Former Obama Cabinet Secretary: Fracking Is Safe, Let's Build The Keystone Pipeline

The Obama administration insists, even after years of delays, that the decision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline – desperately needed energy infrastructure for the upper midwest – isn’t political.

But it is says former Obama Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who said “the decision on whether the construction should happen was a political one and not a scientific one.” But that’s not all.

Another former Obama cabinet member is also saying that fracking hasn’t created an environmental problem for anyone:

“From my opinion and from what I’ve seen… I believe hydraulic fracking is, in fact, safe,” said Salazar, who left the Obama administration last year. “We know that, from everything we’ve seen, there’s not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone. We need to make sure that story is told.”

And that the Keystone pipeline is a “win-win.”

Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he believes the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada should be built.

Salazar said at an energy conference in Houston Wednesday that the pipeline could be built safely, as long as conditions are imposed. Those conditions would require the pipeline operator to meet tough environmental standards and even pay for conservation programs along the pipeline route.

Salazar told The Associated Press that the pipeline could be a “win-win” project that benefits U.S. energy security while boosting conservation efforts in Montana, South Dakota and other affected states.

Meanwhile, the political obstruction of energy infrastructure is wreaking havoc, which is something I wrote about recently for WatchDog.org:

During a recent meeting with Gov, Mark Dayton, some Minnesota state officials pointed  to oil-by-rail shipments as contributing to a propane shortage that has left many citizens unable to heat their homes in the midst of frigid winter temperatures.

Amtrak has resorted to buses to get around packed rail lines. Basin Electric Power Cooperativereported it has trucks making up to 250 trips a day to transport coal from mines near Hazen that can’t be shipped by rail. Dave Berg, CEO of American Crystal Sugartold the Associated Press that rail delays in North Dakota and Minnesota are costing his company millions of dollars.

Rail shipments of oil have grown by 8,000 percent since 2006. The tracks are overwhelmed, and that’s not good for anyone. But the best possible alternatives are being either roadblocked by politics, or undermined by misguided trade policies.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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