What is this incessant nonsense over Keystone XL?
It’s a pipeline, for crying out loud. The United States already has 185,000 miles of liquid petroleum pipelines, 320,000 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines, and more than 2,000,000 miles of gas distribution pipelines. Using the latest steel, valves and other technologies to build another 1,179 miles of pipe – to move 830,000 barrels of oil per day safely from Alberta, Canada oil sands country and North Dakota’s Bakken shale territory to Texas refineries – should not be an earth-shattering matter.
KXL would create jobs – in an economy that grew at a pathetic Depression-era clip of 0.1% during the first quarter, and where the true jobless rate (unemployed, underemployed and those no longer looking) is almost 13 percent, and much worse for minorities.
In fact, Keystone would create some 20,000 construction jobs; another 10,000 in factories that make the steel, pipelines, valves, cement and heavy equipment needed to build the pipeline; thousands more in hotel, restaurant and other support industries; and still more jobs in the oil fields whose output would be transported to refineries and petrochemical plants where still more workers would be employed.
States along the pipeline route would receive $5 billion in new property tax revenues, and still more in workers’ income tax payments. Depleted federal coffers would also realize hefty gains.
The pipeline would ease railroad congestion all over the central USA. The pipeline’s absence is forcing oil producers to move crude by railroad tanker car. That certainly improves the bottom line for RR companies and folks like Warren Buffet who have big-time investments in tankers.
But it causes train logjams and delays that are creating backlogs in getting fertilizer and other supplies to farmers, who have already been hard-hit by a long winter and now may not be able to plant on schedule. Come fall, their efforts to ship corn, wheat and other crops to market will also be stymied.
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