- Posted March 7, 2013 by
Grand Prairie, Texas
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Keystone XL Pipeline, a Golden Egg or a Goose Egg
(1) The Keystone XL Pipeline will create tens of thousands of jobs. I've seen statements purporting anywhere from 20,000 to 500,000 jobs. The reality is, an independent study by Cornell ILR Global Labor Institute and the State Department estimates the jobs at several thousand "temporary" construction jobs over a 2 year period. One only has to look back at Phase I and II to make accurate estimates.
(2) The Keystone XL Pipeline will reduce our need to import oil from other countries. The reality is, domestic production is at an all time high and looks very robust down the road. Also, the pipeline is transmitting mostly Bitumen (tar), not conventional crude.
(3) The Keystone XL Pipeline, by bringing in all this extra hydrocarbon will reduce prices at the pumps. The reality is, no it won't. As TransCanada has stated, the majority of the refined products (ie gasoline and diesel) are destined for export. Not domestic consumption.
(4) The President, radical environmental groups and liberals are unnecessarily blocking this project. The reality is, Nebraska, with its Republican Governor and Republican dominated legislature, delayed the project. The pipeline would route through the Sand Hills area where the Ogallala aquifer is very shallow. The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the largest reserves of fresh water in the world. The Ogallala Aquifer spans eight states, provides drinking water for two million people, and supports $20 billion in agriculture. In West Texas and SE New Mexico, the oil companies use the water for their injection wells. So, Nebraska's concerns toward rerouting the pipeline and additional environmental impact studies were very reasonable.
(5) The Keystone XL Pipeline will be a boon for the US economy. The reality is, how? Many of the refineries in Texas are in free trade zones. Remember, Texas refineries have the technology and refining capacity to handle this product. They also sit near the Gulf of Mexico, a perfect gateway to the international community. Texas also has modern ports that can handle the newer super tankers. Again, how is this a boon for the US economy?
(6) TransCanada will just lay the pipeline across Canada and sell to the Chinese. The reality is, really? If that were the most viable and economic solution, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
In summary, I don't object to the Keystone XL Pipeline, but the nonsense coming out of Washington needs to stop. I do however, have additional concerns. TransCanada hired the company that did the original environmental impact study. Hardly an unbiased report. The pipeline will cross many waterways and wetlands. TransCanada has already applied for numerous safety waivers, which fortunately have been denied. I'm concerned about the number of lawsuits filed by TransCanada over eminent domain. In other words, they are seizing right-of-way over objections by private land owners. I didn't think a private company could do that.
Remember, Bitumen is very corrosive and toxic. The pipeline needs to be engineered correctly, as do the pumping stations. This can be done and economically.