The Norman Transcript


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
  • Repairs still needed

    Lawmakers once again kicked the can down the road on making needed repairs to the state Capitol. By a 62-34 vote, they turned down a Senate-approved plan to authorize up to $160 million in bonds to repair the nearly century-old building....

    April 24, 2014

  • Health care needs have reached critical stage

    Once again, the Republican-led Oklahoma legislators are leaving Oklahoma’s neediest in the dust with their proposed 2014-2015 budget. Studies by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Can’t have it both ways

    Local sheriff Joe Lester wasn’t among the state sheriffs and lawmakers protesting the removal of state prisoners from county jails this week. The sheriffs, some of whom have protested by having too many state prisoners in their ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Help for rural America

    A drive through rural parts of the Southwest can be depressing. For sale and for rent signs are prevalent. Businesses along main streets have closed. Unless they are close to a major interstate highway, many communities are in decline....

    April 23, 2014

  • Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

    The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance....

    April 23, 2014

  • Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

    From the moment it became obvious that wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House....

    April 23, 2014

  • Happy birthday to us

    We don’t expect any cake and that many candles might be dangerous but today is the unofficial 125th birthday of Norman....

    April 22, 2014

  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Hate without end

    The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014