I don’t get to listen to Rush Limbaugh that often. But on Monday, I was in my car and got to hear a conversation that Rush had with a black truck driver. Rush didn’t say much. He let the man talk, and talk he did. It was wonderful. He described himself as “a 48-year-old black man who has all my life been Democrat. . . . [T]hree years ago I would have never saw myself or thought of myself saying that I agree with you, but I am now dropping my association with Obama, who I voted for a few years ago. I’ll never vote for this guy, I can’t. I’m thinking of dropping even being a Democrat.” Shutting down the Keystone Pipeline Project was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The President claimed that there were “environmental concerns.” Hogwash. Oil, gasoline, and natural gas pipelines criss-cross the United States, and yet we hardly know they’re there.
- There are approximately 55,000 miles of crude oil trunk lines in the U.S. that connect regional markets.
- The U.S. also has an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 miles of small gathering lines located primarily in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Wyoming with small systems in a number of other oil producing states.
- The total mileage nationwide of refined products pipelines is approximately 95,000 miles. These pipelines deliver petroleum products to large fuel terminals with storage tanks to be loaded into tanker trucks.
There’s no way to account for the number of natural gas pipelines that traverse our nation. “Natural gas, unlike oil, is delivered directly to homes and businesses through pipelines. (You don’t have to go to the gas station for fuel to heat your home or cook with your gas stove.)”
So what’s the harm in one more pipeline?
The caller made the spot-on point that the price of fuel affects everything we touch, eat, wear, drive, and build. He feels the effect before we do because he may have to pay from $400 to $1000 every time he fills up, depending on the configuration of his tanks. And unlike an automobile, he’s not getting 35 miles per gallon. Of course, he’s not paying for the gas – we are! It’s the cost of doing business that’s factored into every product we buy that’s transported by truck.
President Obama’s spokesman argued that the administration was “conducting a thorough, rigorous and transparent process” to determine if the pipeline is “in the national interest.” Of course it’s in the national interest like building bombers during World War II was in the national interest. Oil is our nation’s economic life blood. We’re not going to run trucks, planes, trains, and automobiles on wind and solar power. A viable electric car is years away.
Every nation around us is drilling for oil, even Cuba: “Cuba’s largely unexplored share of the Gulf of Mexico is thought to contain billions of barrels of oil and gas equivalent and has already drawn more foreign investment than any other sector of the economy.”
The GOP should be running ads every day on this topic. Instead, they sit on their hands with their thumbs up their you-know-what.