oil refinery


This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.

It’s been a long, drawn out fight for Canadian firm TransCanada to get the American Administration to approve a controversial oil pipeline.  The pipeline would stretch from Alberta all the way to Houston, Texas.  The Obama Administration didn’t approve the construction of the pipeline because of the environmental implications.  Which I will get into later.  But it seems that Trump has given the green light on this project.  Or at least, that’s what he thinks.  It sounds like there are still many more State approvals that need to happen before this project actually gets going.

The pipeline itself would allow for safer transport of oil from the tar sands in Alberta to the refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.  Rather than relying on trucks or trains to move the oil, this pipe would ship it south.  The pipeline in itself wouldn’t necessarily have environmental implications.  The issue is how much more oil will they be pulling out of the tar sands, and what kind of implications will that have on the environment?  Extracting oil out of sand has proven to be environmentally controversial.  And that’s just based on the numbers we are seeing today.  With the development of this pipeline, it is anticipated that the oil production would only increase.

There are some potentially positive repercussions from this pipeline.  It will create jobs on both sides of the border.  I say potentially, as no one seems to know exactly how many jobs this will create.  Trump has put the number somewhere around 25,000.  Whereas I’ve heard far fewer.  Trump has also indicated that the development of the pipeline will bring the American steel industry back to life.  Indicating that the pipeline would be built using American steel.  But what he doesn’t know is that TransCanada has already purchased most of the steel from firms in Canada, Russia, India and Italy.  So there goes that idea.

Another potential positive is that you will be getting your oil more locally.  Allowing Canada and the United States to be in a better place to compete with OPEC.  Maybe more of the oil products staying in North America, rather than having to import oil from the Middle East.  But that’s not to say that any of this will happen.  Even with the approvals, we still don’t know how many jobs this will create.  Or even really know, how this will affect the economy.

Keystone Pipeline Route

What we do know is this:  the pipeline is about 3000 kilometres long.  Which is approximately 1800 miles.  And it will carry 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the refineries.  We also know that Trump is a big supporter of this.  He has even stated that it (the pipeline) will be the greatest technology known to man or woman.  Chill.  It’s a pipe made out of steel.  How you can say that is the “greatest technology” is beyond me.  The concept in itself might be forward thinking, but one has to weigh the good and the bad.  We can’t just take a project like this and presume it won’t have huge environmental implications.

Right now, the oil sands produce about 250,000 barrels of oil per day.  They are anticipating that oil production will double to about 500,000 barrels per day.  And the pipeline has indicated that it will transport 800,000 barrels per day.  But that’s only to the United States.  So when will it cap out?  Or will it ever?  I think the bigger concern is environmental, and Obama was right.  This is only going to perpetuate itself and we don’t know what the climate change implications are going to be as a result.

While I am not a die hard environmentalist, I do think that we all need to do our part to provide a healthy planet for the next generation.  I think that these kinds of decisions should be considered long and hard.  The issue it seems is that Alberta has already approved this project.  And I believe that it only becomes a Federal issue (for Canada) if the pipeline were to be inter-Provincial.  But because the pipeline would go directly into the United States, I’m not sure how much say the Federal Government would have.  So on this end, it sounds like a done deal.  But there are some States that are considering blocking it.  Which sounds like a good move, but it is surely not because of the amount of emissions that Canada would be sending into the atmosphere.

The future of the pipeline remains a mystery with many having approved it’s development.  While others are considering its implications for their States.  I do think that climate change should be considered with this, as it will affect us all in the future. Whether we want to believe it or not.

By Staff Writer

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