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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Keystone pipeline - where's the return on investment?

Mitch McConnell, the new Senate majority leader, says he wants to use a bipartisan bill that approves the Keystone pipeline to prove the Senate can be a chamber of open debate. In other words, Senator McConnell would rather make a political power statement than evaluate the long term impact of the Keystone Pipeline.

Senator McConnell's ability to lead will be tested in this debate. Nevertheless, the imminent Presidential veto of the Keystone has cast a "wasting time" shadow on any effort to establish "who's in charge" in the Senate. Let's put it this way, the Keystone pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico isn't going through Senator McConnell's Kentucky back yard, so he has nothing at stake if the bill passes with bipartisan support.  "It's not in his back yard."

Americans who live in the path of the proposed pipeline, that proposes to bring Canadian oil to the Gulf, would likely appreciate seeing a risk versus benefit analysis of the project.
In other words, what's the return on putting their "back yards" at risk for environmental pollution or unforeseen hazards when the pipeline needs maintenance?

I suspect the long term return on investment with this Keystone pipeline will diminish over time. Obviously, the pipeline will be an environmental albatross when it becomes outdated, no longer needed or just not efficient anymore.  

Senator McConnell wants to create a leadership style or win a political power struggle with the Keystone vote. I

McConnell is obviously not looking out for the long term public interest.

Whether or not the Keystone Pipeline will have any long term benefit to the American economy, the fact is, the vote for or against it should be based on a risk versus benefit debate. 

A leadership statement made based on this important Keystone debate is no way for a Senatorial leader create a legacy.  

If the risks of the pipeline outweigh the benefits, the Keystone Pipeline should never be approved. Rather than create a leadership style by raising a vote on the Keystone Pipeline, Senator McConnell should, instead, explain how the project will create long term and lasting benefits to the American economy. 

Perhaps Senator McConnell should stand in the back yard of the property where the Keystone Pipeline is supposed to travel, before he demonstrates how he can pass a bill that he won't be able to, ever, recall.

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