The Jan. 25 editorial about the Trans-Canada pipeline headlined “Pipeline denial cost thousands of U.S. jobs” uses the conservative mantra — facts be damned to defend the status quo.
The editorial states with today’s technology leaks are unlikely; that should make the Gulf Coast residents feel better. Professor John Stansbury, University of Nebraska, said that over a period of 50 years there would be a risk of 91 spills. Professor John Gates, University of Nebraska, said more studies need to be made — even a fairly localized spill could cause serious problems. The Ogalalla Aquifer provides 78 percent of the drinking water and 83 percent of the irrigation water for a several-state area.
The Environmental Protection Agency said that on a “well to tank” basis the oil sands crude is 82 percent more carbon intensive than conventional oil. James Hansen, NASA scientist, called the pipeline “Fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet.” Oil is our addiction, tar sands crude our “fix” and the pipeline our needle.
An objective analysis of the jobs lost claim is revealing. Trans-Canada, the pipeline company and the State Depart-ment said it would create 6,500 temporary jobs annually. Cornell Uni-versity’s Global Labor Institute study concludes it may generate no more than 50 permanent jobs when done.
Existing contracts and business plans indicate that most of the output will be headed for export.