SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

February 26, 2013

Column: Keystone considerations

On the Presidents Day holiday, at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., there was a massive demonstration to bring attention to the attempt of oil interests (embodied by Trans-Canada) to get licensing for the XL Keystone pipeline, which is to traverse the entire breadbasket region of the U.S., from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Sitting United States senators and members of the House, along with investment bankers, energy and brokerage firm executives and others from all over the nation, have been espousing the potential Shangri-La of the Keystone pipeline crossing America in regards to jobs and the drop in the price of home heating oil and gasoline at the pump. That drop is actually a fiction; in fact, an undiscovered lie. The truth is, we already have an overabundance of crude and finished petrol products, coal and natural gas. The price isn’t dictated by this overabundance, it’s dictated by the fact that 70 percent of energy transactions are in the paper-generated market (Comex), not in the real end-users, such as power plants, airlines, etc. This speculation shouldn’t even be allowed, because of its devastating impact on the economy in the form of affecting anything that uses energy products for transportation, which is anything and everything, particularly food.

We have 50 million people in America with hunger issues. Two out of six grade-school children are affected, all of which is directly related to issues concerning energy products, because of speculation. This is just one of the many reasons why such speculation in the energy markets should be forbidden.

To continue with the Keystone “nirvana potential,” which we are urged to believe exists, let’s first look at the jobs supposedly generated. The full-time job number for the Keystone pipeline project is 6,500, but these full-time jobs will only exist until the pipeline is finished. Then, the number of jobs dwindles down to a mere 50.

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