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Dear Mr. President RE: The XL Pipeline

December 18, 2011

The republicans were in their usual form this week over the extension of payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits. It was no surprise that they don’t want to do anything to help those who are hurting because of the recession that they caused. It was also no surprise that they used the Keystone XL Pipeline as a bargaining chip.

First of all, I’d like to propose a new rule for congress. I call it “Purity of Legislation”. This means that they must no longer be allowed to water down or convolute legislation with items that have nothing to do with the bill under consideration. Congress should be voting solely on the extension of benefits which has nothing to do with the construction of a pipeline that we don’t need and that benefits no one except Canada.

Secondly, we have refineries all over the country, including in Montana near the Alberta Tar Sands. So one has to ask why it’s necessary to pipe the crudest of all crude oil 1700 miles across sensitive areas of the U.S. to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. The obvious answer is so that the oil (and refined products from it) can be loaded on tankers and shipped to other countries. Big oil has no allegiance to America so there’s no reason to believe that this oil that threatens our land and water will end up in America’s gas tanks.

Republicans contend that the pipeline will create 10,000 jobs immediately. That may be so, but these will be short-term jobs and the potential destruction to the environment could be permanent. They are pushing you into making your decision concerning the pipeline project in the next 60 days. Fine! Just say NO and be done with it. Offer them the logical alternative: If we don’t have the refinery capacity to handle the Canadian oil, build a refinery in Montana for that purpose. A refinery costs far less than the pipeline, creates almost as many American jobs, protects the American environment, and makes it more likely that the refined products will stay in the U.S.

If the republicans had any common sense, they would go along with this alternative. Unfortunately they don’t. They are all in the pocket of Big Oil. You need to call them out on that fact and force their hand. We’re all seeing the ecological disaster that gas fracking is causing. Don’t allow the republicans to add insult to injury with the XL pipeline. We who care about our country are depending on you to Kill it now.


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