Goodbye Keystone XL Pipeline
By Clinton E. Crackel
January 28, 2021 - From my perspective, the Keystone XL pipeline wasn’t cancelled because of environmental concerns. It was cancelled purely for political purposes with the intent to ultimately eliminate the supply of crude oil needed to meet our nation’s demand for petroleum products in order to aid in mandating the use of alternate sources of energy for all transportation purposes.
Interestingly enough, even though the pipeline was projected to transport up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day, all but one of the seven states projected to host the pipeline were red states with Illinois being the only blue state.
Industry projections place the loss of current and future pipeline construction jobs in the thousands, with a loss of a $1.6 billion contract awards for American construction labor. Additional billions of dollars in tax revenue and other financial incentives will be forfeited by the host states, local governments and businesses. When the federally mandated minimum wage at $15 an hour becomes effective, many of the businesses hoping to benefit from the added income derived from the pipeline will be forced to lay off help and even be forced to go out of business.
Dramatically reducing the supply of crude oil at the onset of the new administration, combined with raising the federal fuel tax, could double if not triple the price of a gallon of gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel. It is also conceivable other pipelines will soon be removed from service in order to restrict the transportation of crude oil to highway, rail and barge transportation. The additional cost associated with these forms of transportation could make the price of petroleum-based fuel so prohibitive that the public would be coerced into buying higher priced electric vehicles or paying exorbitant costs to modify their current vehicles to burn non-petroleum-based fuels. Such a drastic rise in fuel costs would also likely put all of our nation’s independent truckers out of business permanently.
At the onset of the new administration, drilling on federal lands for oil and natural gas was banned, and I expect a nation-wide ban on fracking will soon be implemented. I also expect offshore drilling to be banned in the near future, along with a further reduction in the number of in-service refineries.
I’m convinced the intent of the Biden Administration is to put the American petroleum industry out of business in order to promote our dependence on renewable energy sources. However, if there is an ongoing need for petroleum products, I’m confident OPEC, Russia, China or even Venezuela would be capable of providing such products at dramatically increased prices per barrel of crude. Also, I’m confident such companies as China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) or other Chinese petroleum companies would be willing to fill the void left by the demise of the American petroleum companies.
Since fossil fuels play a key role in the production of renewable energy sources, all current American manufacturing of such sources as solar cells and wind generators could be easily be transferred to the Peoples Republic of China, which currently manufactures a good portion of these products anyway. Another advantage of using purely Chinese manufacturing is the fact that China uses marginally paid sweatshop labor and slaves for such purposes, thereby dramatically increasing the profits of corporations involved in the production of renewable energy sources.
Although it is generally accepted in many energy circles that renewable energy sources can’t meet the sustained baseload industrial electricity demand of America, the bulk of our heavy industry could be transferred to such Asian countries as Malaysia, Vietnam and China, thereby freeing up a large American labor force to work on nationalized infrastructure improvement projects. Also, since the United States has incurred so much debt, perhaps a foreign country such as China would be willing to fund a considerable portion of these projects for a guaranteed substantial return on its investment.
Granted, infrastructure improvements would create potentially millions of union jobs, but under the current administration, I wouldn’t count on any no-strike clauses being negotiated into any of the union contracts. Also, expect federal legislation prohibiting right-to-work laws to be soon passed, forcing non-union employees working in union affiliated trades to pay union dues whether they want to or not.
Regrettably, during my time being stationed in the United Kingdom in the U.S. Air Force, I became acutely aware of the devastating effects of a prolonged nation-wide strike by the Transport and General Workers Union. The prolonged strikes by such a powerful union can bring the government to its knees and create tremendous economic strife.
Then again, perhaps consideration has already been given to establishing several forced labor camps across the United States for housing political dissidents and other undesirables as defined by those who would lead a planned federal socialist republic instead of our current constitutional republic.
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