Wednesday May 22, 2013
Keystone XL Pipeline: The Really Really Really Big LieODD MAN OUT Roger E. Bütow Exclusive to Salem-News.com
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Dr. Josef Goebbels, Nazi Propagandist.
(LAGUNA BEACH, CA) - “The successor to politics will be propaganda. Propaganda, not in the sense of a message or ideology, but as the impact of the whole technology of the times.” - Marshall McLuhan
The US Chamber of Commerce sent out an email blast on Friday, April 20th urging all Americans to petition the White House directly regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline. It is filled to the brim with deception and avails itself heavily of the two quoted concepts above.
“Lies, damned lies and statistics” was a phrase attributed by Mark Twain to 19th Century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, but there’s no proof the man actually uttered those words originally. The quote does point out the inherent potential abuse of using statistics to bolster weak or even intentionally invalid arguments. The American public is falling for the BIG LIE, being deceived and betrayed by its own legislators in the case of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
And make no mistake: Both major political parties by their recent votes are assisting, are enablers to petrochemical greed-heads. It’s an insidious witches brew of stupidity, lack of homework and wallet-stuffing lobbyists. The pro-petrochemical, mining lobbyists and big bucks campaign donors (think SUPER PAC) are cramming 5-6 times as much money into our US representatives pockets as the green organizations can muster to fend this horrid monster and others like it off.
This is just one of the reasons that we desperately need to get beyond a two party system---The average working American doesn’t have time to research the veracity of such media barrages as we’re experiencing, politicians coupling with petrochemical lackeys in the broad daylight of your TV or computer screen. That’s where some of the precious money you’re paying at the pump goes: Very, very expensive infomercials using paid homey actors.
The only thing bipartisan here is how much money those Democrats and Republicans are reaching out and slipping each other across the proverbial aisles of Congress. Modern day Benedict Arnolds, they’ve planted a FOR SALE sign outside Washington D.C.
You can’t turn on your TV without seeing post-Gulf oil spill propaganda by BP, warm and fuzzy BS about how everything’s hunky-dory down there, y’all come back now, hear? And coal? Really safe stuff, huh? Running a close 2nd is Exxon/Mobil, you know those great folks that brought you the Exxon Valdez? They’re altruistically looking out for your future!
In the email and attachment my editor received and then forwarded to me, the Chamber’s Senior Vice President Rob Engstrom wrote:
“It’s the fourth time the House has approved construction of the Keystone XL Project – and now both Republicans and Democrats are expressing support for a measure that would create thousands of American jobs in areas hard hit by the recession.
The White House has threatened to veto the measure – but is increasingly standing alone in its opposition to a popular project that would do nothing but good things for our country’s sluggish economy. The Keystone XL pipeline would secure our energy future, decrease dependence on Middle East oil, and create new American jobs.
Approving the pipeline is a no-brainer.”
The 3 basic elements (secure our energy future, decrease dependence and create new jobs) have already been debunked for their outright fraudulence by better than I:
“In September, researchers at Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute used the information in the EIS to come up with an estimate that was even more modest. Factoring in the various durations of employment, it calculated that “on-site construction and inspection creates only 5,060-9,250 person-years of employment (1 person-year = 1 person working full time for 1 year). This is equivalent to 2,500-4,650 jobs per year over two years.” Source: Columbia Journalism Review 1/24/2012
Below is a direct quote from the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) put out by our own US State Department in August of 2011. Readers need to understand that this document, required per federal law, is the Bible for the project. It goes through years of negotiations and 3rd party peer review and analysis. It is the last word regarding findings, adverse impacts, mitigations, because it is just that: Final.
This FEIS noted a projection of how many additional TransCanada employees would be required, a more truthful appraisal. Americans should realize that they’re a little underwater up there in the Great White North too---So there’s no guarantee that this Canadian firm wouldn’t just import their own added personnel for the construction phase either:
“Approximately 500 to 600 construction and inspection personnel would work on each spread, except for the proposed Houston Lateral which would require approximately 250 workers. Each spread would require 6 to 9 months to complete. Construction of new pump stations would require 20 to 30 additional workers at each site. Construction of all pump stations would be completed in 18 to 24 months. Tank farm construction would require approximately 30 to 40 construction personnel over a period of 15 to 18 months.”
A March 12, 2012 column in the online watchdog BLOGCRITICS by Jet Gardner might help readers, the title pretty much sums it up:
“The Keystone XL Pipeline: GOP Lies and Higher Midwest Gas Prices”
Following the bouncing ball, the allegations that this will put 20,000 or more Americans to work is false. Ditto for claims that the post-construction, operation and maintenance worker numbers will be in the thousands.
Easiest for the uninitiated to understand are the lying guarantees:
Fact: There’s no guarantee in place to assure the US that the labor force (pre, during and post-construction) will be Americans. So much for new jobs in the mid-West to stimulate economic recovery in the region, huh? And if they hire their own, those profits, those paychecks, profits and income taxes go back to Canada. What do we get, a few lousy points from sales tax at the local restaurants, motels and 7/11 stores?
Fact: There’s no guarantee in place to assure US gas users that once refined in Houston, we’ll get first dibs. Not even a guarantee that we’d only have to pay fair market value. No, they can sell to whomever they want, the highest bidder, so gouging seems quite possible considering their track record. Oh yes, Dick Cheney’s pals will profit from the refining fees, but someone please tell me how that helps the 99%ers?
Fact: There is absolutely no proof that it will decrease our dependence on Middle East oil. That’s an outright lie and a bald-faced ruse. It’ll still be foreign oil even if we did get a guarantee that it’ll be earmarked for the US only. We’d still be energy dependent, don’t bet against Canada getting some unsavory, backroom concessions or trade sanctions out of us to achieve that end. They’re basically blackmailing or extorting our nation by threatening to sell it all to the Chinese as I write.
When have the petrochemical cartels doing business anywhere in North America, or the globe, EVER done what’s best for America? GOOGLE TransCanada and read up on their crappy record. They do what’s best for shareholders and profit-sharing corporate slime salaries. When in doubt, when you’re on the verge of trusting your own representatives and petrochemical leeches, think BP®. Or Halliburton®.
Hopefully the American public will wake up and smell the coffee, not that sulfuric stinky smell of benzene-thinned tar sand. Once these streams and aquifers become contaminated with hydrocarbons we’ll have the Devil to pay alright, come to think of it they will have already BEEN paid!
Probably have to hire the same TransCanada bozos too, as overseers in an attempt at an impossible regional bio-remediation. But hey, guess what? The actual cleaning up of the gunk WILL employ lots of low-paying, unskilled workers, now THAT’S stimulation. And can’t God just create new fish and fowl, maybe TransCanada will truck in a iceberg or glacier to provide water for aquatics, riparian life forms and human consumption?
So Mr. Chamber of Commerce, the real “no brainer” here is you.
Nothing but good things will happen? You must think that we’re all rubes, all media-brainwashed stupid suckers. You and the forces that measure America not by her passionate protection of her precious ecosystems and natural resources but by how much money your kind can bilk us out of, stuff into your bank accounts before we get wise.
If Canada wants to ruin their own country, let ’em ship this shit to their own refineries, take the risks on their own soil.
Please read: Oil, Canada
FYI: If a project near you has some interesting enviro-aspect(s) that you think is/are worthy of Salem-News.com coverage and our readers attention, feel free to contact me with a very brief synopsis. Water-related “Blue Interventions” are my specialty!
Launched in 2010, Odd Man Out is the creation of Roger von Bütow and his OMO columns are written exclusively for Salem-News-com. Born and raised in the LA Harbor area, son of a German immigrant father, he moved to Orange County in 1965 and has lived in Laguna Beach since 1972. In 1998, he began his professional career in environmental review processes (CEQA, NEPA, MND, MND and EIR/EIS). He's a rare mix of cross-trained builder, writer and consultant as he brings his extensive construction experiences dating back to 1972 into his eco-endeavors. He has tremendous field and technical expertise in successful watershed restorations, plus wastewater, urban runoff, water quality monitoring/improvements and hydrologic mechanisms. He's built everything from commercial spas to award-winning private residences, and provided peer review and consultant analyses for single homes, subdivisions and upscale resorts.
His resumé is extensive, try an online GOOGLE search of his personal journey and historical accomplishments. His consultation fees are reasonable and if you've got a major project that alarms you, that needs creative intervention, then he's your man. His credentials and "CV" can be provided upon request.
Contact him at his office: (949) 715.1912 or drop him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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