Opinion

Crystal Willcuts: Keystone XL Pipeline just makes the rich richer






The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has set up a prayer camp to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline. The route crosses through treaty territory in South Dakota. Photo from Bold Nebraska / Facebook

Crystal Willcuts disputes the claimed benefits of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline:
According to Carbon Tracker Initiative, the State Department’s environmental assessment of the Keystone project is dangerously understating “both economic and environmental exposures.” It also states that any price per barrel “uplift will be eroded by pipeline costs and diluent expenses to around $5.5/barrel, leaving only a few dollars margin to absorb any other factors, including production cost increases, carbon offset costs, and any future price discounts.” A dismal and high-risk investment for both U.S. and Canada.

The State Department’s report concluded that there would be no significant economic impact on the U.S., meaning U.S. citizens will not see any savings at the gas pump nor will it grant us energy independence, by oil or dollar. In fact, more money will be given to more oil companies. For example, U.S. taxpayers will be paying one oil producer, Motiva, up to $1 billion in fuel subsidies to increase their tar sands oil technology. That’s just to one company. Only the rich will be getting richer.

By comparison, TransCanada would not be making any of the affected landowners into millionaires. In fact, just ask Julia Trigg Crawford of Direct, Texas, how she felt when TransCanada condemned her property, then built their pipeline on it against her wishes. In the CNBC article, “The other Keystone fight: US landowners vs. Canada oil giant”, Adam Molon writes how Trigg Crawford feared for the water, the land, and the 145 Caddo Indian burial artifacts found during an archeological study. Any other possible artifacts were destroyed in the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. TransCanada, a Canadian company, was allowed to seize United States land through strong-arm tactics and under the banner of eminent domain. One can imagine as the 1,700 miles of Canadian flags swath through the U.S. heartland, that they are mockingly waving a reminder of Canada’s ability to literally dissect this country in two.

Get the Story:
Crystal Willcuts: How Congress Made Environmentalists Public Enemy #1 (Indian Country Today 11/23)

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