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AS I SEE IT

Posted 3/20/13 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipma
Farmer Editor

For over five years, President Obama has been unable to see fit to give his stamp of approval to the Keystone XL Pipeline. And now with Congressional members from both political parties calling for the project, it is time for the president to step up and do what is right for this country.
The Keystone XL Pipeline project is a huge undertaking that would bring oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada to American oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Not only would this project create tens of thousands of jobs during its construction phase, but it would also generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for states and the federal government. But more importantly, the Keystone XL Pipeline is just another oil reserve that would help the United States move to an era where we would become more and more energy independent and less dependent on the Middle East and other volatile parts of the world for energy.
Obama has been reluctant to approve the project because of pressure from special interest groups that oppose the development of oil and natural gas reserves because of environmental concerns. While global warming is a reality and CO2 emissions that are created by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, contribute to higher CO2 levels, stopping the Keystone XL Project will have a negligible impact.
A recent study by the U.S. Dept. of State noted that regardless of whether or not the Keystone XL Pipeline project was built, the oil from the tar sands is going to be developed. And given the options of either shipping that oil by railroad tanker to the U.S. refineries or using a pipeline to transport it to the Canadian west coast where it would be shipped to an Asian refinery, the Keystone XL Pipeline would be the most ecologically sound choice.
That’s right. Using a pipeline to transport the tar sand oil the 2,000 miles from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico would contribute less to global warming and create fewer CO2 emissions than would be created by using the hundreds of diesel locomotives that would be needed to pull the thousands of railroad cars full of oil across the United States and Canada.
It may have been a “feel good” moment for the President when he opposed the project when it was politically expedient to do so.
But the time for politics is over. It is now time for the President of the United States to do what is right for this country and get the project approved. America needs the jobs that this project will create. State and federal treasuries need the revenue that this pipeline will bring. And America definitely needs to do what it must to break its dependence on importing oil from countries who are less than friendly most of the time toward this country.
Mr. Obama, it is time for you to say “yes” to the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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Until next week, and remember - Be curious always. For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it.