North Dakota Senator John Hoeven was on MSNBC this morning talking about the Boston bombing, budget battles and the Keystone XL pipeline.
“We’ll put a hundred thousand barrels a day of Bakken light sweet crude into that pipeline,” Senator Hoeven said of the project’s importance to North Dakota. “The president needs to make a decision. This is just once again moving the goal posts.”
Chuck Todd brought up the “energy independence” red herring, asking Hoeven if the pipeline was really going to help America or if it would just help Canada sell oil to an international market.
The obvious answer is that the Keystone pipeline would allow greater access to the market place for oil producers operating here in America (see Senator Hoeven’s comments about the amount of North Dakota oil which would be put in the pipeline). But even if no American oil at all were put in the pipeline, so what? Oil is a global commodity. “Energy independence” is a fairy tale.
America will never be 100% energy independent, nor should we want to be. That’s the reality of free markets.
The Keystone XL pipeline should be built for no other reason than the fact that a) a private company wants to build it and b) there is no compelling government interest in stopping it.
Unless you count sandbagging oil production as a compelling interest.