I disagree with Sen. Dan Coats’ opinion in his Feb. 28 column “Bipartisan proposals to kick-start year of action” about the completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. I believe that project is bad news for our country. The U.S. Department of State assessment is flawed because it continues to rely upon input from oil industry personnel. How can such a report not be biased in favor of that industry?
Sen. Coats and other KXL proponents list jobs and oil independence as the big reasons that Obama should approve this project, regardless of the increase of carbon pollution, but the facts show that most of the jobs are temporary and the dirty tar sands oil to be transported from Canada to Port Arthur, Texas, is destined for foreign markets.
Furthermore, by extracting “unconventional oil” and delivering it to a coastal port to be sold to foreign countries, a company gets a tax-break advantage and does not have to pay into the industry’s insurance fund for oil spills. Then who pays for clean-up and disruption of economic activities? Local taxpayers! And they also pay the real social, economic, environmental and health costs involved in such a project. TransCanada and other oil companies are not concerned about these.
Now is the time for all informed citizens to weigh in on this issue by submitting their comments to DOS regarding KXL Pipeline’s northern section. The due date for commenting is March 7. To learn the facts and submit your comment to DOS, visit Friends of the Earth, www.foe.org. Also visit www.truth-out.org to learn from unbiased fact-finders and see videos from locations where tar sands oil spills have already happened. Hear folks there tell what the real costs are.
Claire Whalen, OSF, Batesville