Friday, August 21, 2009

Secretary of State Clinton's State Department Signs Off on Pipeline in Minnesota

On August 20, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department took a major step to ensure Minnesota and the Upper Midwest’s energy security by approving the construction of the Alberta Clipper pipeline from Alberta, Canada, through Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin.

Indicating that there “is no indication” that the pipeline will worsen the impacts of climate change, the State Department has now removed the final barrier for the continued construction of the 1,000-mile Alberta Clipper pipeline.

Despite a predictable negative reaction from reactionary elements in the environmental community and assurances by President Obama that new technologies for processing the oil sands are on the way, the anti-gasoline lobby threatened lawsuits.

It is interesting to note that a real crack seems to be developing between President Obama’s administration and many environmental groups. The President, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and her State Department seem to have decided that energy security and good-paying, ready-to-go pipeline jobs matter in the environmental equation. Good for them.

A State Department analysis (see link below) says the pipeline will help prevent China and other countries from buying Canadian crude, a product valuable to the United States because it is derived without the security complications associated with Middle Eastern nations. So, Minnesota, the Upper Midwest, and the United States benefit and some of our Middle Eastern enemies lose. Sounds logical to me, and I am hardly a military hawk but I am loyal to my country. It is one of my many biases. We are not perfect but this is our country and we have to look out for our collective interests because Middle Eastern oil producers will not!

According to Enbridge Inc., a Canadian oil company, the pipeline will allow them to increase its U.S.-bound flow of oil sands crude by 450,000 barrels a day, beginning next year. Additional pumping stations could be added in the future at "very low cost" to increase the daily flow to 800,000 barrels, the company says.

Next week, part II on oil sands.