Saturday, March 17, 2012

Left Side of the Aisle #48 - Part 1

Good News #1: The Senate has refused to fast-track the Keystone XL pipeline.

Last Thursday, the Senate rejected a GOPper attempt to fast-track the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed amendment to a transportation bill would have stripped the State Department of its authority to approve the pipeline (which it has because the route crosses an interntional border), handing that power to Congress.

This pipeline would transport tar sands from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas. I've talked about this before. Tar sands are about the ugliest, messiest, dirtiest way to get oil there is; the stuff is so thick, gummy, and sludgy it has to be heated and mixed with water just to get it to flow though the pipes.

Supporters of the project prate on about two things: First, "It means jobs. I won't call that a lie exactly, but it is misleading: According to current independent estimates, it will create a small number, perhaps as few as 2500, jobs - and they will be temporary jobs. On second thought, bearing in mind that a good definition of a lie is a statement made with the intent to deceive, yeah, the talk about jobs is a lie.

The other claim, that the pipeline would "reduce our dependency on foreign oil," is a lie, no definition required. First, this is Canadian oil. It is foreign oil. I know there's that old Goldie Hawn movie where she says Canada is "kind of attached," but Canada is still a foreign country.

Second, oil is sold on a world market. The idea that "refined in Texas equals stays in the US" is inane. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or has no clue what they are talking about. There is no third option here.

Bottom line is yeah, anything that hinders that pipeline is good news.


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