This reminds me quite a bit of the Las Vegas plan to pump Utah groundwater to
feed its growth. In each case powerful special interests drive the proposals
forward under the justification of economic growth. In each case an important
aquifer is at risk. But only one case provides conservatives with a handy excuse
to attack President Obama for political gain.Frankly, anyone who
skewers Obama for his opposition to the pipeline being routed through the Sand
Hills should also rally in support of Las Vegas being able to tap Utah's
aquifer. It's very much the same argument.
How is pumping water from an aquifer in any way related to running a pipe-line
across an aquifer? Even if the oil pipe-line broke and oil were spilled, it
could be easily cleaned up BEFORE it contaminated the aquifer. For
those who don't know, oil and water don't mix. Take a half-full glass of water
and add oil to it. The oil floats on top of the water. Then, whip the water
and oil until it does mix. What natural "whip" could ever generate
enough force to mix the oil the seeps into the ground with the water that lies
under the ground?We are sending over $1 BILLION per day to nations
who support terrorists. We're spending $2 BILLION per day on a military that
protects us from terrorists. Why not send that $1 BILLION for oil to our
friends in Canada instead of sending it to our enemies?
Mike,From what I've read the water table is quite close to the ground in
the Sand Hills. There is no plausible guarantee that an oil spill could be
cleaned up quickly enough to prevent contamination of the aquifer. And once
contaminated, groundwater is very difficult to clean up. As to oil
and water not mixing? Deepwater Horizon Red Butte
CreekThe fact that oil molecules do not chemically dissolve into
water is NOT the point, and will not prevent ecological damage and contamination
of the aquifer. The pipeline can be diverted away from ecologically
sensitive areas and the company has expressed a willingness to do so. This is a
no-brainer. The U.S. can get its oil and Canada can make a killing by laying
waste to its northern forests. Win-win, eh?
It was not concerns for the environment, but concerns for the environmentalists
that torpedoed this win-win deal. Obama just picked a program to quash to throw
a bone to his radical environmental base.There are no valid
scientific, economic, or social concerns, only left-wing political ones.
@Mike"Even if the oil pipe-line broke and oil were spilled, it could
be easily cleaned up BEFORE it contaminated the aquifer."Considering the oil spills in the Gulf, in Lake Michigan, that other one near
New Orleans, Yellowstone, and Red Butte (TWICE), I have a lot of trouble
believing that statement. And here's what makes this even worse... cleaning up
the mess after Red Butte Creek and the Yellowstone River is one thing... try
cleaning up a mess involving a massive groundwater supply. That is way more
complex than cleaning a river.
"Even if the oil pipe-line broke and oil were spilled, it could be easily
cleaned up BEFORE it contaminated the aquifer."Pretty sure BP
was saying the exact same thing...
Rand,The oil sands mines are really big. No doubt about it. But
they're a minute fraction of a percentage of what the boreal forest covers in
Canada. Agriculture, paper and lumber production eat way more of the forest than
the oil mines will. The pipeline can be diverted away from the ogallala aquifer
but if approval based on that drags on for years it can be diverted to Terrace,
BC, and into tankers hired by Sinopec.
Keystone's potential for spills is definitely a concern. There's also the
broader issue about what our future holds in terms of "what" will
power our transportation future -- oil or electricity? Decisions today will
have impacts 50 years from now. Think about how our building of nuclear power
plants in the 1960s still haunts us today with waste and "Black Swan"
events that engineers 50 years ago said would never happen -- but do (e.g.,
Three Mile Island, Chernoble, Fukushima). Or how uranium companies went
backrupt, never to clean up their tailings and left them for Uncle Sam to clean
up (e.g., Moab, other superfund sites).Keystone is a similar
situation. Its construction is likely to increase our dependency on oil for
another 50 years (delay of innovation, complacency about our oil addiction)
while other countries will adopt cleaner, more efficient -- and ultimately
cheaper -- options, such as plug-in electric or natural gas vehicles.What makes electric vehicles so promising is that as our electricity becomes
increasingly renewable, it makes our transporation fuel demand increasingly
clean and domestic. Electricity revenue streams will increasingly go to our
local rural communities (for wind, solar, geothermal) to benefit Americans
rather than to Canada or the Mideast.
Re: ". . . construction is likely to increase our dependency on oil . . .
."Finally, a liberal greenie with a little honesty, anyway.There's no valid reason to fear contamination of ANY underground aquifer
by ANY pipeline. Note that, since oil floats on top of water, it's not
considered a serious danger to underground aquifers.At least by
anyone with an ounce of honesty.The real nub of the issue is that
radical greenies want to force us to convert to their darling --
"renewable" electricity, though no such thing is currently in
existence.Radical greenies' disingenuous objections drove the Obama
administration to placing disingenuous political roadblocks in the way of this
win-win deal.There simply is no valid argument that the pipeline
would pose the slightest risk to any aquifer, anywhere on the planet. Greenies
know this, it's just that most won't admit it.Because they're
First, risk of a pipeline rupture large enough to pollute water supplies has to
be calculated. The pipeline may never have a major rupture -- that is the most
probable scenario.Second, the Ogallala aquifer in most places is
hundreds of feet below the surface, where it is unlikely to be affected by an
oil spill.Third, as noted above, oil is very easy to clean out of
groundwater. It's done all the time.Finally, we REALLY NEED this
Mike: The US buys more oil from Canada than it does from the middle east.
Baron Scarpia: Have you tried to get one of those clean electric cars fixed?
what about the batteries that they use? what about the hazardous waste produced
when the batteries are manufactured and then have to be disposed of? I don't
think that the technology is there for it all yet, and what percentage of the
electricity produced in the US is renewable? just a few questions.