President Obama rejected the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline this week. This pipeline was to stretch from Alberta, Canada, 1,700 miles across America's heartland to refineries in Texas.
You may wonder why I'm blogging about this issue when it doesn't seem to relate to the Great Lakes or Michigan. Well, check out these photos:
These are photos of the oil spill in West Michigan that happened less than two years ago. There is an oil pipeline running through Michigan that ruptured and spilled approximately one MILLION gallons of heavy, crude oil into the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge, the company that owns and maintains the pipeline, has spent over a year cleaning up the river and there is still residual damage to the ecosystem.
Some of the homes near the source of the spill were so contaminated that Enbridge bought out the owners and condemned the houses.
The Keystone XL Pipeline's proposed route passes through many environmentally sensitive areas, not to mention America's breadbasket where much of our grain is grown.
Yes, job creation is important, but it is about time that government had a vision for the future. And that vision should be looking for cleaner sources of energy. Refining oil from Alberta's oil sands is a much more toxic process than refining heavy or light crude. And the byproducts are not only more toxic, but in greater quantity.
I applaud President Obama's decision. No doubt this issue will be pressed again in the future, and I hope his resolve and vision are not shaken.