Concerns Over Crude Oil Pipelines Merited

An oil spill broke out near Manturin, Venezuela February 4th. A pipeline belonging to Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) ruptured and spilled into local rivers, streams and storage banks.

The crude oil has spilled into the Guarapiche River and there are approximately 2,000 workers trying to contain the spill.

Many residents have gone without clean water for at least a week.

This comes at a time when Tea Party members of Texas are beginning to question the safety behind the Keystone XL pipeline.

One member of a Texas Tea Party group, Debra Medina, is worried that the grabbing of private land by TransCanada through eminent domain does not protect land owners and city councils in the event of a spill.

A Texas landowner, David Daniel, who leased land to TransCanada believes he was misled by the company. He has since started the group Stop Tarsands Oil Pipelines, which highlights the potential dangers of the pipeline, including the chemicals used to extract oil from the tar sands.

TransCanada, its backers and the pundits on Fox News have said that this pipeline will create anywhere between 35,000-40,000 American jobs. If this were true, this would be a much-needed economic boost, without a doubt. But these numbers are highly inflated as the people at MediaMatters have exposed.

According to the state department, that number is closer to 5,000-6,000 jobs. These jobs include Keystone employees, contractor employees, and construction and environmental inspection staff. The project would cost an estimated $6.58 to $6.65 billion.

This purpose of this post is to point out that there are inherent risks with building a pipeline without proper assessment first. Just because many Americans are out of jobs, does not mean that we should be blindly willing to allow any company to build a pipeline, especially one with real concerns. It feels as though TransCanada and its backers are taking advantage of American desperation, but people are just starting to understand the true politics behind the game. Fear tactics have worked so well in the political arena—since forever. It’s nice to see a change of pace.

 

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