I admit that expanding the Keystone Pipeline is not on a par with say the “Big Inch” and “Little Big Inch” pipelines built during the 1940s to safely supply oil and gas from Texas and other southwest states to the industrial centers of America vital to our “war machine” constructed to defeat the Axis Powers in WII. These two piplelines became the backbone of our extensive network of pipelines crisscrossing the USA to deliver oil and gas to all. The network now includes some 200,000 miles of pipelines. Viewed in the context of our present network of pipelines the Keystone project is relatively small.
As for the complaint that oil from Canada is “dirty” I believe the opposition means “dirty” production, i.e. produced from oil laden sands instead of wells. The actual oil is no more laden with unwanted components, e.g. sulphur, than is the oil we get from California and certainly “cleaner” than that we get from Venezuela which is just short of being asphalt.
And as for the complaint that using the oil from Canada will delay development of alternative energy I say “get real.” Fossil fuels provide over 90% of our energy and that will not change soon. Eschewing the oil from Canada will simply mean relying more on oil from unreliable suppliers, e.g. Iran.
The problems with alternative energy are well known. During the “Energy Crisis” of the 1970s then President Carter made billions available to foster aternative energy. Of all the ideas developed with this massive exppenditure of taxpayer funds only one remains in general use, harnessing methane gas from pig excrement in pig farms to use as fuel - billions spent on a pile of pig s__t.
If one drives from Los Angeles to Palm Springs he passes through a massive outdoor graveyard of idle wind turbines built in a frenzy to provide electric power. And while on windmills, how about the millions of birds killed each year by the massive blades of the current generation of wind turbines?
Needless to ad, we now have the Solyndra fiasco in which half a billion dollars of tax payer money was wasted.
Yes, new, cheaper, cleaner sources of energy will be developed and most probably by the same companies that now supply us with oil, gas and coal. But get real about the prospect of replacing fossil fuels overnight.