So many thoughts after today’s column, in which I wrote about the Keystone XL pipeline. If it’s approved by President Obama, it would carry diluted bitumen — acidic crude oil — 1,700 miles from the tar sands in Alberta to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. The Times has already come out against the pipeline, citing the risk of spills, spikes in greenhouse gas emissions and massive destruction of Canada’s boreal forest. Proponents cite job creation and “oil security.”
Oil security suggests that by getting more oil from our peaceful upstairs neighbors and less from our suppliers in the Middle East — sometimes seen as volatile or even hostile, though the supply has been steady — our national security is enhanced. We’re only “safe” if we can reliably obtain all of the oil we “need.”
This is an infuriatingly shortsighted and self-destructive position. This is the behavior of addiction, and the only people who can justifiably — though still incorrectly — argue otherwise are those who truly believe that the oil that gives us such comfort now won’t be causing catastrophic harm later. As far as I know, President Obama isn’t one of those people, but if he doesn’t block the pipeline he will be acting just as ignorantly as if he were. (He thinks this is what voters want?
(Read the rest of this post here.)