A Rational Examination of the Keystone Pipeline

The conflict between fossil fuels and climate policy.

Climate Change Exists. Period.

This is a fact that is still to be universally accepted, with even some debate from academics and professionals in the field. In confirming this environmental phenomenon, the first problem with the Keystone Pipeline becomes evident. This is that in erecting a pipeline, the American nation (which is already the leading contributor to climate change on the planet) is growing increasingly dependent on fossil fuels. This is due to the fact that as the nation increases its ability to readily provide a supply of less expensive fossil fuels, the urgency to seek out alternative forms of energy will lessen dramatically. It is as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. In reality, however, to call the significant use of oil for energy a problem would indeed be an understatement. Therefore, the first issue with the pipeline is the simple yet large issue of the negative environmental impact it will have.


The second issue is what has surprisingly matched the environmental issue in relevance during this debate, which is job creation. TransCanada, which seeks to build the pipeline, estimates around 570,000 jobs may be created. The American Petroleum Institute claims up to 500,000 jobs can be created.The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the pipeline and put the number at around 250,000. Discussing these estimates is important as the state of the economy is not what it once was (and it is not getting better, despite what is being said on the news) and the prospect of creating these jobs will increase support for the pipeline. The only estimate that truly matters, that which was conducted by the Obama Administration, discovered that between 50 to 100 permanent jobs would be created. That’s not too bad. The difference is only by 569,900 jobs. On a serious note, however, a rational examination of the circumstances surrounding the creation of this pipeline will yield only one conclusion. THIS IS A BAD IDEA.


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