The Keystone Cop: Just the Facts, Ma’am

by • November 17, 2014 • Country, Political ChatterComments (0)

The Keystone XL Pipeline is finally coming up for a vote in senate this week after its first application for regulatory review was submitted to the US State Department by the TransCanada Corporation on September 19, 2008. The six years, 1 month, and twenty-nine days since, advocates on both sides have vociferously pleaded their cases, often rendering the facts to near obscurity in a sea of pandering emotions and party loyalty.

I discovered Saturday evening that neither I, nor my 5 dinner companions were any different: our stances for or against the project could have been accurately predicted if we had simply laid out our Voter Id Cards on the table. Despite being six professional adults with an active interest in the world around us, neither the supporters nor those opposed had much in the way of facts on the matter, giving us all pause as to the soundness of our decision making. We may have been a little too hard on ourselves; trying to find any sort of rhetoric free information on the topic made the search for the Holy Grail seem like a pre-school scavenger hunt.

A quick google of ‘Keystone Pipeline’ produced about 6,280.000 links and even a cursory clicking revealed the majority of them were so blatantly one-sided, they were little more that self-serving propaganda masquerading as fact and unwittingly or not, most of us have all has at least a sip of the Kool-Aid. As with most things, there are three sides to this story: one for the pipeline, one against, and the truth in the middle.

Eschewing the most partisan resources from all sides, no MSNBC, ThinkProgess, FoxNews or Breitbart for example, and moving past the pseudo-official looking monologues of lobbyists, I did find a few links that seemingly balance the pros and cons and helped me begin to cultivate an informed opinion.

Much Ado about a Pipeline from the Center of Strategic and International Studies
Pipeline Primer from
Keystone XL Pipeline Facts: Pros and Cons from

Temporary or not, jobs will be created. Transportation of Canadian oil sands is not environmentally friendly but is moved more safely in a pipeline that other methods currently doing the same task. In the end, there is plenty of real red meat for both sides to chew on. But if the facts are so hard to come by, what is this argument really about…really?

Outside the politicians and their constituents in the “Refinery Belt,” many of President Obama’s detractors are for it simply because he is against it. Likewise, many democrats oppose it because Senator McConnell & his party are for it. Along with fracking, the pipeline debate exposes a volatile chasm in America’s future as a nation with one side sanctioning our codependency on fossil fuels against those committed to saving the planet from the ravages they impose. Along with worrying about passing along the national debt to the generations to come, the condition of the planet we are all giving them deserves equal time. There is too much at stake not be informed.

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