In all the hype we've heard about the KXL Pipeline over the last couple of weeks, I've noticed there's a few things missing from the Left/Progressive talking points that I think need to be stressed. We hear a lot about the climate change, the nastiness and dirtiness of this form of oil harvesting, and the cost of cleaning and refining the oil produced. What we don't hear about is how few full time, long term jobs this will create, the possibility that a leak could contaminate the largest aquifer in the world (and in the process make the Bread Basket of American nothing but a poisoned wasteland), and the physical toll a leak would create on the local citizens of a spill zone.
Continued below the Kossack Pickle of Fate...
I realize the MSM won't be saying much about any of this since their owners are either cronies of or invested in this debacle of an idea, but I'm disappointed that those in our government who are opposed to this aren't screaming from the rooftops. Especially since we, as a country, won't be using a drop of this oil that Canada (read the Koch Industries) wants to pipe the length of our country.
Jobs wise, this whole thing sucks. Once built (and the estimate on temp workers building the pipeline are around 12-1600), the number of full time employees is estimated to be 35 people. Supposedly these 35 people are our only defense against leaks and spills from the pipeline. Just 35 people to maintain over 1000 miles of pipe carrying toxic sludge through the heart of our agricultural mecca. In just the employment numbers projected this isn't a worthwhile endeavor for this country, let alone the small number of people to oversee the pipeline once it's in place. This is a disaster waiting to happen.
As for running this over the aquifer, that's just insane. All it would take would be one big leak, undiscovered for a week or two , to completely poison the aquifer. Since most of this pipeline is underground, our knowing within a very short time is almost impossible, unless it was a major leak that registered on the pressure meters. Minor leaks might not be noticed for months, and by then the contamination would be so bad we'd be sitting back watching the people dying from it , along with the stories of the thousands of dead fish, livestock, and crops that would permeate the news. We'd end up with a country consisting of two coasts with a wasteland in between stretching from our northern border of Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. We would have to buy our grain on the open market, like most of Europe does, and we'd probably end up with most of it coming from China (which, with their lax regulations and use of toxic pesticides, would be a guaranteed poison). Add to that the increased cost of having to buy foreign grain on the average family in America and you have another fiasco associated to the downside possibilities.
The physical toll of a leak would be disastrous to us. Thousands of people would die from severe respiratory illnesses, rare, untreatable cancers, outright poisoning, and a host of other illnesses. Many would develop unexplainable rashes, pustulating flesh wounds, boils, and skin diseases that aren't treatable. Birth defects would be common among people living on or near the aquifer. This aspect alone should be making headlines all across the country, but due to the Right owning much of the news outlets in this country, we hear nothing.
We hear nothing in our MSM about the indigenous people in the area where the tar sands are being mined. We hear nothing about any of the farmers who used to have land in the area being mined. We hear nothing about the devastation this mining has created in that area and how it has affected the people, the water, the land. We hear nothing because this is a Koch Enterprises project, and they've made sure to line the pockets of the Canadian Government and media, to secure an almost a total news blackout on what's going on there. Our only sources of reporting are independent writers, bloggers, and the people living there documenting what is happening to them, their families, and their communities. And little of that reaches the masses in this country.
Our Congress and Senate members don't talk about any of these issues when they speak out against this pipeline. They don't talk about what's already happening in the area that the tar sands are mined at all. They don't talk about the devastation that will occur from a leak. And believe me, it WILL leak. It's not a matter of if, but of when, and how long it leaks before we stop it. All we have to do is look at what's already happened in Arkansas with that portion of the pipeline to get a glimpse of what we'd be unleashing in the part of our country that supplies a major portion of the world with grain.
It's time for our Representatives to open their mouths and talk about what tar sands actually does to communities and people; tell anyone who'll listen, including news outlets; show them the pictures and videos that are out there; raise their voices a little and shout about the insanity of this business deal that gives us NOTHING in return for the certainty of ruining a large section of our country, our people, and our way of life. If they don't do it soon, we'll all be regretting it.