With each uptick of the price of gas, people start clamoring for the government to do something, which has led President Obama to fast-track approval of the XL pipeline from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast of Texas. The Canadian pipeline originates above Montana, and was halted in the midwest due to serious concerns about the huge aquifer that serves water to many states should the pipeline ever break. Or perhaps I should say, when the pipeline breaks.
There is no doubt the pipeline will break. Pipelines break all the time, and one branch of the XL has already contaminated a large area of Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2010, and effects are still being felt. The chemicals needed to break down this tar-sands oil so it can flow through the pipes can contaminate water and land for generations, making it unsuitable for life.
What people who are pushing to approve this pipeline venture, as well as more domestic drilling, fail to understand is that supply has little to do with current gas prices. The oil companies control pricing, period. They sell crude and refined oil to whatever country pays the most, and if that is Japan or China, that is just fine with Exxon – Mobil.
The U. S. exports 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, so that begs the question, why do we do that and then turn around and import 13 million barrels? Some of the reasons are explained HERE, but the basic reason is that that is the way world commerce works.
I’m not sure that just because this can be explained, that is reason enough to keep doing something that might not be the right something. As Megan McArdle pointed out in a recent article about corporations that keep repeating the same mistakes because they are afraid to change, maybe it is time we, the people and the government, need to make drastic changes in how we deal with energy issues. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend that our reliance on fossil fuels is not a problem. There are children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who are counting on us to give them a world they can live in.
On a different note, I am again part of a Mega-Event to help an author showcase her work. There will be a blog-fest and lots of other fun things happening from mid-April to mid-May, but ahead of time there are some neat opportunities for some free gifts.
Download a FREE copy of the Artella eBook, Artella Mae’s NEW Altered Ancestors!, a 58-page eBook overflowing with ideas and techniques for using vintage photos in your artwork. Download your copy here!