It would go through our land to be sold everywhere else, with no jobs here. It wouldn’t even be a nominal benefit for those of us whose land, water, and taxes it would take.
President Obama was half right:
Understand what this project is. It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. That doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.
In his press conference of 14 November 2014, he was referring to the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. Add Atlantic to Gulf and the above quote applies equally to the proposed Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline.
History has countered his next assertion:
You know what does have an impact on U.S. gas prices is the incredible boom in U.S. oil production and natural gas production that’s taken place under my administration.
Next president Obama said:
And if my Republican friends really want to focus on what’s good for the American people in terms of job creation and lower energy costs, we should be engaging in a conversation about what are we doing to produce even more homegrown energy. I’m happy to have that conversation.
So let’s talk about solar and wind power. There are already more solar jobs than in non-supervisory oil and gas extraction. The solar industry added more jobs than the wildest claims for Keystone XL in a single year, while Keystone XL has been stuck without approval for six years. Give it four or five more years, and solar jobs will outnumber all oil and gas jobs, round about 2018, the same year solar energy production will pass oil energy production in the U.S. And those projections were before OPEC crashed the price of oil to levels where 97% of fracking now is operating at a loss. The Saudis may be aiming at Russia and Iran, but they’re also effectively taking down U.S. fracking.
Obama recently made a historic deal with China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
With respect to the climate change deal, I have been very clear that I have responsibilities as President not just to current generations, but to future generations. The science is indisputable. The planet is getting warm, and it is getting warmer in part because of man-made activity.
And the release of carbon gases — carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere can have a potentially devastating effect that will cost our country, could devastate communities, could increase the impact of natural disasters, and will have an impact worldwide that is destabilizing and could affect our national security. That’s not my opinion, by the way, that is the opinion of our Joint Chiefs of Staff, that climate change is a direct national security threat.
OK, so stop promoting fracking, pipelines, and LNG export, which leak methane at every step! Methane is CH4, about which the EPA says:
Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 on climate change is over 20 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.
The responsible thing to do for current generations and future generations is to stop burning more fossil fuels and to get on with solar and wind power. This Tuesday, Obama’s press secretary said he would veto Keystone XL. That’s a start! Now let’s stop permitting fracked methane pipelines.
In his end-of-year 19 December 2014 press conference, president Obama was even more clear about Keystone XL:
“At issue in Keystone is not American oil. It’s Canadian oil that’s drawn out of tar sands in Canada. That oil currently is being shipped out through rail or trucks and it would save Canadian oil companies and the Canadian oil industry an enormous amount of money if they could simply pipe it all the way down to the Gulf,” Obama said. “Once that oil gets to the gulf, it is then entering into the world market and it would be sold all around the world.”
The only difference with fracked methane is it mostly comes from the U.S. (damaging watersheds and taking people’s land) before it gashes its way to the sea for export.
“It’s very good for Canadian oil companies, and it’s good for the Canadian oil industry, but it’s not going to be a huge benefit to U.S. consumers, it’s not even going to be a nominal benefit to U.S. consumers,” he continued.
Obama also noted that the pipeline will create a few thousand jobs, but emphasized that they will mostly be temporary construction positions that will disappear after construction is complete. A report from the State Department earlier this year concluded that Keystone XL would create only 35 permanent jobs.
Just like Sabal Trail’s spurious claims of jobs that they never back up because they can’t: almost all of the jobs would go to contractors from somewhere else who would pass through in their RVs, leaving a trail of destruction.
Solar is booming already, and will win soon anyway. There’s no excuse for tearing down trees on a hundred-foot right of way for a fracked methane pipeline, or drilling under rivers, or taking people’s land, or burning CH4.
Let’s stop the oil and gas and nuclear boondoggles and get on with helping the sun rise.