Environmentalists argue that the pipeline will release unacceptable amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and will cause more global warming. They also complain that the pipeline will contribute to the earth’s warming because it will increase the use of fossil fuels, worldwide. That last complaint is warrantless, because the oil will be extracted from the Canadian oil sands even if the pipeline is not constructed—the oil will be shipped to China or some other overseas consumer.
Presently, Canadian oil from the oil sands fields is being shipped to United States oil refineries on the Gulf coast via trucks or trains. The State Department calculates that if the large quantity of oil from Canada is shipped totally by those routes, there will be 27.5% more greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere than if the pipeline is actually constructed.
Railroad companies are now doing a lot more business transporting Canadian oil than they were in 2009. That year, rails transported 9,500 car loads of oil. In 2012, rails transported 234,000 car loads; and the likely figure for 2013 is 400,000 car loads. That oil is reaching the gulf coast refineries by this less efficient and more polluting way.
State Department says the pipeline would create 42,100 new jobs—jobs the United States could well use.
It seems evident that President Obama is not paying attention to the environmental impact studies or the job creation potential of the pipeline. His main concern seems to be that huge moneyed interests in San Francisco, namely billionaire Tom Steyer, have threatened to cut off contributions to the Democrat Party if President Obama approves the pipeline. Does this sound like the payoff of a hireling politician to you?
If any of my readers are interested in reading the original data on the environmental impact of the pipeline, I would suggest that you read the report of the State Department, called the Environmental Impact Statement http://keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov/documents/organization/205719.pdf. (If this link does not work, copy it into your browser and activate it.)