Obama right on the XL pipeline

Published 7:15 pm Thursday, January 19, 2012

Obama will doubtless be sharply attacked because of his decision on the XL pipeline. He could have taken the easier route and caved to big oil but he didn’t. He did the right thing!
Construction of the XL pipeline is one matter with unresolved concerns about its route through sensitive areas in the Dakotas alone being enough to hold off on it until environmental studies are complete. The larger issue is the nature of oil sands oil extraction. Getting at oil sands oil destroys thousands of acres of pristine boreal forest and the groundwater systems beneath the forests. The oil is very dirty and takes huge amounts of natural gas for processing producing much more greenhouse gases than conventional oil. And, the potential for harm from the damage that would occur if one of the huge diked waste piles fails would make the coal ash pond disaster in Tennessee a minor disaster in comparison.
Production of oil from the Alberta oil sands is already a disaster and should not be expanded be it by a pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast or one to the pristine coast of British Columbia.
Michael William Mullen
Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper

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