Friday, August 26, 2011

"We'd Be Crazy To Turn Backs On Oil Sands"

Robert J. Samuelson makes the case for for Canada's Oil Sands and the Keystone XL pipeline that will be used to transport it. In an editorial published today on Investors Business Daily's website

When it comes to energy, America is lucky to be next to Canada, whose proven oil reserves are estimated by Oil and Gas Journal at 175 billion barrels. This ranks just behind Saudi Arabia (260 billion) and Venezuela (211 billion) and ahead of Iran (137 billion) and Iraq (115 billion).

True, about 97% of Canada's reserves consist of Alberta's controversial oil sands, but new technologies and high oil prices have made them economically viable. Expanded production can provide the U.S. market with a source of secure oil for decades.

We would be crazy to turn our back on this. In a global oil market repeatedly threatened by wars, revolutions, and natural and man-made disasters — and where government-owned oil companies control development of about three-quarters of known reserves — having dependable suppliers is no mean feat.

Emphasis added to highlight the obvious. For so many reasons outlined in the article we would have to be a little crazy not to take advantage of this opportunity. Although crazy isn't the politically correct description of insanity it is apt nonetheless. While I can't read his mind I suspect "crazy" was used as a euphemism. Little did he know how accurate it was.

As you may or may not know there is a "massive" sit-in protest taking place at the White House by a group of environmental activists seeking to pressure President Obama and the State Department to deny permits required to proceed with the project. I have noted here that the groups are failing in amassing any sort of popular support. Today for instance they were only able to 54 participants.

Traveling to the nations capital and sitting in front of the White House in the middle of August, may be thought of as crazy. Doing so when the president in on vacation makes this assertion all the more reasonable. Thinking the President cares enough about this little stunt to drag himself off the golf course long enough to order Tar Sands Protesters jailed makes you certifiable insane.

In negotiations with the police prior to the action that began on Saturday, the police were very clear that what would happen after people were arrested was the vast majority would get what’s called “post and forfeit,” where you put up $100, get released from jail after several hours, and you don’t have to come back again. It’s basically like a traffic ticket.

But this is not what they did. Instead, after arresting the first day’s 70 people, they decided to hold most of them, all those not from within a 25-mile radius of Washington, D.C., in jail until a Monday afternoon arraignment. This works out to 48 or more hours in jail before being released.

Why did they do this? One of the police officers told one of the action’s lead organizers that the decision to do this was made “at a much higher level than mine.” Four separate police officers told organizers that it was explicitly to discourage other people from taking part in actions going forward. Personally, I believe this had the hand of the Obama administration all over it. They want this action to fail so as to relieve the rapidly building pressure on them to do the right thing and deny the Keystone XL permit.

This is indeed crazy, but to find out the extent of crazy involved, requires someone to get their hands dirty and mingle amongst the masses. Thankfully the folks at MRCTV has taken it upon themselves so we don't have too.

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