20,000 Jobs v. Environmental ‘What Ifs’

I just don’t understand some people.

Jobs, energy and the economy are the tops issues facing our nation.  About fifteen million Americans are out of work and America is dependent on oil from Venezuela and the Middle East.  Nothing would help the situation more than to create 20,000 new jobs while at the same time tapping into a significant North American oil reserve both of which would benefit Americans and the economy.

So why are so many Americans protesting the plan?

TransCanada Corp. wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline across the US.  The pipeline would originate in Alberta, Canada and travel through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, where it would finally end up at Gulf Coast refineries.  If approved, the pipeline would create approximately 20,000 jobs and help reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil

However environmentalists are fighting the pipeline and marching around the White House urging President Obama to stop the project.  They claim to extract the crude oil from oil sand deposits would produce three times the amount of carbon containing emissions than what is produced from typical oil wells.  Some are also fearful of what would happen if the pipeline every leaked.

The Ogallala aquifer extends from South Dakota to Texas and is the fresh water supplier to about 1.5 million people.  Opponents to the pipeline are afraid of an oil leak polluting the aquifer so environmentalists are using the ‘what if’ phrase in urging Obama to kill the pipeline.

I agree that there may be concerns that need to be addressed, but they are not worth the complete killing of the project.  If every time environmentalists used the ‘what if’ line to stop a project, it could bring the vast majority of construction and business projects in the country to a standstill.

There has to come a time when we weigh the livelihood of thousands of Americans plus America’s energy needs against the environmental ‘what ifs.’