I've posted before about the Keystone XL pipeline, but I wanted to emphasize one thing that hasn't been getting any coverage. While America dithers, the Chinese are heavily backing a project (Enbridge's $6.6 billion Northern Gateway) which will ship cracked bitumen to the west coast of Canada - as I mentioned before - where it will be shipped to East Asia.
Again, nothing wrong with selling oil to China, but it again goes to show that radical environmentalists who frame Keystone XL as a battle between "dirty" oil and carbon emissions vs clean energy and less oil dependence are presenting a false choice. Let me say this clearly: stopping Keystone XL will not stop the carbon emissions from bitumen extraction and cracking. It will simply send the oil to China instead of improving American energy security.
This. Debate. Is. Stupid.
I don't want to be against most of the environmental movement here. I really don't. I support their goals - most of them, anyway - and want to see a low-carbon, clean energy economy within my lifetime, even if that goal is ambitious. I want to cut our carbon emissions. I want to reduce dependence on oil in general, and foreign oil especially. And the way to do that is to encourage higher oil prices in America, and the most efficient way to do so is with a carbon tax. And that's that. Burning political capital on this will hurt the movement for years to come.
Furthermore, I'd have a lot of trouble believing that armchair environmentalists have really thought things through, particularly when what they are literally doing is an oblique method of supply disruption that will... uh... well, essentially change the flows of American money from Canada to enriching those lovely regimes in Venezuela, Gabon, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia. Who would you rather buy from? South Park lifestyle enthusiasts aside, I think I know the answer.