Any time oil is moved from Point A to Point B across this nation there will be risks of a spill. The trick is to balance our nation’s very real need for oil with reasonable safeguards on the pipelines that carry oil to refineries.
Evidence indicates those safeguards could be met by the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline project that would carry oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Texas, Oklahoma and Illinois. President Barack Obama’s delay of the pipeline was the wrong decision at a time when this nation needs a secure source of energy from a stable ally and the thousands of jobs that would accompany the construction of the pipeline.
As Rolf Westgard of Deerwood, a member of the Association of Petroleum Geologists, pointed out earlier in a Dispatch guest column, the U.S. is not the only potential customer for Alberta’s oil. China and other Asian countries are eager to buy this oil and an alternative pipeline to the Pacific Ocean is being considered.
“Keystone XL would assure oil from a friendly, dependable source versus imports from Venezuela and the Middle East,” Westgard wrote. “If we don’t take the oil, it will simply go to customers in Asia with no net benefit to the environment.”
There are a number of pipelines which already criss-cross the United States and technology exists to safely monitor the flow of oil. This stable source for oil is simply too good to pass up and Obama would be wise to reverse his decision on the pipeline.