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There are myths, and there is reality.  Sometimes they coincide, but usually myths are invented to achieve a reality that otherwise would have such opposition, it would never occur.

Keystone is like that.

The myth is that Keystone will lower oil for us at the pump, and create jobs in the construction industry. If those were true then the bill would have a much easier time passing… They aren’t.  The truth is that the Koch’s own a large part of the tar sands in Alberta and must have that pipeline to move that oil southward to their refineries.  Otherwise if the pipeline goes east or west, other billionaire’s refineries will get the profit, not the Koch’s.

The oil is for import only.  Not domestic consumption.  There is no benefit to the USA to transport Canadian oil across America to refine it near Houston, and send it overseas in tankers.  At best, we would have 10 more people monitoring the flow of oil, provided technical advances do not replace even them.  There is a good likelihood they will.

As for jobs-building the pipeline, it appears that perhaps 2,500-3,000, most of them non-union and therefore low wages, would be the short term benefit…  I believe Senator Mitch McConnell estimated 40,000 jobs.  However Kinder Morgan which is building a bigger, better pipeline than the Keystone in question, is only swelling its job estimates to 4500, the equivalent number EDIS hires in Wilmington to build one single building, or Reybold hires to build one apartment complex in a former cornfield.

This is paltry.  We create 250,000 new private sector jobs a month… 2500 + or –  won’t make a dent anywhere.

The negatives are far more severe.  First it would transfer the worst type of oil through America… Whereas an oil well is environmentally non-intrusive, a tar sands operation creates an environmental hell.

Tar Baby

Photo courtesy of KQED

Far more worse than any train wreck to which Rick Jensen was alluding. Secondly, this pipeline crosses an aquifer that supplies the central US with almost all of its water.  Were oil to seep, that water though plentiful, would be useless as ocean water for any agriculture purposes…  No farming from North Dakota to Oklahoma. The bread basket of America, simply gone.

Proponents say pipelines are safe… they point to tankers on highways and trains that derail. However they go completely out of their way, even banning reporters from the town on Keystone I that had oil come up out of the ground and take over that town.  It’s water supply is undrinkable.


If this already happened on Keystone I, it is a safe bet to assume it will certainly happen somewhere along the 1000 miles where the pipeline crosses America’s most important aquifer.

Tar leak Arkansas

Courtesy of The Star

We have so far completely put a dent in any argument stating that Keystone is important for America’s survival.

Now we shall show you why it is currently a hot topic and is being rushed through a Republican Congress over all cognizant objections.

it is not a random occurrence that Sen. Mitch McConnell went to the Koch’s summit, promised a load of goods, got campaign money, and upon arriving as Majority Leader, made Senate Bill #1 the passage of Keystone.   The Koch’s funded 44,000 ads in 2014. 

The following map shows why.  From this it is clear the pipeline has no other purpose than to get Koch oils sands down to existing Koch refineries.

koch props

Courtesy of Google Maps. 

Koch operates crude oil gathering systems and pipelines across North America. Its Flint Hills Resources subsidiary owns refineries in Alaska, Minnesota, and Texas that process more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily. The company owns a 3% stake in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, 4,000 miles of oil and products pipelines in the US, and an 80,000 barrels-per day refinery in Rotterdam. In addition, Koch Industries has held multiple leases on the polluting tar sands of Alberta, Canada since the 1990s and the Koch Pipeline Company operates the pipelines that carry tar sands crude from Canada into Minnesota and Wisconsin where Koch’s Flint Hill Resources owns oil refineries.

So it is clear as this debate goes forward.  There is no advantage for America to build this pipeline.   In fact there is a huge disadvantage if the slightest thing goes wrong.  Yet there is a great advantage to the Koch Brothers who funded a large number of congressional races with both dark and legal money.  In this time and age, it appears that if you spend enough to get in who you want, then they do exactly what you originally asked them to

The People be damned.