We framed the problem as an environmental problem. Keep that nasty tar in the ground. It pollutes the local water and contributes to CO2 emissions. Yes, all true. But not an argument that stirs many emotions, except for the emotions of us hard-core greenies.
|Feb 2013 Forward on Climate Rally, Washington DC|
So the bottom line is this: If we were really interested in national security and energy independence, like Trump says, this is not the way. That Canadian tar will be sent to the Gulf, processed into gas, diesel, and jet fuel then sold on the world market to China, India, Europe, you name it, where it can be sold for more than it can be sold on the US market. Have you checked out the price of a gallon of gasoline in Europe?
We environmentalists took our eye off the ball. In the future we should look for ways to reframe the issue as one of national security rather than saving polar bears. The environmental math involved in all the different pieces and parts of Keystone XL were too complex for your average politician sound bite. We should have tried something different, like, "if you are going to take land away from U.S. citizens and pollute North America, at least keep that gas at home so we can stop importing in from the Saudis and Venezuelans."
But now we are all going to pay for it. As will the environment.