Year 3, Month 1, Day 24: The Horror, The Horror!

At least temporarily, the pipeline from/to Hell has been stopped. The South Dakota Argus-Leader has more:

President Obama denied TransCanada a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline Wednesday, blaming congressional Republicans for setting an “arbitrary” deadline that didn’t allow time to thoroughly review the controversial project.

The pipeline developer said it will reapply, with a new goal of coming online in two years.

“This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people,” Obama said in a prepared statement. “I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision.”

The 1,700-mile pipeline would carry heavy Canadian crude through South Dakota and five other states to the Gulf Coast. It has ignited criticism from environmentalists and landowners along the route and has become a boiling political fight.

Let’s hope it sticks. Sent January 19:

President Obama’s decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline is certainly going to cost jobs. Let’s look at some of them.

Of course there are the short-term construction jobs involved in putting the thing in place to begin with. But some of those other jobs that won’t be added to our economy would have lasted longer. For example, jobs in cleanup and spill mitigation. If there’s one thing we know about pipelines, it’s that they leak — and a 1,700 mile pipeline would leak a lot, guaranteeing cleanup jobs for the forseeable future. And of course, if that toxic crude entered our aquifers, there’d be public health impacts for decades to come. Think of all those lost employment opportunities in long-term chronic care positions!

And of course, should people get sick from environmental devastation, they’ll consider legal action. By spiking the pipeline, President Obama has closed off a century’s worth of economically stimulating class-action lawsuits.

While its true that there’s a growing market for jobs in renewable energy, the sad fact is that toxic waste specialists, oncologists, and tort experts will have to look somewhere else for their bread and butter. Such a shame.

Warren Senders

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