Tuesday, January 24, 2012

All the Best Canadian Oilmen Have Chinese Eyes

I am taking a peremptory strike here and admitting I took a little journalistic license in my last post. My dear sister who I dismissively labeled as "red state" is actually a bastion of beauty and intelligence in what at times can seem like an ugly and ignorant setting.

I mean their legislature did not have the smallest amount of constitutional knowledge that it would pass the most ridiculous knee jerk, xenophobic, hate-filled legislation calling for a ban on adopting Sharia law which was of course struck down by the appellate court.

What my sister actually asked me was why the President would kill the pipeline project when the Canadians were now going to sell all their oil to the Chinese. Like most Republican talking points, there is a kernel of truth to this story, a kernel in a silo of falsehood. What I believe the mass emailers are talking about is the first reaction to the denial of the Keystone permit by a Canadian proponent of the pipeline and government official.

Although the initial unthoughtful reaction was something to the effect that the Canadians would just now have to sell the oil to the Chinese, the official Canadian government reaction was much more realistic and measured and stated something to the effect that the Keystone project was not over, that there are plenty of other pipelines and methods of getting the oil to U.S. markets and in a global economy the Chinese are free to buy oil on the international market.

Besides, in my discussions with a geologist and head of an energy think tank, the beef against the Canadian oil sands is that while it is currently economically viable to extract the oil at $100 a barrel and up, like ethanol from corn, you expend almost as much energy and leave such a large carbon footprint in the process. Furthermore, they have not reached a compromise on bypassing the Sandhill region of Nebraska.

So there you have it. Pete Townsend eat your heart out.

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