FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Environmentalists Battle Lawn Mowing
Environmentalists are up in arms and going to court to try to prevent the mowing of grass taking place around the future site of the Keystone XL Pipeline, an oil pipeline connecting Alberta, Canada with Gulf Coast refineries.
The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Nebraska Resources Council and Friends of the Earth have filed a lawsuit making the charge that the mowing of grass along the proposed route is really the beginning of construction.
“It’s outrageous that TransCanada is already clearing the way for the Keystone XL pipeline before the public has had a chance to have its say and, indeed, before federal agencies have even said it can be built,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It looks like the fix is in on this dangerous project, and the sham public process is nothing more than an afterthought.”
In actuality, the mowing is an effort to find and relocate the American burying beetle from burrowing below where the pipeline is proposed to be built. Something you’d think the environmentalist whackos would be happy was being done.
But it’s not really about the beetle or the grass. This is simply a stalling technique, and one that the Center for Biological Diversity is well accustomed to.
You probably also won’t hear that the Center for Biological Diversity alone has been involved in 800 lawsuits since 1999. These organizations simply don’t have a legitimate pipeline safety case; that’s why we’re left wasting taxpayer dollars and clogging our already overburdened legal system over alleged mowing violations.
This lawsuit only underscores the very fact that activists cannot back up their very vocal allegations that the project is a threat to the region’s main source of irrigation and drinking water.
These campaigns funnel resources, in the form of both time and money, away from pursuits that actually improve environmental safety and public welfare. Unfortunately, we the consumers are ultimately the ones who end up paying. If activist groups did their homework, they would realize that Keystone XL has already proposed $500 million in enhancements beyond what the law even requires.
As usual, these environmental groups are on the wrong side of history. The Keystone Pipeline will bring in over 20,000 jobs and $20 billion to our economy, and deliver 700,000 barels of oil to refineries in Texas in a safe and environmentally friendly way, every single day.
People are falling all over themselves to support it, from all walks of life and all political persuasions:
Today Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Ports-to-Plains Alliance announced that they have submitted more than 450,000 public comments calling on the U.S. Department of State to allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The comments, which come from residents in states all across the country, demonstrate strong support for the project among Americans from numerous backgrounds.
CEA Executive Vice President Michael Whatley commented on the broad support that exists for the project:
“The shear breadth of these comments shows that Americans are ready to get back to work while moving toward a more secure energy future. Keystone XL will deliver 700,000 barrels of U.S. and Canadian crude oil per day to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas and will be the safest pipeline ever constructed in the United States. Each barrel that flows through Keystone XL is another barrel we don’t have to buy from places like Venezuela and the Middle East. In addition to being the safest pipeline ever built, the project will create more than 120,000 American jobs, strengthen our economy and lower fuel prices for American families coast to coast.
“The American people have spoken loudly and clearly in favor of Keystone XL. We simply cannot afford to delay this critical project any longer, especially as millions of Americans across the country struggle to find work.”
NAM Vice President Chip Yost added:
“The Keystone XL pipeline project is estimated to create 20,000 high-paying manufacturing and construction jobs and will provide access to affordable sources of energy. Manufacturers use nearly one third of our nation’s energy supply, so reliable, affordable energy is critical to global competitiveness. We encourage action by the State Department and President Obama to avoid further delay or additional red tape. Our nation’s economy is stalled and Americans need jobs — we hope the Administration will act quickly and move this project forward.”
ATA Vice President and Regulatory Counsel Rich Moskowitz commented on the benefits of increasing supplies of North American crude to U.S. markets:
“Diesel fuel is the lifeblood of the American trucking industry. The State Department can help ensure that the 18-wheelers that deliver America’s essential goods like food, clothing and medicine have reliable access to that fuel by approving the Keystone XL project. The development of this important project will provide a stable, long-term supply of crude oil from Montana, North Dakota, and Canada — one of our strongest and most loyal allies — to refineries in the United States. The United States’ reliance on overseas oil places U.S. consumers at greater risk of supply disruptions and damaging price spikes. This pipeline will enhance our energy security.”
Michael Reeves, President of the Ports to Plains Alliance added that the economic impact of the project will be welcome in the states where the pipeline will be built:
“As leaders from the region that the Keystone XL pipeline will traverse, our members applaud the State Department’s thoroughness during this approval process. The department has fully analyzed the project’s environmental impact and the Final EIS rightfully concludes that there are no substantial environmental concerns that should prevent the construction of this valuable infrastructure project. They also understand that Keystone XL will provide significant economic benefits for our region — including the contribution of more than $5.2 billion in tax revenues to the Keystone XL corridor states — and call on the State Department to grant the Presidential Permit and allow construction of this important project.”
But hey, what do these guys know? Let’s focus instead on whether or not the lawn mowing is happening to early. Take a moment to realize that President Obama has to try and win the vote of people that are against construction of a safe, job producing, energy independence making, environmentally friendly political no-brainer. It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for him for having to pander to such environmentally whacky extremists.
Oh, that’s right. He’s one of them.