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Opinion >  Letters

Keep oil in North America

President Obama has threatened to veto any construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which he opposes for environmental reasons. I agree with him, but for reasons of national security.

By allowing Canada to export the only relatively easily recoverable hydrocarbons remaining in North America to the rest of the world, we, the United States and Canada, sacrifice the ability to be the last ones standing. The world’s remaining known hydrocarbon resources are being depleted at a rate of over 5 percent, some insiders say.

Instead of rushing to become energy independent, which cannot happen if we continue to import half of our daily use of roughly 19 million barrels of oil per day, we should, instead, burn through everyone else’s first.

A key benefit from disallowing the pipeline’s construction is that when, not if, world upheaval occurs, making oil suddenly less available, the absence of the pipeline will make it highly unlikely that anyone but us will get to burn it all up.

A bomb in the Houston ship canal, Saudi Arabia running out, or an escalated, prolonged Middle East war is all it takes to change the entire economy of oil. Let’s keep the oil at home, for us.

Matthew Staben

Spokane Valley


 

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