When President Obama, who is normally a great proponent of “infrastructure” projects, made his bizarre decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline project, I wondered if he might have been induced to create those thousands of American jobs if the oil could be moved by his beloved high-speed rail.
As it turns out, oil is already moved from northern latitudes, such as the booming oil fields of North Dakota, down to the Gulf of Mexico by rail of the old, low-speed variety. Fortunately, as Newt Gingrich pointed out during the Monday night Republican debate in Florida, the oil is on private land, so Obama can’t shut production down.
Amusingly, a spokesman for the Sierra Club admitted “there is no question that [transporting] oil by rail or truck is much more dangerous than a pipeline,” but that didn’t stop the zero-growth eco-fanatics from calling in their chips with President Downgrade to kill that pipeline.
Those rail shipments are expected to “increase exponentially with increased oil production and the shortage of pipelines,” according to Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority. That’s going to be quite a windfall for the railroad companies, isn’t it?
As it happens, 75 percent of the oil currently shipped by rail out of North Dakota is handled by Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC… which just happens to be a unit of Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. What a coincidence!
Wow. So if I understand this correctly, instead of a safer and far more efficient pipeline, we’re going to ship the oil by train which even the far left Sierra Club acknowledges is more environmentally hazardous. It’s also far more expensive. But that matters not since one of those positioned to profit handsomely from this absurd decision is Obama’s richest buddy, Warren Buffett. What a country!
Exit (rhetorical) question: Is this an example of crony capitalism?