Keystone delay has Canada pondering China oil deal
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday he had concerns the $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline might not win political approval in the U.S., and added that Canada should be looking outside the United States for markets.
“I am very serious about selling our oil off this continent, selling our energy products off to Asia. I think we have to do that.”
Common sense tells us that we’re not done using oil in the U.S., let alone the rest of the world. We have a ways to go to convert, although alternative fuels, wind turbines, and solar arrays are starting to have an impact. We know, and both pundits and politicians talk about, the critical nature of energy independence, and there’s no question that Canadian oil reserves are a strategic asset for North America.
Conserving the environment for tomorrow and future generations is a priority for members of IUOE Local 49; as people who work moving dirt, laying pipes, erecting wind towers, etc., the high standards of our union professionals are the best practices industry-wide and we are effectively stewards for the outdoors. Our members are absolutely concerned with the environment, and not in some academic sense – we’re talking practical, down-to-earth, “I want my kids to enjoy clean water, hunting, and other outdoor activities with my grandchildren and their grandchildren,” concern for the healthy preservation of vibrant North American ecosystems. It’s about quality of life, and professional Operating Engineers take pride in their front-line responsibilities as environmental stewards minimizing the ecological impact of their projects and conserving nature.
The Business Manager of Local 49, Glen Johnson, insists it was important, and appropriate, to be aware of ecologically delicate places in Nebraksa, noting it’s the “right approach along the whole route” of the pipeline. The union wishes all the interested parties had seen the light quicker, so that this vital piece of our near-term energy strategy can be, “done the right way, right away.” While politicians bicker for a living, hard woking Operating Engineers, the men and women currently erecting those new wind turbines, are the same “consummate union professionals of Local 49 who set very high performance standards doing each job in ways they can be proud of,” that will be protecting the environment when Keystone XL is built.
Sending Canadian crude oil to China defies logic.
Until we’re no longer using oil, projects such as Keystone are a reality. As the group representing pipeliners and other heavy equipment operators throughout Minnesota and the Dakotas (where all 6 U.S. Senators have voted to ensure a speedy decision on this job-creating project,) Local 49 urges politicians throughout North America to trust professional Operating Engineers to do this critical work, and do it right, now.
Jason George, IUOE Local 49 Legislative & Political Organizer:
“We need a return to responsible, common sense based leadership. Every politician in America says we need to improve our infrastructure, we need energy independence, and we need good paying American jobs.
Yet when common sense projects are brought to them that will accomplish all three of these critical things they let extreme ideological groups influence them not to act. Both political parties are guilty, and we need to hold any and all elected officials accountable when we see this kind of inaction. Local 49 is committed to doing just that.”