Tracker Pixel for Entry

Leave it in the ground isn’t a sane option

by Rob Port | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Say Anything | November 11th, 2015


On Sept. 19, 2008, TransCanada submitted a permit request to the U.S. State Department to build a pipeline across the United States/Canada border. The name of this project was the Keystone XL pipeline.

It took 2,605 days — seven years, one month, and 19 days of obnoxious political dithering — for the permit to be rejected

In shooting down the project, President Obama said it has had “an overinflated role in our political discourse.”

True, maybe. The Keystone XL project was actually just phase 4 of the Keystone pipeline network which stretches across the United States. The first two phases of this network are already completed and operating. Phase 3 is currently under construction.

Phase 4 was the Keystone XL phase, and because it became a national political football it has been canceled. That changes nothing about the thousands of miles of pipeline already built and operating.

But I’m not sure the role of the Keystone XL pipeline in America’s energy infrastructure has been overinflated. It represents a shift in the environmental left’s approach to opposing fossil fuels.

No longer are they satisfied with merely reducing dependence on fossil fuels. They’ve moved to a more extreme goal: The elimination of oil production entirely.

The political defeat of the Keystone XL project — I say political because it passed every environmental and safety review with flying colors — is fuel for that fire.

You don’t have to take my word for it. “It’s good, and at the same time it cannot be the extent of Obama’s work on climate,” Lindsey Allen, Rainforest Action Network executive director, told Time of Obama’s Keystone decision. “This is an opportunity to build on momentum and work to stop other projects like this.”

Allen’s group is part of a new initiative called Keep it in the Ground which seeks to stop oil and gas production entirely. That this would be disastrous for the American economy and the average American citizen’s quality of life seems lost on these people. The vast improvements in everything from cross-country mobility thanks to low-cost transportation to cheap consumer products made from plastics derived from petroleum would be lost if we “keep it in the ground.”

But the people behind this push have President Obama’s ear, as the Keystone decision proves, and that has serious implications for the American energy industry.

For instance, North Dakota is America’s second largest producer of oil. The state’s oil producers are desperate to move away from oil-by-rail shipments which are not only expensive — east coast refiners have been turning their backs on North Dakota crude because of costs, according to an article on Oilprice.com — but sometimes oil trains derail and explode.

Yet pending pipeline infrastructure projects that were already in the crosshairs of activists now seem like a bad bet post-Keystone.

The Sandpiper pipeline would run from Tioga, N.D., through Minnesota to Wisconsin and would take as much as 250,000 barrels per day. The Dakota Access pipeline would run from northwest North Dakota to Patoka, Ill., carrying as much as 450,000 barrels per day. Together these two lines, combined with the 100,000 barrels of daily capacity the Keystone XL pipeline would have provided, could take just about all of North Dakota crude currently being shipped by rail.

But both projects have met with furious political opposition that, while not garnering as much national media attention as the Keystone controversy did, is no less furious.

It will no doubt be more furious now that the anti-pipeline activists got a victory on Keystone.

This isn’t a good development for North Dakota, where the oil and gas industry is a major economic driver. Heck, it’s not a good development for America. This means it will be harder for our country to develop its resources, even as other nations continue to develop and sell theirs on the international market.

Which, by the way, is also closed to the American oil industry thanks to the ban on oil exports President Obama has promised to protect with his veto pen from congressional efforts to rescind it.

Like with Keystone, “leave it in the ground” would be a big political victory for those advocating it. But it would be a big defeat for America’s well being.

RECENTLY IN

Say Anything

Tracker Pixel for Entry Aaland Law Firm

Recently in:

FARGO – Expressing disgust over an interview with a local “pro-white activist” on Valley News Live “Point of View,” concerned citizens have started a campaign to pull advertising from the show.Concerned citizens are…

Culture

The pyramid of the prairie

by Sabrina Hornung

Nekoma tactical area purchased by the Cavalier County JDAPhotos by Sabrina Hornung“These have all been cleaned and filled with sand and concrete,” said Randy Mehlhoff, who serves on both the Langdon Chamber of Commerce Board of…

Sunday, August 20, noon-5pmND Horse Park, 5180 19th Ave N, FargoFood trucks from Fargo-Moorhead and all over the Upper Midwest. Soft drinks, alcohol, prize giveaways, kids jumpy gym, craft vendors, live band, live radio broadcast.…

Our opinion: We all breathe the same air, and we all drank the same beer.Last weekend I helped a pal plan a small festival in an even smaller town. In fact, you may find me bartending there once in a blue moon, flexing my…

Gadfly

Crazy like a fox

by Ed Raymond

Can we learn anything after we know it all?There’s a 100-page book written by a high school dropout that should be read by all high schoolers, college education students, teachers, and politicians. Michael J.Fox of movie and TV…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

On Wednesday July 19, Luna had their first and very solid convergence with Junkyard Brewing. The beer dinner was comprised of five killer Luna courses with five stellar Junkyard beers. The results were extraordinary. Initially I…

Formed in 1988, The Supersuckers have gained the moniker of being “the greatest rock n’ roll band in the world.” In 2015 lead singer/bassist Eddie Spaghetti was diagnosed with stage 3 oropharynx cancer. Thankfully he…

Reteaming with his “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” leads Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, filmmaker David Lowery has a very compelling tale to tell in “A Ghost Story.” Somber yet funny, and comfortable with exclamations of…

Interactive Hive through Plains Art Museum goes to marketPhoto by Jerry ShervenThis summer, interns between the ages of 11 and 18 participated in Buzz Lab, a program through the Plains Art Museum that gives students the opportunity…

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand ForksBefore the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

If you’ve never had Mankato’s Organ Grinder Amber Ale, you should probably put it near the top of your “must try” lists.If you are a fan of Mankato Brewery you may have been a bit confused the last time you went looking for…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

A few months ago I wrote about the long, strange saga of Jason Halek, the fellow who dumped 800,000 gallons of poisonous oilfield brine down an abandoned oil well south of Dickinson. Back in April of this year, he pleaded guilty to…