June 19, 2013
Toxic Pipeline

The very useful Michael Klare, via Naked Capitalism.

Michael Klare: We Americans do not need Keystone XL — there are plenty of other available sources of energy, and we can reduce our demand through conservation efforts. But the tar sands industry desperately needs KXL, as all other practical conduits for exporting increased tar sands production seem to be closed off (like the Northern Gateway pipeline through British Columbia) — meaning they’ll have lots of resources, but no export options. No wonder they’re desperate to get Obama to approve the pipeline!

James Stafford: What should we know about Keystone XL that the mainstream media doesn’t tell us, or doesn’t understand?

Michael Klare: The fact that KXL will not carry “oil” at all — despite their claims — but a heavily polluting mixture of bitumen, diluents, and toxic chemicals that must be processed through extraordinary means before it can be refined into anything resembling a usable fuel.

I wish Professor Klare had taken up a question that has always puzzled this economics illiterate: Why does everybody seem to think that oil independence is a good thing? Why wouldn’t it make better sense for us to burn everybody else’s oil first, leaving us the last man standing?



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at June 19, 2013 11:01 AM
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Very good point ! Why don't we just buy everyone else's oil, and hold ours back until it becomes really, really scarce and valuable. Oh ! Let's see---how are we going to earn all that foreign exchange credit to buy so much of other peoples' oil, now that we no longer make anything for export from the geographic Homeland much beyond military hardware, some Hollywood films, and hmmm.
Guess after all we now more than ever need to be an expansionist imperialist arms-selling, war-making nation, to keep all those other countries scared and thus "buying the USA off" by accepting our phony dollars for international payment in exchange for keeping the peace.

Posted by: Hoffmann at Hilltop on June 19, 2013 8:02 PM

Four hundred ppm atmospheric concentration of CO2 demands that most fossil fuels, particularly tar sands and coal, remain below ground indefinitely. Oil independence is a good thing, if by that you mean we've found a way to run our economy and our society sustainably; continued use of fossil fuels is not sustainable.

Posted by: Phil on June 19, 2013 10:24 PM

Some people say that was why Kennedy was killed. He wanted to kill the oil depletion allowance. The Texans wanted to sell their oil first.

On another note, I read somewhere today that all the Keystone XL protesters are now labeled terrorists. Even some who own the land that was not signed over that they are bulldozing through.

Posted by: Buck on June 20, 2013 12:22 AM
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