To the editor: Biden, on day one of his term in office, canceled prior approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project Trump approved after Obama shunned it. This is a very big deal for the environmental lobby and millions of millennial voters, or so it would seem. The pipeline is a Canadian project aimed at getting fossil fuel from the world’s third largest oil reserve, oil sands in Alberta Canada, to the vicinity of Houston, Texas, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. On the Gulf end, the piped product will be processed and put on ocean-going ships and sold internationally. Contrary to public arguments, the USA would not buy the product because fracking has freed up sufficient oil/gas to make America energy independent. Unfortunately for Canada we are in-between Canada and the Gulf. To get their product to market in a pipeline, the Canadians need the permission of our President to cross the USA/Canada border.
The project environmental problems in brief are: it would facilitate and prolong the world’s dependence on fossil fuels and associated carbon dioxide emissions; the extraction from the oil sand takes considerable heat thus significantly enlarges the carbon footprint of a barrel of oil; and pipelines are known to spill and leak over time. Environmentalists are joined in their opposition to the pipeline by indigenous peoples whose sacred land would be violated, or their “sovereign” land would be taken by eminent domain. So, Biden scored a “sign your name,” public relations, political win seemingly supporting the Green New Deal. The environmentalists and their supporters and native people are all happy. End of story.