Over the past couple of years, the United States has had a controversy over oil pipelines and what they mean for the people, country and environment. Conservatives want to drill and utilize the crude because this is the best way to produce energy, renewables be damned, while progressives want to eliminate the use of oil and go purely with renewable sources. Neither way is the correct way if you actually look at the situation and these two pipelines show why.
Personally, I would love to go straight renewables, but realize that is a pie in the sky proposition right now. We still need fossil fuels for energy. So I understand why we want to utilize the shale and oil found throughout our country. We need to continue to bring our own oil out of the ground and refine it. That is a fact of the way that we live. However, we continue to be shortsighted in how we decide to run our fossil fuel industry.
Why are we sending unrefined crude that we find in the Dakotas and Alberta to Louisiana? The oil companies still claim that the refinery capacity there is at maximum. So the crude going down there will in part be exported to other countries to be refined and then imported back into the United States at more of a cost to the American people. And the people that aren’t upset about that are the same people since 9/11 have said that America needs to be energy independent. Well, sending your crude to be refined in Iceland, Greenland, or any other place besides the United States doesn’t bring us energy independence, it just means that we become more dependent on other countries.
I hear from the GOP that regulation has strangled business in America. Here is a chance that they had to deregulate some of the rules they believe are causing problems for America. This would have been business that helped with American energy independence and for more jobs. But they didn’t use any creativity. Why not make the oil business a regional business and build or reopen refineries around the country?
Go to Glendive, MT, head 10 miles North and make plans to build an Oil refinery there. Oh I can hear the screaming of environmentalists by just suggesting to put a refinery there. But they need to get a grip. We need the energy. Energy independence is a viable National Security argument and the way that the world has become for security, it is a subject that we should take seriously. Let’s list what a refinery there would do.
- It would help promote said energy independence. A refinery that is closer to the oil fields would cause the efficiency of the energy produced to be greater than having a pipeline to Louisiana.
- Jobs. Let’s be honest, the two pipelines that the GOP have argued for provide about 50 full time jobs. An Oil Refinery will produce that amount very easily. And yes, the pipelines getting to the refinery would not provide 50 jobs, but when you have a net positive for jobs in America, I think that is a good thing.
- The environment. I know that refining is a dirty process. That there will be pollution. But it would keep a pipeline from being over the underground aquafers in Nebraska. That is a huge problem when it comes into being. We all know that pipelines leak, no matter where they are. The Aquafers help our farmers in the plains states. Why would we want to taint a water source? Water is a precious commodity, even more than money. So wouldn’t the trade off of protecting those Aquafers against a refinery that keeps the pipelines to a minimum be a good thing?
- The economy. If you have a refinery that makes gasoline and other petroleum products for a region of the country or does just one type of gasoline, like winter blend fuel, then the refining capacity you already have can be more year around for other blends of fuel. That in turn brings down prices of fuel. That in turn causes other things to be cheaper like shipping of items. More items are purchased, and the economy gets a boost. And that means that the true economy gets better, not just the people who already have money in the bank. This isn’t trickle-down economics here. This is the tried and true way of building an economy.
An oil refinery in Eastern Montana could provide fuel to the Northern Plains, the Northern Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Northwest. Lower costs to refine the crude and possibly lower costs to the consumers. I think that this is the best way for the oil business to be brought up to date in how we do business.
I just read a meme on Facebook that I shook my head at. Here is what it said:
Here are some FACTS about “TRUMP’S MUSLIM BAN”
- It’s not a “BAN.” It is a 120 day suspension in the processing of visas, intended to give the government time to emplace better vetting procedures.
- It’s not directed at “MUSLIMS”. It is directed at all individuals, Muslim or Non-Muslim, from 7 dedicated countries. Approximately 90% of the World’s Muslims are totally unaffected.
- The countries were not put on a list by Trump. In fact, these countries were designated by the Obama Administration…
Three Words – Three Lies
But let’s not let the facts get in the way of being outraged!
There is so much wrong here. Let me start with one that I am confused about. The 3 words – 3 lies thing. What 3 words? What 3 lies? If you read all 3 statements, you understand that #1 is a big lie. #2 is a lie due to the exceptions carved out of the ban. #3 I can’t label as truth or a lie, but given the current Administration’s penchant for alternative facts, I lean towards a lie. Now let me explain why the statements are lies.
#1. The President called it a “Muslim Ban.” So why not take him at his word. Hell, Rudy Guiliani said that the President wanted to pass a Muslim ban but wanted it to be legal like. But yet that isn’t why #1 is a lie. People who have valid Green Cards and other visas to get into the country were harassed, detained, and turned away in our nation’s airports. That is not a suspension in the processing of visas. That is denying people from those 7 countries entry into the country. They have went through at least 18 months of investigation and scrutiny to live here. If you want additional security information on people from various countries, great. But the fact that they decided to ignore the rights of those who should have been allowed to come into the country without harassment and in the case of one person that claims that the turning away of people caused his mother to die due to the fact she couldn’t get into the United States for life saving surgery is one big fat lie about “suspending the processing of visas”. The visas had already been given.
#2. Read the Executive Order. There are exceptions for Christians and other minorities. So, it is not directed at all individuals. And the fact that President Trump has also said that they would be willing to issue more executive orders for countries that they want to do more intrusive vetting and all information points towards other Muslim countries doesn’t make me feel like it is directed towards countries that need it like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. How about putting a couple of those more extreme vetting proposals towards Russia who at least tried to play a part in the 2016 Presidential election and towards Israel who has had more spies caught spying on the United States over the past decade than any other country?
#3. So now we are going put this at the feet of President Obama. I think not. Growing up in South Dakota, I heard from the politicians here and the general public about “personal responsibility”. A woman gets pregnant, she needs to take personal responsibility for her actions and have the child. A young person gets in trouble with student debt, they need to take personal responsibility for signing the loan papers and work harder to make those payments. A President signs an Executive Order, they need to take personal responsibility. President Trump signed the order, he needs to take ownership for everything that happens because of that action.
But let’s not let facts get in the way of the Alt-Right propaganda that we are supposed to swallow and not question. Because living in the real world has become something that not enough people are doing.
It is just past midnight on December 21st, and I just clicked on the USA Today website to look at the headlines, and I just shook my head. Looking at the headlines, here is what I saw:
- Berlin attack latest in disturbing terror trend
- Mexico is in mourning: 29 dead, 50 hurt after fireworks blast
- Body found believed to be of ex-Bridalplasty contestant
- He said he planned to kill Trump. But someone else died.
- How Idaho football player became a bank robber
- Man found beheaded behind N.M. Walmart
- Alan Thicke’s wife speaks of wrenching sadness
- 10 cry happy moments from pop culture in 2016
- Cops release footage of NFL’er DUI arrest
- At Craig Sager’s funeral, garish replaces black
- 2 wanted in Mississippi pawn shop deaths
- Dreamcatchers full of meth seized at border
- Lawyer: Appalled by FBI warrant that shook Clinton
Just look at those headlines. You can say what you want, but we live in a pretty messed up world.
Turbulent times are ahead for us.