Scott Tibbs

More on the Keystone XL Pipeline

By Scott Tibbs, February 26, 2021

It is sad that we cannot even have discussions about public policy without immediately seeing the word "liar" thrown about. Yes, there are people who lie, and those people should be called out. But just as often, those who are using the word "liar" are themselves liars. When you cannot make a point, you fall back on smears instead of trying to provide rational arguments. Such is the case with the Keystone XL pipeline.

One of the points of discussion is that cancellation would have a destructive impact on the economy, including 10,000 jobs lost. I was called a "liar" in the comments for my letter to the editor for making that point. If I am a "liar" for citing 10,000 jobs lost, then national labor unions - allied with Democrats - are also "liars." It is funny how the Democrats who make that argument are not attacked by those who falsely smear me. I wonder why that is? I think we all know that hyper-partisanship is the reason.
(AFL-CIO President Richard) Trumka told Axios’s Jonathan Swan that the Laborers’ International Union of North America was right to condemn Biden for signing an executive order to rescind the Keystone XL pipeline permit, which the union said will cost 1,000 jobs and 10,000 projected construction jobs.
Source: The Hill.

So, no, I did not "lie" about the amount of jobs that would be lost. In order to have "lied" I would have had to knowingly state something that was not true. Given that there are plenty of sources citing the number of jobs lost, the worst you can say is that there is disagreement about job losses. But the point was never about actually establishing facts, but personally smearing me and attacking my credibility. This is not a rhetorical tactic of someone who is serious about policy.

In addition to the fraudulent attack on me for my jobs claim, commenters also said that the Keystone XL pipeline would not provide any new oil to our country, because it would all be exported. Much of it will be exported, and it would also increase domestic oil supply. See below:
Gulf Coast refineries export about two-thirds of their products, according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration report in January. The rest is sold in the U.S.
If the pipeline transfers as much crude oil to the Gulf Coast as the federal government expects, total imports would increase by about 25 percent.
An increased supply of oil from Canada would mean a decreased dependency on Middle Eastern supplies. According to market principles, increased availability of oil means lower prices for consumers.
In total, Keystone XL is expected to employ more than 11,000 Americans in 2021, creating more than $1.6 billion in gross wages.
Source: Austin American-Statesman.

As I said in my letter, we are not going to stop using oil any time soon. As long as we are using oil, it makes sense for us to not rely on importing oil from a region of the world where political instability is rampant and where hostile actors can disrupt the supply. Undercutting oil barons in the Middle East also reduces the money available to redirect to Islamist terror groups, which has been a foreign policy goal for generations.

Is the Keystone XL pipeline perfectly safe? Obviously not. No method of transporting large amounts of crude oil will ever be totally safe. But it would be more safe than transporting oil on ships and trains, which has resulted in a large number of disastrous accidents, including many fatalities. As long as we are getting a large amount of our energy from fossil fuels - and that is not going to change any time soon - it makes sense to improve the safety of transporting that oil.

Finally, we need to be perfectly clear here: The attacks on me in the comments have nothing to do with energy policy. This is about two things: Silencing dissent and a burning hatred of me personally. Tibbs Derangement Syndrome will never be a substitute for rational discussion of energy policy.

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