People don't realize that rail is THE principle means of transport for so
many of our needs -- from products to food to energy (e.g., coal and oil).
Sadly, there are only FOUR major railroad companies in the country, and they
charge significantly to transport those needs. There was an article in Fortune
Magazine a few years back that talked about how farmers and coal companies were
upset that the railroad companies take a significant slice of their profits
because rail literally monopolizes any way for those companies to distribute
their product into the marketplace.The problems with Keystone are
(1) a leak could contaminate the Midwest's aquifer under Nebraska that is
key to the Midwest's food production (hence, opposition still lingers in
rural farm country); and (2) that Canadian tar sands oil will go to Texas
refineries to export outside the U.S., so it really don't help domestic
supply. For the five or 10 years to build that Keystone pipeline
(dealing with all the local permits, extracting subsidies from Congress to build
it, etc.), imagine how far natural gas and electric vehicles could be by 2020
and beyond. That oil may not be as valuable as people think.
The US consumes 20 million or so barrels of oil per day. 3 million in a spill
is not good, but won't ruin the country. Surely tank cars could be
OK the keystone pipeline . Much safer than rail or truck where possible.
We are going to rely heavily on oil as an energy source for decades to come. As
we ramp up north american production, we need to look at the safest way to move