Last night, the Senate defeated an effort to push through the Keystone XL pipeline project. This was ostensibly an effort to save Mary Landrieu’s seat in Louisiana. But I doubt passage would saved her.
I’m finding the arguments against Keystone XL severely wanting. Critics points out that most of the jobs created will be temporary. But those same critics insist that we should engage in massive stimulus spending to create … temporary jobs in construction. They also claim getting oil from Canadian sands will contribute to global warming. That’s true, but that’s going to happen anyway. Trans Canada has no intention of leaving that oil in the sand.
Ultimately, this is not about policy, it’s about identity. The opponents want to establish their environmentalist bona fides. They want to show that they care about the planet (although usually not enough to go to school, get an advanced science degree and do something about the planet). I don’t see any reason why we should base policy on that. Keystone XL won’t rescue the economy. But it’s not going to doom the planet either. I tend to default to freedom in that case. Let it get built.