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PIPE DREAMS

Risk Is Ours, Profit Is Theirs

THE KEYSTONE XL pipeline oil project has not ended. It has been put on hold to study the impact on environmental areas in the United States that the pipeline would pass through on it way to Texas refineries. The oil would then be refined in Texas for export to foreign countries. The pipeline would not lower the cost of oil; the cost would go higher. Google: Key Facts on Keystone XL/Tar Sands Action. Also Google: The Ogallala aquifer map.

The state of Nebraska has strong reservations. The present route passes through the Ogallala area of crucial northern aquifers that supply water to at least six states, and that serves over 2 million United States users. Any leak in that area would be a disaster for the states that need the water.

The Alaska oil pipeline that passes through Canada is mostly through wilderness. That pipeline has experienced leaks, so they know the possibility is real. The tar sands sludge is poisonous and would be difficult to clean up.

Who stands to profit from this pipeline? Oil companies in Canada and the United States as well as private investors/stockholders.

Google: Speaker John Boehner is invested in Chevron, Conoco-Phillips and BP. Those companies are tied to the project. Members of Congress who stands to profit from the development of the pipeline should recuse themselves from advocating for it. …

As the planned route now stands, the risk to the environment far outweighs any profit to the United States. The winners in this project are the oil companies, the investors and the foreign oil buyers.

JACQUELINE ROBISON

Albuquerque

Um, Aren’t Jobs the Point?

RE: ARTICLE in Jan. 19 Albuquerque Journal on President Obama’s rejection of Keystone pipeline:

Let me get this straight: For over three years now, all that we have heard from the Obama administration and Democrats in general is how effective the stimulus bill has been in creating jobs. Eight hundred billion dollars in largely unaccounted-for money has been spent for all kinds of pork-barrel projects with all kinds of unsupported claims of jobs either being created or being saved. Even if there was some waste, it was still worth it, they say, as a few jobs thus preserved or created were better than none.

Now we have members of the Democratic congressional delegation panning the Keystone pipeline project partly on the basis that the private corporate money put into the project would create only a relative few “fleeting” construction jobs. I thought the Democratic administration was all about job creation.

It seems to be a perfectly correct and an efficient use of resources if taxpayer revenue is wasted to create “fleeting” jobs at the cost of two or three hundred thousand dollars per job, but it cannot be allowed to have private funds to be used to do the same thing, although probably much more efficiently as private companies cannot just throw money and material around, and maybe relieve us a little bit of too much dependence on unreliable foreign sources of oil.

Maybe this claim by the Democrats is just a cover for their enthrallment to the extremist environment movement, the current version of the witch-hunt mania of the late Middle Ages. Perhaps it is time for blue-collar workers, both union and nonunion, to realize that the extreme leftists in control of the Democratic Party are only using them to further their anti-industrial and anti-business agenda.

BRIAN V. MICHALEC

Albuquerque

The Benefits Are All Canada’s

AMID ALL THE wailing and gnashing of teeth over President Obama’s refusal to greenlight Canada’s Keystone XL pipeline project, a few simple, uncontroversial and compelling facts have gotten lost:

1. It’s a foreign-owned and foreign-operated pipeline that cuts across the heartland of the United States from border to border.

2. The petroleum it carries is not “ours,” or even for our use; it’s Canada’s, and is destined to be sold to China.

3. The stuff is not even “oil” — tar or asphalt would be better descriptions of the substance. The Canadians don’t drill for it; they strip mine it. This petro-gunk will be piped, at great cost and energy consumption, through a pipeline that’s heated enough to allow it to “flow.”

If the United States really wants to employ construction workers, we’ve got plenty of bridges that are about to fall down, water pipes that are leaking and rupturing because they’re a century old, schools and other public buildings in need of repair or expansion, roads that are deteriorating or no longer adequate — think “Paseo del Norte exchange” — well, you name it. All of these infrastructure projects will benefit most Americans, unlike the Canadian gig, which will enrich a few Canucks up north.

Hey! The U.S. could even employ its underutilized construction workers, civil engineers and scientists by continuing the transition from a petroleum economy to renewables, like the rest of the world is doing. China, in particular, is moving as only China can to solar, wind power and the rest.

In a decade, the U.S. might be the only taker for Canadian XL tar, heading back toward the 19th and 18th centuries as the rest of the world speeds on into the 21st.

It’s our choice. But defeating Keystone XL was a good first step.

CHERYL K. HAAKER

Albuquerque

No Trophies for the President

THE SCORE just in over the wire: U.S.A. 0, China 1, final. President Obama nixed the Keystone XL Pipeline that would provide up to 10 percent of the nation’s crude oil requirements and 20,000 jobs in construction, which is the sector most depleted by the recession.

In President Obama’s recent meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the president was no doubt told that without the U.S. acceptance the project would go to China, who would build a pipeline to the Pacific Coast, where Chinese supertankers would take the much-needed crude to China, rather to where it belongs, the Texas Gulf Coast.

So why was the project nixed? The cost? No there was no direct cost to the U.S. Was it the U.S. labor unions? Strangely, no, as President Obama has recently paid them off by stacking the National Labor Relations Board. This time it was his other big financial supporter, the green lobby, which he has largely dismissed, if you don’t count the half-billion dollars of our money given to his friends at Solyndra. Job approval rating: 0 percent.

ALAN J WRIGHT

Albuquerque

It Just Makes Big Oil Richer

I WAS VERY displeased to see a full page ad in a national newspaper on Jan. 18. The headline was “Mr. President: Don’t Say ‘No’ to 20,000 jobs.” The ad was placed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is pushing for the Keystone pipeline that would run from Canada through the U.S. heartland to the Gulf in Texas.

What really bugged me was their statement that the “pipeline will provide our nation with a safe, secure supply of reliable and affordable energy from our trusted ally Canada.” This is very deceiving. The oil is actually bound to the Texas gulf to be exported to other foreign countries that will pay a higher price for that oil then we here in America. The goal is to bring in big profits to the big oil companies and not for the benefit of the average American, except for some jobs created.

The president is taking time to evaluate the environmental impacts of the pipeline. Is he being a little cautious? Yes, especially in light of the recent Gulf oil disaster. … The oil still lies on the bottom of the Gulf waters, which will affect the environment and economy for many years to come (and) which most people have long forgotten.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is just a heavy arm of big business and is concerned only with its profitability. If you think (big businesses) are concerned about the average American and our environment, think again.

Let’s make sure all the facts are considered and all bases are covered before jumping on the bandwagon on this potentially environmentally dangerous project.

FRED JERINA

Albuquerque

Hugo Chavez Is Smiling Now

I THINK everyone knew that the Obama administration would not approve the Keystone pipeline. They want to continue stuffing the pockets of the Muslims of Saudi Arabia, and the crazy leaders in Iran, Venezuela and a few other similar countries.

This pipeline could create thousands of jobs here in this country. Well-paying jobs.

So the next time you hear Obama speak of job creation, just remember this decision, made entirely by this left-wing leader.

November can’t come soon enough for me. Every voter needs to really give serious thought to things like this, instead of just the every day crap that flows out of the mainstream media.

We do not need to keep letting our dollars flow to these areas of the world that hate us and want nothing more than to destroy us. …

LES WHEELER

Albuquerque

Job Creation? Just More Bunk

THE ONLY independent study of the jobs claims by TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, pokes holes in the Journal editorial statement: “One of the Democratic compromises that sweetened the deal for reluctant Republicans was getting Obama off the dime in making a decision about the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, said to be virtually shovel-ready and a driver for thousands of jobs and a major contributor to the nation’s energy future.”

An independent study by Cornell University, “Pipe Dreams? Jobs Gained, Jobs Lost by the Construction of Keystone XL,” found that TransCanada grossly misrepresents the economic benefit (and) numbers of workers to be employed by the project.

As for “said to be a driver for thousands of jobs” that was said by TransCanada. Cornell found that permanent pipeline jobs would number around 50, and that the considerable risk of spills from a company that has had a dozen in the past year would likely cost jobs overall. Environmental degradation kills more jobs that it creates in the cleanup. Even a TransCanada executive admitted to CNN that permanent jobs from the pipeline would number only in the hundreds. Cornell estimated that the temporary jobs, many of them Canadian, would be 500-1,400.

As for “a major contributor to the nation’s energy future,” most of this oil is headed out of the U.S. after it’s refined along the Gulf Coast. Even if it weren’t, we need to address the climate crisis by looking beyond ever-more-desperate methods of extracting oil to secure our energy future. Clean energy costs more now, but will pay off in the future.

After such strong opposition from tribes, farmers, residents and lawmakers of both parties to the high risk of economic damage the Keystone XL pipeline could do to groundwater and agriculture in the states it would run through, President Obama wisely suggested taking time for proper analysis of the routing and impacts of the potential project.

BARBARA GARRITY

Albuquerque

The Truth Is Out There, Folks

THE STATEMENTS by our Republican candidates regarding Obama’s decision to delay approval of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline speak volumes. … All GOP candidates babble about “job creation” and “securing America’s energy future,” but (Heather) Wilson’s claim about “the science being clear” is just ridiculous.

If facts are considered, Democrat Eric Griego is clearly the most informed. Fact, the pipeline is intended to carry bitumen, a crude petroleum requiring dilution with other hydrocarbons for transport, to the Gulf Coast for refinement, then export. This is a business plan that will intentionally raise the cost of fuel in the U.S.

The permit application TransCanada submitted to the U.S. State Department clearly states: “Existing markets for Canadian heavy crude, principally the U.S. Midwest, are currently oversupplied, resulting in price discounting for Canadian oil. Access to the U.S. Gulf Coast via Keystone is expected to strengthen Canadian crude oil pricing in the Midwest by removing this oversupply. This is expected to increase the price to the equivalent cost of other imported crude. The resultant increase in price is estimated to provide an increase in revenue to the Canadian producing industry in 2013 of up to $3.9 billion.”

As for the jobs claims, the application also states: “a peak workforce of approximately 3,500 to 4,200 construction personnel” will be needed, temporarily. The pipeline would also be constructed using steel pipe imported from India, the same supplier that provided the pipe used in the Keystone I pipeline TransCanada built in South Dakota. TransCanada predicted that pipeline would see one spill in seven years. In fact, there have been 12 spills in one year.

As for science: The U.S. Pipeline Safety Administration has yet to conduct an in-depth analysis of the safety of diluted bitumen pipeline, despite the unique safety concerns posed by its highly corrosive potentially unstable blend of raw bitumen and the volatile diluting agent, raising the risks of spills. Yet, TransCanada attempted to cut corners by seeking a waiver to build the pipeline with thinner-than-normal steel and pump the corrosive and toxic mixture at higher-than-normal pressures. …

It seems to me that the GOP’s only motivation is kowtowing to the interests of global oil companies.

RODNEY ADAMS

Albuquerque

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