The Keystone XL pipeline that will one day move millions of barrels of oil from Western Canada to the Gulf Coast is going to happen despite valid environmental concerns — some of which revolve around running the pipeline over a major aquifer that supplies drinking and irrigation water to large areas of several different states.
Regardless, the pipeline is pretty much a done deal. Because no matter how you slice it, our very dangerous relianceon foreign oil will always trump the wants and desires of environmentalists.
I don't say this to be antagonistic; it's just the reality that we've created.
That being said, just like every deal that's ever been done between Big Oil and Big Government, some bureaucrat is getting a piece of the action.
Turns out one of TransCanada's high-priced lobbyists was once a staffer on Hillary Clinton's presidential run. And guess who has the final word on whether or not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline?
That's right, Hillary Clinton and the State Department.
But wait, there's more...
Employees from an outside lobbying firm called McKenna Long & Aldridge, which worked for TransCanada, donated more than$41,000 to Clinton's 2008 campaign.
Then there's another lobbyist from the same firm — one that was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as Chief of Staff to Gordon Giffin when he was the U.S. ambassador to Canada: Maryscott Greenwood officially lobbied on TransCanada's behalf until 2008 on U.S. pipeline permit policy.
And we can't ignore DLA Piper, whose employees and PACs contributed more than $480,000 to Hillary Clinton's 2008 run.
This was the single largest source of funding for a corporate entity to Clinton.
And DLA Piper partner James Blanchard sits on the board of Enbridge, a major tar sands pipeline company. You may recall Enbridge, as this was the company that spilled about 20,000 barrels of tar sands oil into Michigan's Kalamazoo River last year (and as oftoday, still hasn't submitted cleanup plans for 2012)...
Look, I'm not bringing this up because I have a problem with tar sands operations and continuing our unsustainablereliance on oil.
I think it would be better by developing cleaner sources of fuel and alternatives to the very outdated internal combustion engine.
The world's quest for oil will not be stopped.
Those tar sands operations will be developed, and that oil will be moved one way or another.
And the growth in alternative forms of transportation fuels and power generation will also continue, and at a much faster rate than fossil fuels. The basic fundamentals of resource depletion will see to that.
Yet even with our oil reliance as strong as ever — and our development of alternatives an absolute necessity if we have any hope of maintaining our very fortunate way of life in a post-peak world — our lawmakers continue to create this illusion that it is their influence, and not an honest free market, that will dictate progress.
It is this very illusion that allows for some very lucrative relationships.
Stefan A. Johansson