Regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline, Obama might have a logical leg on which to stand if KXL were the first such conduit to ravage the American heartland with miles and miles of rivets and steel. Alas for Obama, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are long gone, and so is this country’s pipeline virginity. It lost its innocence, in that sense, in the same century when those explorers conducted their Corps of Discovery Expedition from St. Charles, Mo., to what is now Astoria, Ore., between May 1804 and September 1806.
The first U.S. pipeline to transport oil started carrying crude from Coryville to Williamsport, Penn., in 1879. In the intervening 135 years, the continental USA became interlaced with 2,600,000 miles of these steel tubes. And how many more such miles would KXL add? A grand total of 852. That’s an increase of 0.033 percent, or the rough equivalent of delivering an extra faucet to the plumbing department at your local Home Depot. Believe it or not, this microscopic change in America’s pipeline profile fuels this massive controversy.
If you are laughing, you are enjoying an unintentional comedy titled “I’m Thinking It Over,” starring Obama. Despite five neutral-to-positive reports from the State Department, he has spent five years and five weeks deeply contemplating KXL. Obama simply refuses to make up his mind and, instead, demands even further study.
Now, you can offer Obama some food for thought. The public is welcome to suggest what America should do about KXL. Comments must be posted by tonight at 11:59 PM ET. They can be made online here.
Those who submit statements should try to make more sense than Jared Leto. The Academy Award-winning actor recently urged Team Obama to reject KXL. In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Leto and 13 other luminaries reminded Kerry of his service in the Vietnam War. They warned that approving KXL would be “an even bigger mistake” and predicted that KXL would trigger “the imminent threat of catastrophic climate disruption.”
The Vietnam War killed 58,200 American GIs, wounded 303,644 others, and forced some 800,000 South Vietnamese “boat people” to escape the Communist Viet Cong on rafts and in dinghies (atop 55,661 South Vietnamese killed in conflict). Next door, Communists conquered Cambodia and unleashed genocide. The Khmer Rouge filled the killing fields with the bodies of 1,700,000 men, women, and children. They murdered many individuals via blunt-instrument trauma with the metal ends of garden hoes. This may have been even more physically excruciating than if these innocent victims had been exterminated in industrial-strength gas chambers.
And the Keystone XL Pipeline is “an even bigger mistake” than that?
Jared Leto should calm down and find a barber. A shave and a haircut might help him think straight. And, if not, some basic grooming on his part would make Earth a cleaner planet.