Friday, January 30, 2015

Black Gold

A lot of folks don't realize that we primarily fought WW2 over oil. We continue to fight over it today; sometimes without even raising a hand in anger. Now that we have established ourselves as a world player in the production of oil, OPEC is determined to undermine our new found wealth by flooding an already glutted market and making it unsound financially to extract it. While an immediate benefit has been falling oil prices, the petroleum sector is suffering with decreased revenues and inevitable layoffs.
In order to move all that oil in a safe, reliable and financially responsible manner you need pipelines (among other modes of transport). Our own internal battle rages on with our legislators locked into a pitched fight over the Keystone pipeline. Not only do we have a President that looks upon oil and coal (at best) as an ugly necessity, he is also determined to undermine any legislation dealing with it. Now comes word that the new Republican majority in the House and Senate have approved legislation that would green light the pipeline. So entrenched are both sides that the President has simply declared that he will veto any measure that comes across his desk. Perhaps we should take a step back; even though I don't think it will happen. Even though the legislation has passed, the Senate's and House's version(s) have to be reconciled. This is not the first time that we have been at this juncture. I, for one, think passage of the bill is inevitable. I worry that Congress just doesn't care about the costs involved. Last time I checked a similar battle over the Health Care Law has resulted in millions having been wasted in trying to overturn it.
As I said, I believe passage of the Keystone pipeline is inevitable. Unfortunately some individuals have decided to remain pigheaded about the whole mess. It is under assault by environmentalists and political hacks, to name just a few. Do we really intend to simply leave the project undone and waste the millions already invested? How long is the American public going to put up with this silly infighting in Washington? Instead of having a President willing to compromise with the Republican majority, we have ended up with a failed leader that seems bent on making standing up for what he believes his legacy; no matter the cost.

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