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President Joe Biden will be making a big mistake by cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline

January 2021

We’re all told to follow the science when it comes to many things, including the current crisis with the Communist Chinese Party Virus. The current science indicates that pipelines are the safest and most environmentally responsible method of transporting fossil fuels.

I want to make it very, very clear that everyone wants a clean environment. Not so long ago, we burned fossil fuels with no filters or emission controls. We dumped industrial waste in lakes and rivers, with little care for the damage it did.

We’ve seen the damage that can be done by not having strict environmental standards, and I can’t see anyone tolerating reversing those standards. What comes out of car tailpipes, factory smokestacks and gets dumped into rivers and lakes today is cleaner than it’s ever been and getting better through technological advances. We’re not perfect, but we’re trying. The apatite for allowing industry to pollute without consequences is simply not there.

Pipelines come without all the environmental impacts and dangers of other methods of transporting fossil fuels. Don’t believe me?

Well, then I suggest you look up the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, a devastating train derailment that occurred in the town of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec, on 6 July 2013, when an unattended 73-car freight train carrying crude oil rolled down a 1.2% grade after the parking brake was improperly set. The resulting explosion and fire killed up to 47 people (42 people confirmed and 5 “unaccounted for”) and destroyed more that 30 buildings in downtown Lac-Mégantic.

It was the the fourth-deadliest rail accident in Canadian history, and the deadliest involving a freight train.

Another reason to have pipelines is the dependability of the supply lines for needed fossil fuels. For those who oppose pipelines, sometimes you really do have to be careful what you wish for, as Quebec Premier Francois Legault found out in November 2019.

During a strike by 3200 Canadian National Railway conductors, train and yard workers in November 2019, Quebec found itself in a position where the entire province would run out of propane within 4 days if the strike wasn’t resolved. Quebec imports 85 percent of its propane reserves by rail, and this reality served to reinforce the fact that pipelines are a great way of transporting propane and other fossil fuels to consumers.

Luckily the strike ended before disaster struck, but Quebecers had to face the possibility of seeing what life will be like in a post-fossil fuel world would look like; and it wasn’t a pretty picture.

President Biden’s stance on Keystone XL goes against the over-all stance of his former boss, President Barrack Obama, who for the record was against the Keystone XL too, but very publicly bragged that, “Between 2009 and 2013, more than 8,000 miles of oil transmission pipelines have been built…in the U.S,” (1.) which would more than encircle the earth.

President Obama also, “… presided over rising oil production in each of the seven years he has been in office….” 2.

I understand that cancelling Keystone XL is a part of President Biden’s plan to get America off oil, but that’s not something that will happen in the near future. Maybe some day we will come across an economically viable fuel source that is 100% environmentally friendly and plentiful enough to power the needs of a modern society, but we aren’t there yet. As it stands now, the world is simply not transitioning off oil, despite what anti-oil activists will have you believe.

Now, I’m not saying that we should never look for alternatives to fossil fuels. Maybe oil is indeed a dying commodity. What I am saying is that abandoning something that is inexpensive for consumers and low-emitting, or made low-emitting through technology, without having a replacement that is economically viable and without environmentally destructive side-effects, is economic suicide and simply madness.

As it stands now, are we just trading one problem, emissions out the tailpipe of cars or the smokestacks of factories, for another problem, that being the current cost and unreliability of renewable and alternative fuels?

Has anyone thought of what will happen if we stopped buying gasoline, and governments are no longer collecting the gas taxes that are applied to the price every time you fill up at the pumps?

By the way, many of the things we use on a daily basis are made with plastic components that are produced using fossil fuels. Are you ready to give up those modern products?

Canadian oil is production ethically and environmentally responsible. Cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline will result in job losses on both sides of the border, along with costing millions (maybe billions) in contract cancellation penalties.

President Biden, why do you oppose a pipeline that will bring your country oil produced responsibly by your biggest trading partner, but you have no problem buying oil from OPEC nations and Venezuela?

If you cancel Keystone XL, you will cause serious damage to the trading relationship between Canada and the United States.

Finally, a message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: your energy policy has been horrendously destructive to Canada’s oil industry. If Keystone XL is cancelled, I hope that spells the end of your tenure as prime minister. Among the other reasons that your tenure as prime minister has been destructive to Canada, you have failed to support our energy industry by cancelling other pipelines, and tying up others in such excessive environmental red tape, with constantly changing goalposts, that energy companies have walked away.

The increased revenues that our energy industry would generate if you allowed it to grow, would pay for many of the social programs that you promote, and all Canadians enjoy, myself included. It would also help to pay down the federal and provincial debts, made even bigger by the current pandemic.

Yes, I know that you bought the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, and have stated that you will go ahead with the twinning of the pipeline, but this hasn’t happened yet. One must ask if it will ever be twinned.

This is, of course, besides the fact that your government didn’t need to buy the pipeline from Kinder Morgan, who were willing to put up their own money to built it. Kinder Morgan only needed your government to approve the project, and then get out of the way.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac-M%C3%A9gantic_rail_disaster, https://militarybruce.com/irony-can-be-pretty-ironic-sometimes, https://militarybruce.com/its-all-about-choice, https://militarybruce.com/carbon-taxes-are-a-fraud, 2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2016/01/15/president-obamas-petroleum-legacy/?sh=25775123c10f, 1. https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/america-has-built-the-equivalent-of-10-keystone-pipelines-since-2010-and-no-one-said-anything, https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/ottawa-buys-trans-mountain-pipeline-for-4-5-billion-but-can-it-sell-it.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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