Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) signed yet another letter today urging President Obama & Secretary of State John Kerry to approve the Keystone XL pipeline even before a public health, wildlife & climate review can be completed. Why the panic? Whose interests would approving Keystone XL even if it fails review serve?
Building the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline wouldn't solve any of our energy problems - and would make the climate crisis much, much worse. That's hard to explain to people who don't follow politics. Even with Congressional approval ratings at all-time lows, people assume there must be SOMETHING in it for Virginia ... right? Our members of Congress wouldn't just go along with a terrible deal without asking hard questions ... right? But Keystone XL really IS that bad of a deal:
Keystone XL would raise gas prices. The whole reason TransCanada wants to build this pipeline so it can stop dumping tar sands oil at a discount in the Midwest. In fact, TransCanada admits Keystone XL would raise Midwest gas prices by 15 cents a gallon.
Keystone XL would leave our energy supply just as vulnerable to price shocks as it is today. You really think Canada's trying to do us a solid by building this pipeline (or Trailbreaker in New England or any of its other schemes)? Then why is it building the pipelines to our coasts? All Canada cares about is getting tar sands oil to the international market so it can get the highest price possible.
Keystone XL would only create 20 permanent jobs. Total. That's it. And not one job will be in Virginia.
But Virginia will have to deal with plenty of negative impacts. A locked-in national commitment to an expensive source of energy. Higher prices of products made in the Midwest thanks to those higher gas prices. And millions of tons of carbon pollution to make the impacts of global warming on Virginia even worse. (And we can keep that carbon pollution in the ground - Canada's path to China & India is blocked by native tribes and Canada's path to Europe is blocked by the fact that Europe knows tar sands are a dirty crappy fuel.)
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