A lot of people in this country seem to live in a bubble. What I mean by this is, facts don’t get in. A recent example of this is the Keystone pipeline. What most people don’t know, and the media are not reporting, is that there is an existing 1,853-mile, 30-inch pipeline (Phase 1) that has been operating since 2010. This pipeline is from Hardesty, Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Neb., with a branch to Wood River and Patoka (southern) Illinois. Phase 2 was completed in 2011 from Steele City, Neb., to Cushing, Okla. Phase 3 is in progress to complete the pipeline to Houston. The current uproar concerns Phase 4, which is a 1,179-mile separate, 36-inch pipeline from Canada to Steele City, Neb., cutting across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. This pipeline (Phase 4) is not really needed and has the potential to cause pollution problems in sensitive areas. The existing Keystone pipeline has more than 30 reported spills so far, including one in North Dakota that spilled 21,000 gallons and shot 60 feet in the air. This “Tar Sand” oil is thick stuff that has to be diluted with chemicals and pressurized just to make it through the pipes. When this oil reaches the Gulf, a lot of it will probably be refined and exported, not helping lower the price of diesel and gas here. The long-term environmental consequences of “Tar Sand” oil and domestic oil and gas “fracking” are just not worth the short-term benefit. I would recommend people watch the movie Gasland and become informed about what’s really going on with domestic oil and gas production. The information is out there; you just have to look outside the bubble.
From the March 14-20, 2012, issue