Pipeline Politics
Keystone XL and DAPL Are Back

Remember Keystone XL? The pipeline the Obama administration stalled and then outright blocked because of dubious environmental concerns and political pressure from the Left? Well, it’s back on, thanks to an executive order from President Donald Trump. CNN reports:

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed executive actions to advance approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

The decision to advance the pipelines cast aside efforts by President Barack Obama’s administration to block construction of the two pipelines, while making good on one of Trump’s campaign promises.

As he signed the documents Tuesday in the Oval Office, Trump also vowed to “renegotiate some of the terms” of the Keystone bill and said he would then seek to “get that pipeline built.”

Trump also issued executive actions declaring oil pipelines constructed in the US should be built with US materials, streamlining the regulatory process for pipeline construction and shortening the environmental review process.

We’ve long thought the debates over both pipelines were pretty silly, particularly the arguments about safety and CO2 emissions. Pipelines are much less prone to spills than shipment by rail and truck, which are the alternatives. Meanwhile, the argument that the pipelines increase CO2 emissions ignore that the oil will be pumped regardless of whether it gets shipped by pipeline to the U.S. or by some other method or to some other destination. The Alberta oil sands that will feed the Keystone XL pipeline are simply too lucrative to remain untapped, particularly in such an energy-hungry world. This isn’t just our position; it’s what the State Department itself said in several reviews.

The big winner in all of this may be Canada, which is set to benefit from the easier access to U.S. crude markets that oil sands pipelines provide.

But the bottom line is that Keystone XL and DAPL never had much relationship with environmental health and safety. So while this is a big embarrassment for greens, it’s not actually that big of a deal for the climate they claim to care so much about protecting.

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