The Norman Transcript

Opinion

January 24, 2012

Why we need the Keystone pipeline

NORMAN — “Game on” was the cry from the industry. “Game over” was the cry from the environmentalists, as they expressed their feelings over the Keystone pipeline construction. The true story lies somewhere between.

Some media commentators describe an abrasive arrogance that emanates publicly from various figures in the oil patch. To them, this arrogance reflects an insulation coming from a lack of communication with the non-oil types and the environmentalist groups derisively believed to be a bunch of ignorant, angry tree huggers.

On the other side, the so-called tree huggers exhibit a pernicious and pervasive polarity in their attitudes to the big oil “polluters.” This includes a congenital hatred of anything big, anything they do not understand and, in some cases, a primordial fear of progress itself. The extremes of these two groups are stubbornly obstinate, and their inabilities to see past the rhetoric leads to a dead-end of intransigence, stagnation, diminished opportunity and lost jobs.

Some would argue that the Canadian developers went about their project backwards. Instead of a branded multi-million dollar, upfront public effort to inform, shape and educate the public, they front-loaded their approach by budgeting tens of millions of dollars to pay for lawyers, lobbyists and experts to push this project through the local court systems — a bonanza for the legal profession and experts like myself. Some, however, would call this a good-business decision.

The pipeline should be a shoo-in. For anyone who is willing to approach the situation with an open mind, there are at least 10 pros that overshadow every single con.

In the first place, today, there are more than a 100 pipelines that crisscross the same region contemplated by this new pipeline. The map looks like a spaghetti plot overlying the 174,000-square-mile Ogallala aquifer. These lines are not only carrying oil of generally better flow quality but also lighter oil products which — to the learned, concerned individual — are more environmentally dangerous in the event of a spill than the tar sand crude.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Marijuana a gateway for new OK voters

    A poll this past year showed significant Oklahoma support for legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The poll showed that more than 71 percent of those surveyed thought medical marijuana was appropriate for patients who ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Expansion effect evaluated

    Editor, The Transcript: The effect of the Medicaid expansion rejection and acceptance on hospitals’ uncompensated costs are now being evaluated....

    July 31, 2014

  • America paying the piper

    Every third American you pass on the street has debts that have been turned over to a collection agency whose 140,000 workers are keeping the phones ringing....

    July 31, 2014

  • State is No. 2 in barbecue

    Americans love the marriage of smoke, fire and meat, but geography plays a part in how strong the passion is. Estately Blog has created a map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts. Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Community Action mostly closed due to cutbacks

    Editor, The Transcript: The Community Action, at 1155 E Main St. in Norman, for decades has served Cleveland County with the following everyday services: a food pantry, short-term housing for the homeless, providing rides for those without ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Keep guns off campus

    Some Oklahoma lawmakers just won’t let the issue of allowing handguns on campus to go away. A joint legislative study will take a look at campuses around the nation to see if there is a way to accommodate faculty, staff and students who ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • Nutritional article should be accurate

    I read with interest the July 13 article “Are low-carb diets really healthy?” by Cassidie Day. Unfortunately, a number of statements in this article were incorrect. The first problematic statement was, “Carbs are an essential nutrient ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Hospital story headline was too sensationalized

    Editor, The Transcript: On July 18, The Transcript ran a front page article with the headline “Lawsuit filed against Norman Regional — Civil suit alleges improper billing practices by NRH and contracted physicians groups.” As a first page ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014