Letter: Foreign Intrusion

President Obama’s rejection of the current permit request for the Keystone XL pipeline was the correct decision for the following reasons:

1.) Opposing Keystone XL is a true pro-life (even after you are born) position. If constructed, the Keystone XL will virtually guarantee decades of continued and considerable dependence on dirty forms of energy. Dependence on dirty energy (and the oil from the tar sands of Canada is some of the dirtiest) creates a myriad of health-related problems that range from record incidents of childhood asthma to premature deaths. This, in turn, adds billions to our annual health-care costs. As the father of the modern conservative movement, Barry Goldwater, once said, “While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean, pollution-free environment.”

2.) Opposing Keystone XL is a true conservative position. Conserving nature’s resources to the greatest extent possible by simply being less wasteful is something any true conservative would support. Improved fuel efficiency (which saves people money and is American produced) is just one measure that can, in large part, nullify the necessity of approving something like the Keystone XL in the first place. Also, as a conservative, I resent a foreign company, TransCanada, seizing American citizens’ properties and blackmailing the U.S. by claiming that if this is not approved China will get their dirty product. Hello, China is going to get Canada’s dirty oil regardless of whether the Keystone XL is approved. America needs to stand on the right side of history and not prostitute our land and lessen our principles.

3.) Opposing Keystone XL is a good long-term economic position. In addition to the alleged China threat, proponents of the Keystone XL claim that it will create thousands of jobs in this struggling economy. Aside from the tremendous short- and long-term costs of perpetuating our dependence on dirty energy (as noted above), construction of the Keystone XL would largely create only temporary construction jobs for a company that is not even American. The long-term sustained jobs provided by the Keystone XL is very small. Many of the strongest supporters of the Keystone XL, in fact, are the very folks that vote down domestically produced jobs projects that would re-build our nation’s infrastructure. What hypocrisy! Or, are they simply bought and paid for by the powerful petroleum industry? The Keystone XL would be a net cost to this country not only in terms of economics but also (and more importantly) in terms of our moral responsibility to be good stewards of this planet which our Creator has permitted us to borrow.

These are just some of the reasons why denying the Keystone XL permit was the right decision, at least for a true pro-life conservative that believes America can do much better than approving such a foreign intrusion into the integrity and ingenuity that this great nation should always represent.

Mark Shipley

Knoxville

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