when they happen.
The other objection makes even less sense. The enviros are convinced that if we don’t build Keystone XL then the Canadians won’t be able to sell their evil crude oil and thus the planet will be spared the emissions of the deadly greenhouse gases that would be created by using Canuck crude.
In a world that includes only the United States and Canada, this logic might hold true. Unfortunately, there are a few other nations out there that are more than likely interested in Canadian oil. China and India – nations whose appetites for petroleum grows by leaps and bounds ever year – spring immediately to mind. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty laid that choice out in no uncertain terms.
“The decision to delay it that long is actually quite a crucial decision. I’m not sure this project would survive that kind of delay,” Flaherty said in an interview at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Honolulu. “It may mean that we may have to move quickly to ensure that we can export our oil to Asia through British Columbia.”
In fact, China has already made it abundantly clear that they will be more than happy to buy Canadian crude if we don’t. No matter what dreams the enviros have, the fact is that the world’s appetite for oil isn’t going away any time soon.
And so President Obama was caught in between two very important parts of his core constituency. He concluded that he could afford to offend neither and so, as is all so typical of the man, he chose to offend everyone else instead.
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