Thursday, January 12, 2012

Flame hazard

We may be about to see some "flame" messages on this blog. That's because, perhaps foolishly, I included a link to it when I posted a comment on another blog, this one belonging to Green America, explaining why I was not planning to lobby the Obama administration to oppose the extension of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Here's what I wrote:
Although I agree that it is important, in the long term, to reduce our dependence on oil, I cannot oppose the Keystone pipeline on those grounds. The fact is that this oil *will* be extracted, one way or another; it’s worth too much to leave in the ground. So the only real question is, will the oil thus extracted go to the U.S. (where it will reduce our dependence on oil from uncertain allies in the increasingly unstable Middle East), or to China (traveling there by tanker, a process that will create more emissions than the pipeline will, not to mention the risk of spills)?
We must face facts. Our nation is going to remain heavily dependent on oil for the near future, and putting the kibosh on this pipeline is not going to change that. All it will do is ensure that the oil we do use comes from less reliable sources, while Canada’s oil goes abroad. Sorry, I can’t help you on this one.
I have a feeling these comments, although made in what I hope was a respectful manner, are not going to sit well with regular readers of the Green America blog, who may choose to pop over to this blog to express their disapproval. And I'm perfectly happy to discuss the topic with them in a reasoned and respectful manner. But I fear that some of the responses may not stick to these guidelines, so I wanted to give regular readers of this blog fair warning: it might get hot in here. (I've just checked and found that I do have the ability to delete comments on this blog—it's never come up before—so I'll remove any that I think are really over the line, but I might not get to them immediately.)
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