Keystone XL: Obama Nixes Biggest Oil Clean-Up Operation In History

Keystone XL
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Obama has just nixed America’s contribution to the biggest oil clean-up operation in history.

Of course, that’s not quite how he chose to spin his decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. On the contrary, he claims he did it to “to protect the one planet that we’ve got while we still can.”

But for a more honest perspective on why his Keystone XL decision makes no environmental sense whatsoever just read the story of how Canada came to have all that filthy, disgusting tar oil in the first place.

Essentially, you could argue, it was because God hated Canadian dinosaurs even more than he hated Californian ones.

The boutique tar pit in La Brea, California, is now a museum.

That was never an option, though, for the vast Athabasca tar pits in Alberta.

The oil deposits are much too large to put fences around it and open it as a museum, as was done in L.A. No, in Alberta the environmentally responsible thing is to clean up the mess Nature left behind.

The cleanup requires a massive effort, but costs can be offset by processing the tar into petroleum products and shipping them to markets who want to use them.  Using those products from syncrude oil liberates CO2 once trapped in bitumen, and in the air becomes available to plants who grow larger and faster from the increased concentration.  The Japanese would call this a “virtuous cycle.”

Br’er America is a neighbor with the facilities to help, but because of CO2 hysteria, the Obama administration is afraid of getting some tar on their hands. Actually a pipeline is the environmentally friendly way of transporting the crude oil, but now trains will be used instead of the pipeline.

The other main victim of Obama’s decision besides the environment is political rhetoric. Of course, increasingly, we expect our politicians to exaggerate the urgency of their causes by erecting cathedrals of lies, half truths and emotive claptrap.

But with the justification below Obama may well have achieved peak Pinocchio.

Ultimately, if we’re going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky.

Inhospitable? Possibly, if you live in one of those parts of the developing world where they’re too busy trying to grow economically to worry about niceties like clean air.

Uninhabitable? Maybe, yes, if you live near one of those poisoned Chinese villages near where they mine the rare earth minerals used in all the wind farms Obama believes are so vital to America’s clean energy future.

Really, though, if Obama feels so strongly, that’s yet another reason why he shouldn’t have nixed the Keystone XL pipeline. If he’d built it, all that dirty oil would have gone to eco-friendly America. Now, it’s much more likely to be exported to China, where they’re somewhat less squeamish about environmental issues.


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