In April of this year, I noted the differences in coverage the media gave to two stories regarding oil spills (rightwinggranny.com). One story involved a pipe leak and one story involved a train derailment. The train spill was three times the size of the pipe leak, but because it wasn’t a pipe leak and would not feed into the narrative of the anti-Keystone Pipeline sentiment, the train leak was not widely covered.
Today, the Wall Street Journal Opinion Page (I am not including a link–the article is subscribers only) notes that the Saturday explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, of a train carrying North Dakota shale oil will probably not get a lot of extended coverage.
The article in the Wall Street Journal reminds us:
The reason oil is moved on trains from places like North Dakota and Alberta is because there aren’t enough pipelines to carry it. The provincial governments of Alberta and New Brunswick are talking about building a pipeline to cover the 3,000-odd mile distance. But last month President Obama put the future of the Keystone XL pipeline again in doubt, telling a Georgetown University audience “our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”
Did the explosion at Lac-Megantic not significantly exacerbate the problem of pollution, carbon or otherwise?
The article points out that there is about half as much oil spilled from pipelines as railroads on a gallon-per-mile basis. Pipelines tend to be away from populated areas–railroads tend to run through populated areas. Common sense would choose pipelines over railroads for both safety and pollution reasons.
The other aspect of the Keystone pipeline debate is the money. As long as there is no pipeline, Burlington Northern Santa Fe will continue to move shale oil to its destination. Burlington Northern Santa Fe is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett.
Environmentalists are being taken for a ride by the very people (Obama supporters) that they consider their allies in the fight to ‘save’ the environment. Amazing.