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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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    palantir, JeffW, MartyM, 3rock

    Life... is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast. -Douglas Adams

    by mahytabel on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:15:25 PM PST

  •  righteous rant (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Victor Ward, LakeSuperior

    but not science. I hope you'll forgive my removing that from the tags.

  •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
    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.
    A single leak, even a large one, is not going to contaminate the entire Ogallala Aquifer.

    The worst leaks that could occur are not really matters addressing groundwater.  The worst leaks for water quality  on KXL that could occur would be from a large pipeline breach that led to a spill into one of the western U.S. rivers crossed by the KXL pipeline.   That is the worst water quality problem that could occur from a KXL accident.

    When a pipeline develops a large leak capable of discharging a million gallons a day or more, any such leak rapidly manifests at the surface where oil will come out of the ground and flow over the surface.   While surface discharge of oil can be overlooked when it starts, it will eventually be noticed....as that leak in North Dakota noticed by the farmer was.   Large leaks mean a lot of emissions of hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan and volatile organic compounds which are readily detectable.

  •  You are mistaken. In all the talk... (1+ / 0-)

    ...about Keystone, there has been plenty of discussion about the disputed number of jobs building the pipeline would create, temporary and permanent, the possibility of aquifer contamination from leaks and the what would happen to people near the spill area. Indeed, all of these issues were discussed here at Daily Kos by diarists in the Keystone XL blogathon this past week.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:34:16 PM PDT

  •  Realism (0+ / 0-)

    It is essentially inevitable that several dozen years of US consumption of gasoline and diesel will come from tar sands in Alberta, Kansas or Nebraska.  In this context a pipeline is safer and cheaper than railway tankers or truck tankers.   Either in ecological hazard or human hazard, a pipeline is safer.  Whether in dollars spent at the pump, or becoming costs rather than profits, or in carbon footprint it is cheaper.

    Some of the 'activists' here are about a clear thinking as the people who drive two miles to recycle one water bottle.  If you want to challenge my claim of 'inevitability', step one is don't use any petroleum.

    I have some sympathy for the leave the tar sand in the ground opinion, but as someone who uses petroleum powered transportation several times a week, I am not entitled to advocate this view without being a hypocrite.

    I( say this even though I do not now own an automobile, and use mostly public transit.

    If one pays to benefit from the burning of fossil fuel, one is part of the problem, don't pretend to be part of the solution, until you give that person in the mirror a good talking to.

  •  There's science behind the link to earthquakes. (0+ / 0-)

    How can we debate the pros and cons of fracking without considering all the variables? A  study in the Journal of Geophysical Research 2014 Wunderground article concludes there is a complex but clear causal relationship between fracking and earthquakes. It's bad enough in the midwest where fault lines are less common, but Jerry Brown is promoting fracking near the coast of California, which is already known for its seismic activity. Obama and all the governors in states considering this need to consider whether the potential benefits of this practice are really worth the devastation it can cause.

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