Did you hear about Willie Nelson (81, from oil-rich Texas) joining up with Neil Young (68, Canadian citizenship, now living in California) to sing against the Keystone XL pipeline?
And just an aside, if you haven’t heard, the Keystone XL is no different than any of the other 26,000 miles of piplelines built in the United States last year except for one thing: It crosses the Canadian border. Were it just another interstate pipeline, it would have been built a long time ago with barely a whiff of notice. But this one connects Alberta with the Gulf Coast, and would send an estimated 850,000 million barrels of oil a day to our gulf coast refineries, strengthening our energy bond with our oil-rich ally to the north.
That aside, Willie and Neil pulled onto Art and Helen Tanderup’s corn field near Neligh, Nebraska this past weekend, and played a show reminiscent of Farm-Aid to about 8,000 anti-Keystone sympathizers. (By the way, they pulled up in a couple of tour busses. Diesel tour busses…)
The main beef most people like those in attendance have with the Keystone XL is that it transports oil from the tar sands in Canada. Oil, they fear, is dirtier and more dangerous than the Bakken Crude it would be mixed in with inside the pipe. Science claims otherwise. We don’t have time or space here to cite the numerous government and academic research reports refuting that argument. Google is really handy for that sort of thing, but if you’re searching, check out the one released this year by the EPA. Obama’s EPA.
The Canadian Ambassador to the U.S., Gary Doer, gave a speech at the George W. Bush Library in Dallas Texas last spring, in which he said, “There are two things that will always flow from Canada to the United States. Crown Royal and oil.”
That’s the point. The tar sands WILL be mined. And some of that oil will be shipped to the United States. Currently by truck and train, the two least environmentally friendly ways to move any petroleum product, especially when compared to the relatively safe and far more environmentally friendly pipeline.
Yet those who oppose the Keystone feel that wind and solar should be the alternatives and that we are taking our country in the wrong direction by shipping this filthy oil across our farmland. Oh please, don’t get me started. You can’t fly an airplane on wind power or solar power. You can’t make plastics, make-up, rubber or any of the other 6,000 fossil-derivatives you use every day from a windmill or a solar panel. Until you can, get over it. Please. Oh, and you can’t waltz into town in a luxurious 45-foot motor coach, with a windmill mounted to the back bumper.