Showing posts with label The Environment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Environment. Show all posts

Saturday, February 01, 2014

The Keystone Report

The State Department has released its report on the Keystone Pipeline. There is no recommendation one or another on whether the pipeline should be built. It noted that even with some sort of governmental blockage on the line, it would accomplish very little to slow the expansion of Canada's vast oil sands. The report offered some solace to climate activists who want to stem the rise of oil sands output. It reaffirmed the idea that Canada's heavy crude reserves require more energy to produce and process - and therefore result in higher greenhouse gas emissions - than conventional oil fields.

So where does that leave us? In my view, still undecided. I don't see any convincing evidence that Keystone is going to do massive environmental harm, as activists claim. Yet I also don't see a negligible impact on the environment either. I guess I'm wondering why we are having this debate in the first place. Arguing about oil is like having a debate over the viability of the cassette tape versus Mp3s. We should be spending our time on bringing down the cost of renewable energy and making it as cheap as coal and oil. The entire debate over Keystone reminds of past arguments over the NEA (a loser for both sides who just want something stupid to club each other over the head with).

So, John Kerry is going spend the next three months consulting with government agencies when he should be doing other things like...oh, I don't actual peace deal between Israel and Palestine.


Friday, April 06, 2012

Energy Question

I follow Gallup polls pretty closely as they are usually the best indicator of where people are at on various issues. This one on energy and the environment caught my eye for its apparent dichotomy.

Americans Split on Energy vs. Environment Trade-Off

So, while 47 percent say that energy production should be prioritized, 44 percent say that environmental protection should be prioritized. Basically, we want to have both. This is a closer margin than last year when it was 50-41 for energy production. Both of these numbers mark a shift from the early 2000s when it was flipped in favor of environmental protection.

The good news is that most Americans (by a margin of 59-35 percent) favor alternative energy to oil and coal. So why aren't our leaders taking us there?