Comments about ‘Robert Bennett: Keystone: What difference does it make?’

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Published: Monday, March 3 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

The senator is right - the XL pipeline won't make much of a difference. There is going to be a lot of oil moving by rail out of necessity regardless, because the modern oil market requires the flexibility of rail - rail goes to many more places that pipelines.

I think the main argument against the pipeline is the possibility of polluting the great middle west underground water supply. A break in this pipeline could do a lot of damage.

Mostly, though, the XL pipeline controversy is much ado about nothing.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


You won't get very far talking sensibly about both sides of an argument.

Far East USA, SC

I completely agree with Mr Bennett here.

The Tar Sands oil in Canada WILL BE BURNED regardless of whether or not the Keystone pipeline is built.

I believe that the Democrats are burning too much political capital on this issue, and should move on.

That said, we should play hardball with Canada and ensure that the US gets some solid, benefits concerning the oil.

(its great being independent. can agree or disagree with either party)

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

USA Today had a similarly-reasoned article this past week with the same conclusion -- both sides are exaggerating the consequences of the pipeline.

Two points worth considering, however, is that pipelines do leak -- we've seen our share in Utah that have polluted and disrupted life and rivers even in the Salt Lake Valley in recent years. A nuisance and clearly a factor in dropped property values, not to mention potential health risks. I believe Nebraska has every right to question the safety of the pipeline that would run through its prime agricultural heartland and aquifer.

Two, with Iran's warming relations with America, that nation is anxious to get its oil to market, potentially lowing the price of world oil, and making the tar sands less economical. Those tar sands rely on high prices to make them worth the cost to mine and process. Can't help but wonder if the pipeline will become infeasible if Iran floods the market with Mideast oil.

Durham, NC

"The Keystone decision ultimately became far more about symbolism than substance."

What the senator missed is that besides rail, oil can already get from the oil fields of Canada to markets in Houston via existing pipelines own by the Keystone proponents - EnBrinds and Transcan. What the pipeline does do is add a short cut across the country - avoiding the shipment east before it heads south.

I am personally neither for, nor against this project. Those people in the communities it would cross are the ones who need to decided it they want it crossing their land… not activist on either side in DC, and not two brothers based out of Texas. The decision between the jobs it would bring, and the risks it posses should be theirs. Outside forces should not compel them either way…. just my opinion.

salt lake city, utah

Just curious if any of the ardent conservatives who routinely claim the libs and or democrats that post on this thread just repeat liberal talking points are paying attention to these comments?

BTW I agree. Not a game changer, but pipelines do leak with disastrous results that exceed those of a single truck load of oil, so be careful.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

There were fifteen major train wrecks in 2013 in the United States and there were two pipeline breaks that are listed on Wikipedia. Which is safer, shipping oil by rail or shipping oil by pipeline?

How many troops do we have stationed in Canada or around Canada to protect its oil? How many troops, how many ships, how many aircraft do we have stationed in or around the Middle East to protect oil transport from that region? How many wars have we fought with Canada to keep their oil on the market? How many American soldiers have been killed protecting the oil in the Middle East?

What is wrong with a President who values American lives so little that he puts them in harm's way to protect the oil fields in distant lands when Canada is willing to sell us oil at the same price without requiring one soldier to be at risk?

What difference does it make? Ask the thousands of mothers and fathers what difference it made when they lost their son or daughter in a war that protected the flow of oil. That's what difference it makes.

Far East USA, SC

"What is wrong with a President who values American lives so little that he puts them in harm's way to protect the oil fields in distant lands"

Mike. I happen to agree with you. However, it is pretty clear which president you are talking about. And it isn't Obama.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Using Senator Bennett's unsound logic, we should also sell nuclear weapons to Iran because, what difference does it make, N. Korea is going to sell them to Iran anyway. We ought to be the ones to profit first off all the terrible and damaging choices made by other countries. Further, we should sell arms to both sides of any civil war and hope they kill each other at high rates so we can sell them more arms. What difference does it make so long as we get paid.

Or, to use an even more ironic talking point, all the folks who agree with Senator Bennett's "what difference does it make" excuse surely must also agree with SoS Clinton on Benghazi. What difference does it make whether it was an attack motivated by a movie, or 9/11, or lack of American security - it happened and that's all that matters. What difference does it make?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I believe the Keystone Pipeline to be a Pork Scam of the same nature as Solario, UTOPIA, UTA and millions of other unscrupulous schemes that businessmen use to rob the taxpayer.

Salt Lake City, UT

It's not just a liberal complaint though, the local officials and people where the pipeline is supposed to go are quite strongly opposed to it. Nebraska even voted to block part of it and that's certainly no liberal bastion.

salt lake city, utah

I'm sorry Mike but I don't understand your position at all. If the point of the keystone pipeline was to get oil to American refineries maybe it would make sense, but it's not. The purpose of keystone is to get oil to ports for shipping abroad. As the senator said we may get a small portion of that oil along the way, but keystone has virtually nothing to do with American refineries.

Salt Lake City, UT

It is about 'symbolism' - it is about principles - it is about our collective future - it is about stewardship of the planet.

Our addiction to fossil fuels has already resulted in major man-made changes to this planet, resulting in an alteration of the climate itself. So much so than we now call the age we are in the Anthropocene - the first time in geologic time that the planet has been and continues to be changed by Mankind.

Sen Bennett's 'what difference does 1% make' could easily apply to tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and other issues and behavior risky to both individuals and society.

It makes a great deal of difference. It's time to stop the flow through the oil needle.

L White
Springville, UT

Oh my goodness, but aren't there a lot of Obama's followers who want us to forget that thousand of Americans died so that we can pay $1,000,000,000 every day to the Middle East and another $2,000,000,000 per day for the soldiers that protect those oil fields. There are those who tell us that they don't understand. Really? What's not to understand? Obama wants to shut off our oil. He's told us that $5.00 a gallon is not unreasonable. To whom? To the worker who can't afford to go to work? To the mother who can't afford to go to the grocery store?

But what difference does it make? Soldiers are just pawns. Fathers and mothers are just pawns. Obama will do everything he can to keep oil out if our Country. Yes, what difference does it make?

American Fork, UT

The biggest benefit of Keystone isn't jobs, and it won't be product price. It's the geopolitical stability of the supply. The world is an uncertain place full of people that Americans buy oil from who really don't like them. Even if the US doesn't use all the oil in the line for years the fact is, there is a huge insurance benefit in having the infrastructure in place, ready to deliver on a moment's notice. There's quite a bit of speculation today about what unrest in the Ukraine is going to do to gas and oil prices, and that's in a place that doesn't even have the resources to sell. We need to think carefully about all the foreign interests investing in the Athabasca oil projects; they're seeing long term value we'd be foolish to ignore.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To the libs who oppose this. Do you belive in lower our CO2 emissions? If you do, then why do you oppose the Keystone? By piping the oil, we reduce the need to truck or use trains to move the oil around. Don't you want to reduce the US carbon footprint?

Plus, this will create 7000 permanent jobs. Didn't Obama say that job creation was a top priority?

Well, what do you want to do? Do we cut CO2 emissions piping the oil around? Do we add jobs or not?

Durham, NC

From L White...

"Obama's followers who want us to forget that thousand of Americans died so that we can pay $1,000,000,000 every day to the Middle East and another $2,000,000,000 per day for the soldiers that protect those oil fields."

All I can say is wow. If we could lower gas prices another 50 cents a gallon, how many lives is that worth? We are all paying a billion dollars a day to secure cheap gas.... and "entitlements" are our problem. As someone who works in the industry.... I think I am gong to be ill.

No... I don't want Obama's followers to ever forget we are paying 365 Billion to secure cheap gas - which has absolutely nothing to do with Keystone XL. It wasn't Obama who turned soldiers into pawns for oil interest...

Your comments truly are ........ not sure what the word for them is.

Gerald Elias
Salt Lake City, UT

Senator Bennett,
When I bumped into you a Smiths in the Avenues a couple months ago, you were deciding what kind of milk you would purchase. If THAT made a difference to you, certainly the way the world produces energy must come in a close second. "What difference does it make?" is perhaps the most frightening question mankind can ask.
Regarding leaks, you can go on and on about which is worse: trucks, trains, ships or pipelines. The fact is, we've had disasters from all of them, and the more we transport dirty fuel, the more disasters we'll have. Without even addressing the subject of climate change, this pipeline is a disaster waiting to happen.
Sen. Bennett, it DOES matter.

Sandy, UT


To the conservatives who favor this. Do you believe in private property rights? If you do, then why do you support the Keystone? By laying the pipeline, US citizens are having their private property seized by a Canadian company through eminent domain. More that 100 Texas landowners have already had their land seized by this company, and 700+ more in Texas face the same fate. The only other option for them is to voluntarily waive damages against TransCanada. Multiply that by all the other states and there are literally thousands of private landowners being forced to bow to a foreign corporation.

Regarding the 7000 jobs. There are no estimates that support your number Redshirt. The permanent number estimated by the CBO is less than 100, and none of those stats include the loss of existing jobs on competing pipelines and railways in the estimates.

David Folland

Bob Bennett's reasoned arguments emphasize why more than ever the need to put a tax on carbon and return revenues to American households. This can increase on a yearly basis an stimulate market forces to spur the transition to clean energy. Unless we confront our fossil fuel addiction and switch to clean energy, tar sands oil may find its way to market, as Mr. Bennett has written.

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