So the energy industry, with their collective oily hands deep up the asses of the nation’s political apparatus, are whining about delaying the Keystone pipeline. If you haven’t been keeping up, this is an oil pipe stretching from the Canada tar sand production region to the booming petroleum port of Louisiana. The whiners think we’re so stupid that we’re all supposed to believe creating a river of oil flowing through the lower 48 for rapid shipment offshore to Europe, Latin America, and Asia is all about serving US energy needs. Wednesday alone I witnessed a parade of mostly conservative politicians claiming oil mined in Canada sent to nations’ halfway around the world somehow counts as domestic energy production used by US consumers. In related news, I decree honey produced by Mexico for export offsets US honey-bee decline if it passes within ten miles of our coast or border on the way to Manilla …
Right now we ship a good chunk of our oil from Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar reservoir, we ship it all the way around the curve of the earth in artificial, self-propelled islands of pitch to refine, distribute, and burn in SUVs and homes. I fully realize ethnocentric Americans are not considered terrific at geography, but perhaps this is one case where even we can visualize the moving parts: If the idea is to get oil from a different foreign country to US gas stations and ease that Saudi dependency, it’s hard to think of a better place for the producing nation to be than sharing the longest border of any other country on earth with us, which also happens to completely peaceful and includes half the Great Lakes shoreline, just a hop and skip away from the multimedia transportation nexus used since cattle days to ship fresh meat by road, rail, river, and canal to population centers from sea to shining sea. “But the largest refineries are in east Texas and Louisiana!” True, but there are refineries near Chicago, and if those aren’t big enough, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that the pipeline is expensive enough to cover a new refinery or two in the Detroit region, or anywhere else, where a once skilled and now highly unemployed blue-collar labor force sits waiting with their thumbs up their asses for a decent, permanent job. They already make the domestic cars, might as well produce the gas that runs them. Why should the gulf get all those fume$?
It’s all such a load of baloney it’s hard to imagine anyone buys that US domestic energy gap crap, unless they’re being paid to pretend otherwise. This pipe is a delivery device for overseas oil transport to the highest international bidder. And add to that, the same people selling the energy gap baloney stick their fingers in their ears and sing away the climate change blues. Namely, that converting gigatons of carbon which took zillions of years to sequester out of the atmosphere one chloroplast at time, back into greenhouse gas form in a decade or two will have no effect when direct, recent measurements and proven models plainly demonstrate it is a near metaphysical certainty.
I really don’t get why energy companies don’t just tell the godamn truth. Because the truth is a pretty godamn persuasive argument: we have very few options. Our civilization runs on energy. No energy, no medicine, no food, hell no Winter strawberries. No sugar, no chocolate, no light; we would be hard pressed to grow enough food to keep half the population alive if we all go full Amish. Try going one week without hot water alone and let me know how that goes.
We are stuck with fossil fuels for a generation at least, even if we begin transitioning right now. That’s an honest argument, because it’s true, and we’re all involved.