Keystone rhetoric and reality


Charles Pierce traces those “environmental extremists” to Nebraska.

What gets lost in all of this is that the most stalwart opposition to the crazy notion of running a pipeline of the world’s dirtiest carbon-based fuel through what is literally the bloodstream of the nation’s farm economy is coming from landowners in Nebraska. Trans Canada, the company that wants to build the pipeline, already has folded and offered an alternate route that it says would keep the pipeline out of the Sandhills. (The danger to the aquifer remains.) But the ranchers whose property abuts this new route are not yet satisfied … “We’ve been called radical environmentalists,” Frisch said, “but we’re just looking out for our livelihood.”

Separately, the New York Times’ Joe Nocera says “all of Harper’s ministers have been instructed to stop making comments that might be construed as interfering in the American presidential election.” It’s unclear (at least to me) if that much has been reported previously in Canadian media.


Keystone rhetoric and reality

  1. If we had paid too much attention to NIMBY’s we’d never had built railroads, highways, power plants, shopping malls, or any other large scale project that serves society as a whole. Nobody would want these things next to their own property, but they have to go somewhere.

    • Damn civilized society. Why should we have to talk to anybody to get what we want?

      • You clearly understood my point. I was obviously saying they should not be heard. Thanks for contributing to the conversation.

        • Easy for you to say – it’s not your land, is it?

          No. What you were doing was equating/conflating : ” a pipeline of the world’s dirtiest carbon-based fuel through what is literally the bloodstream of the nation’s farm economy…” with building a railway or the normal paraphernalia  of modern civilization.

           As is frequently the case with you you’re mischaracterizing the debate – particularly for the landowner in this case.

          • “Nobody would want these things next to their own property, but they have to go somewhere.”

            Pipeline’s are just as much a part of modern civilization as railways and highways. Those are both also used to transport oil, toxic chemicals, and nuclear waste.

    • Then run the damn thing through your backyard.

      • I think that is the upshot of your typical NIMBY position, isn’t it?

    •  Socialism of imposing costs of projects desired by corporations on citizens good.
      Socialism of imposing costs of programs desired by citizens on corporations bad.

      • Exactly what costs are being imposed on citizens?

        • Are you asking me to provide you with a dollar figure for the risk and other externalities associated with the pipeline?

  2. LOL yes, the ‘environmental extremists’  are the people who own the land….Nebraskans.

    People who’ve ranched the land for generations….and are sitting over an aquifer….were being told by TransCanada that their land would be expropriated.

    Of course they got mad!

  3. I’m not opposed to resource extraction or anything like that (In fact, it has been the family industry) but I still can’t really wrap my head around the “OMG is has to get out of the ground right now! Those extreeeeemists are holding us back from gloooory” situation where it’s set up as if the bitumen (in this case) is like milk that has been out of the fridge for a while. It’s not going anywhere if we don’t take it out now and it’s certainly not going to expire. 

    • OPEC learned in 1970 that slowing production increased the value of oil reserves, but Canada has learned nothing from mowing through all the merchantable white pine, to presiding over the decline of the cod fishery, to overlogging pulpwood until it became too expensive to get to the mills and markets, and is now busily subsidizing the liquidation of finite oil and gas resources.

      • Damn right. It used to be common practise in BC to chop down OG cedar and leave it to rot, simply because there was not market for it at the time and it was simply cheaper to mow every thing down. It’s high time this country was taken back and run for the benefit of all Canadians, which invariably will result in sustainably managing our resouces. 

    • It’s not terribly surprising when you look at Alberta, which is where the bulk of these guys hail from.

      Troubles with the economy? No problem.. pump the oil out faster.

      Nice, easy, doesn’t require thinking or hard choices (at least, not for our generation), and makes it real simple to keep winning elections as people stay prosperous.

      Hell, look at Ralph and the utility companies. Pumping out the oil allowed him to not only privatize the utility companies with nobody really giving a hoot, but made it so that when not a single one of the expected benefits reached the consumer.. we got both higher prices and less revenues from the private firms than we did from the public ones, he was able to cover that up using oil money so people wouldn’t revolt on his ass.

      Oil is awesome.. it allows one to pursue ones ideology no matter what the consequences. And if there are too many consequences, just pump more of it. There’s always more of it after all.. always.

      • Yes, those troublesome Albertans. If only we could get rid of them somehow.  What could the final solution to that vexing problem be?

        • Oh. Is it put words in other people’s mouths day again, Orson? I thought you were too busy claiming that old people should be shot.

  4. Between the Republicans and Op-Ed articles in many media sites, we don’t need to say anything.

    Nocera covers it very well;    “Thus, at least one country in North America understands where its national interests lie.  Too bad it’s not us.”

    • Our ‘national interests’ are of course solely oil.

  5. Same issue with the Eastern Slopes of Alberta (google it). Ranchers etc are worried about development of any kind in this region (mainly deep /unconventional foothills gas) – less of an issue now that we have a NA gas glut. 

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