Sometimes I feel like an idiot.
While some might say it’s because I moved from sunny Southern California to live in Ontario, Canada where here, on April 24th, it is raining and snowing, and the wind is blowing so hard I could barely stand up while I filled my tank with gas (at $1.34 per litre or $5.07 per gallon), that’s not the reason.
No, the reason I feel like an idiot is because I just don’t understand all the objections to every pipeline, refinery and gas exploration project put forth in North America. I feel like I’m missing something. Maybe someone out there can help.
Here in Ontario there’s a huge fuss because Enbridge wants to reverse the flow of oil in one of its pipelines from refineries in Sarnia to Portland, Maine. This instead of bringing oil imported from the Middle East west through the pipeline into Southwestern Ontario. And this despite the fact the pipeline originally ran west to east.
On this same day, I’m reading that a Utah refinery expansion is being attacked because of its potential to add to air pollution. Of course nobody wants to see more air pollution, but even with the upgrade, the refinery would be operating well under its allowed pollution levels. As I’ve said in a previous blog, I am just as concerned as the next person about the environment, but frankly, sometimes, the rhetoric gets a bit out of hand. One opponent said, "I'm not willing to give up my grandma 10 years early so that you can drive your cars and make more gasoline, or so that people in Las Vegas can get their cars filled up with gas."
I have to wonder how that person gets around in Utah. She made it sound like only people in Las Vegas need to fill up their cars with gas.
And of course, we’re still hearing all kinds of objections to the Keystone XL pipeline. One of the strangest comments about that came from the White House, when Spokesman Jay Carney blasted the House for approving Keystone, calling it "highly politicized, highly partisan" and saying the government would not make a hasty decision to allow a "foreign pipeline built by a foreign company emanating from foreign territory to cross U.S. borders" without proper due diligence.
Foreign country? But it’s quite all right to ship across the oceans and via pipelines from the Gulf, oil from Saudi Arabia and Iraq. I don’t understand.
We have a fragile economic recovery in the works here. Building refineries and pipelines create jobs, both in the construction and for manufacturers including and especially those making valves, actuators and controls. Having more easily accessible sources of energy lowers the cost of the product, helping consumers and industry cut costs. Plus, in the case of Canadian oil, the U.S. is purchasing product from a country that doesn’t stone women who have been raped or cut off the heads of political dissidents.
Am I an idiot? Am I missing something here?