It sure was a hornet’s nest on the Hill yesterday, as approximately 500 protestors gathered in mutual disgust for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project.
100 or so protestors who ‘crossed the fence’ were even slapped with $65 trespassing fines.
The proposed 2,763 KM pipeline connecting Alberta’s oilsands and crossing 6-US States – although being met with controversy – is said to create some 20,000 jobs south of the border.
The NDP are, however, vehemently apposed to Keystone as Mark Dunn wrote in yesterday’s Ottawa SUN:
Supporters, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, say critics – including the opposition NDP – are exaggerating and fear mongering, and that oilsands development is an economic boom for Canada at a time the country is flirting with a second recession in three years.
The NDP argue the pipeline would create jobs in the U.S., and that Harper is misleading Canadians about the positive economic impact on Canada.
“The jobs aren’t for us. The oil isn’t for us. It’s for the U.S. It’s sort of selling to the U.S. so we can be their lapdog and get patted on the head every once and a while for doing a good job,” NDP environment critic Megan Leslie said.
The US State Department has yet to make a final ruling on Keystone XL, although it seems apparent the 7 Billion dollar project will be slated for approval come January.
OK let’s be honest, I have never been a big Greenpeace supporter but I do agree there may be a point of some concern here. The environmental impact of such a pipeline is huge and would take years to properly access, but really, will any of that matter in the big scheme of things?
There is an Economics term for such a dilemma referred to as ‘Opportunity Cost’ – it’s basically what one must give up in order to receive something else.
Keystone XL may turn out to be just the ticket our neighbours to the south need to get their economy back on track. As much as this project appears to benefit the US more than Canada, the symbiotic relationship we have with our floundering big brother requires drastic measures just like this.
It’s probably best that we don’t know the full environmental impact of Keystone XL, as I’m sure it will continue-on unabated whether we like it or not.
So what will the ‘Opportunity Cost’ be to our environment and natural resources?
We will probably never know, as the overall benefit to having more Canadian oil headed State-side may far outweigh any environmental impact this project would ever have.