Today, the New York Times published an editorial on TransCanada’s new application for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline:
It is far from clear whether one of the new routes proposed by TransCanada would involve less potential damage in the case of a pipeline spill. And a route change does not alter other fundamental concerns. There has never been any doubt that extracting oil from tar sands is a dirty, energy-intensive process that damages landscapes, including huge swaths of Canada’s forests, and produces more greenhouse gases than conventional oil extraction.
The benefits, if any, would be minimal. The pipeline would produce at most a few thousand temporary construction jobs — 6,000 according to State Department estimates. The project would do little to reduce gas prices or American dependence on foreign oil, because most of the oil carried through the Keystone XL would be for export.