The Norman Transcript

Opinion

July 14, 2013

Pipeline will ruin landscape

NORMAN — Have you ever seen a photograph of the Alberta tar sands, the Canadian oil fields that would be the source of the crude flowing through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline?

Better yet, also look at some photos of the region before oil drilling began. I am sure you would be disgusted at the destruction and begin to question the environmental morality of the pipeline.

President Obama, who is expected to announce a decision on the pipeline by year’s end, is sounding like he does not know where to turn when it comes to climate change and the environment. He knows what we need to do, but he does not seem to know which roads to take to get all the way there.

The tar sands area contains an estimated 2 trillion barrels of oil. However, extracting it would turn a region the size of Florida into a wasteland. That raping of the hills and valleys of the eastern slopes of the Rockies has already begun, sending North American natives fleeing from the contaminated wildlife and water.

The proposed pipeline would take that tar-sands oil through the middle of the U.S. to refineries on the Gulf Coast. However, first, the heavy tar-sands crude must be extracted from a mixture of sand, clay and bitumen. That requires the use of natural gas to produce heat and steam to melt the oil out of the sand.

Processing the oil at refineries also demands more time and energy.Tar-sands oil generates three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventionally-produced oil.

The president does appear to be serious about the problem of climate change and global warming, and therefore has stated his commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Two weeks ago, after years of Congress doing nothing because so many consider global warming a fantasy, Obama announced actions he would take that do not require congressional approval.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Be careful out in the heat

    This week’s triple-digit temperatures are contributing to heat-related illnesses. The state health department’s Injury Prevention Service reminds Oklahomans of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke....

    July 25, 2014

  • Get smart on crime

    It’s no secret that prison guards have become the frontline mental health case workers in Oklahoma prisons. Accessing mental health services outside of prison is tough but even harder behind the walls....

    July 25, 2014

  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Quite the resilient bunch

    The people of Moore are a resilient bunch. They’ve bounced back from tornadoes before, but the current renaissance may be the quickest yet. FEMA officials said it would take two years to see some sense of normalcy. That’s hardly the case....

    July 24, 2014

  • A fresh start for VA

    All of us have high hopes for the confirmation and success of Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. If confirmed — and most believe he’s a shoe-in — McDonald will take over a paralyzed system of health care that is not ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014