Sometimes, it’s incredible to me to see how our main governing bodies, the Congress and the Senate seem to want to operate not as governing bodies representing the people but as pimps-for-rent, selling their services to those who will put the most money in their pockets and to hell with the people they are hoping to represent.
During the run-up to our most recent election and even after the election, I kept wondering why Mitch McConnell was so adamant about pitching the Keystone Pipeline to the President as the Republican number one priority? After all, Keystone wasn’t being proposed to benefit the US taxpayer, it was simply a convenient method of moving some very dangerous, poisonous, sulfuric crude oil from Canada, across our nation (with all the attendant risks) to refineries in Houston and from there, to offshore shipping points God knows where.
It turns out that one of the largest lobbying contributors to the Keystone cause is not Exxon-Mobil or Chevron, it’s non other than Republican’s best Sugar Daddy during this last election cycle, the Koch brothers! It turns out that Koch industries holds leases on about 1.1 million acres of land in northern Alberta, Canada. That’s an area about the size of the state of Delaware and it means that the Koch empire can drill, cook the Canadian soil, kill the wildlife, the habitat, possibly damage the aquifers and fill the air with greenhouse gases and if Keystone passes, ship that crap all around the world while Mitch and his buddies in Washington hide behind their hands, look the other way and say, “pollution, what pollution?” “We’re not contributing to global warming, that’s Canada’s problem!”
There is also another scenario.
Although Koch has a shipping hub near Hardisty Alberta, so do many other major producers and since, at this time, it has no direct pipeline out of Canada into the USA, their philosophy as well as the other major producers would be, that since it’s a lot cheaper to ship oil in a pipe rather than on a rail car, the more the merrier. They and the other producers could increase profits greatly by a whole latice work of pipelines across our land and because it all originates on foreign soil, (Canada) pinning the blame on any one company for oil spills, line breaks or any other disaster would be almost impossible to pin down on any one company. The Enbridge (a Canadian pipeline company) pipeline break in Kalamazoo Michigan in 2010 is still one of the costliest we’ve ever had, and here we are five years down the road and it’s not solved yet! Meanwhile, our politicians will be able to look you straight in the eye and say “Keystone Pipeline is a clean industry!” It appears to me that with the amount of players in this game, there’s strength in numbers and this whole thing is going to turn into a gigantic game of whack-a-mole which the USA tax payer can never win.
So what’s the answer? For the Canadian natives who have had their habitat ruined and their whole way of life destroyed in this oil rush, I don’t have an answer. It doesn’t seem that their welfare rates very high on Canada’s priority list but where they will end up in matters like this whole twisted mess, I am simply an interested bystander and have no way of knowing the outcome.
For the US taxpayer the only answer I see is wind and solar energy and voting your family’s future at the ballot box.
We simply must be more aggressive and vigilant when picking those we want to represent us in Washington. Not only at election time but all the other times in between. We may not have the money the Koch brothers have, but we do have much greater numbers and many more votes. Our only other salvation is if the price of oil per barrel gets cheap enough to where there’s no profit left in it and that would be a temporary fix at best.
Let’s stay vigilant everybody!
Please send your comments and critiques. I’ll be sure to read them all and use them if I can.
Thanks and have a great week.