President Obama Should Approve Keystone Pipeline XL


Before the United States State Department released their latest report on KeyStone Pipeline XL impact, I was on the side of not approving this project.  Like environmentalist I feared the increase of greenhouse gases from the process of extracting oil from tar sands.  I also worried about accidents concerning leaks with the pipeline running through the heartland of America.

I believe these are valid concerns, but that doesn’t mean that I am not open to information that can quiet my concerns.  The State Dept report has addressed my concerns…

The State Dept report tells us that even if the Keystone Pipeline XL is blocked, the oil industry would find alternative ways for getting the tar sands to refineries; rail, trucks etc…  Recently an oil train derailed and caused a fiery explosion, there is no 100% safe way of transporting oil.  The report also noted that traveling by rail or trucks would actually increase carbon emissions

“While short-term physical transportation constraints introduce uncertainty to industry outlooks over the next decade, new data and analysis… indicate that rail will likely be able to accommodate new production if new pipelines are delayed or not constructed,”

The report adds that, if the pipeline gets blocked and producers are forced to ship by rail or truck instead, overall transportation emissions for the oil in question could even increase by 28 to 42 percent. That’s because there would be more trains and trucks burning diesel fuel and more rail terminals using electricity.

The report also concludes that shipping oil by rail instead of via pipeline would likely result in additional accidents. Some of the rail routes studied by the State Department could result in three to eight times the volume of oil spilled, according to the models. – Washington Post

So if the oil industry is going to find a way to move tar sands, what’s the argument against Keystone?

Also, the creation of jobs is another big factor.  While I do not support destroying the environment in favor of jobs, if stopping the Keystone Pipeline does not significantly reduce greenhouse gases then why throw away the jobs that come with the construction of the pipeline?

The report notes that building the pipeline would support approximately 42,100 direct and indirect jobs and contribute roughly $3.4 billion to the economy (that’s about 0.02 percent of GDP).

About 3,900 of those jobs would be temporary construction jobs. After two years, once built, the pipeline would support 50 jobs. – Washington Post

That’s a lot of jobs to ignore!

I don’t think environmentalist should take support for the pipeline as a slap in the face.  Keep in mind that the president fought hard to put in place unprecedented high fuel efficiency standards for cars.  The possibility of introducing more oil from an ally will not necessarily increase our usage.

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

Sources: Washington Post & Bloomberg

No Obamacare Does Not Kill 2 Million Jobs!

When the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their report giving an updated estimate on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) earlier this week; the report revised its initial figures and stated that due to Obamacare the work hours would be reduced to the equivalent of 2 million jobs in 2024.

No, it did not say 2 millions jobs would be lost!

Republicans like fly on shit have jumped all over the “equivalent of 2 million jobs” part, it’s too bad that they completely misread what the CBO was trying to say.

Obamacare offers subsidies to help individuals to pay for health insurance, that along with lower premiums being offered through the exchanges have made insurance more affordable.  With insurance being more affordable, people now have options.  If you did not have a full-time job that offered you health insurance, paying for insurance on your own was beyond costly.

Now people have options, and this is a good thing.  Currently there a large number of baby boomers who are working late into their 60s for healthcare; we have all seen grandma working at McDonald’s and it’s a sad sight.

Some will argue that this will produce a disincentive for people to work as they would not want to lose the subsidies provided by Obamacare.  This is a silly assumption, why would anyone turn down the opportunity to work full-time just to keep some subsidies.  Hmmmm, more money or stay part-time……  Now it is possible you will have some lazy folks who will try to game the system to get the most out of it without doing much.  But here is different way to look at it, on Wednesday Congressional Budget Office director Doug Elmendorf spoke to a House Budget Committee to explain the CBO report.

“There is a critical difference between people who want to work and can’t find a job…and people who choose not to work because because [they’ve] decided to retire, or spend more time with their family, or spend time on a hobby,” Elmendorf said. “They don’t feel bad about it, they feel good about it. We don’t feel bad about it, we say, ‘Congratulations.’”

Let’s say a single mother works and pays for childcare, wouldn’t it be nice if she could save money on childcare if say a family member (mother, or aunt) could afford to retire to help that single mother take care of her child?

There are problems with Obamacare that need to be fixed, but this is not what Republicans are trying to make it.  Also, it’s funny how Republicans conveniently leave out the other thing the CBO report stated that there is, “no compelling evidence” to suggest that Obamacare will increase part-time employment over full-time employment.

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

Sources: Washington Post & Reuters