Just Another Pipe Dream

Nathan Aman, Reporter

Most of the time people accept the fact that oil and pipelines are built and maintained every day. But you wouldn’t know that after listening to the constant debate over the planned Keystone IX extension. Many people probably wouldn’t have batted an eye when they hear a 2,147 mile crude oil transplant is being built. In fact, most would hardly find it worthy of all the attention it’s getting.

But the Obama administration’s hesitance combined with the stubbornness of House Republicans escalate the issue into becoming a monster rearing its ugly head at the nation. When the bill first arrived at his desk to approve construction, what was his primary concern?

Probably not the ever-weakening environment that buckles under the staggering weight of billions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). That worry comes second, taking secondary importance to politics. Like most presidents, Obama wants to leave a legacy, one that ends on a high note; that wouldn’t be possible if his approval rating is on par with Bill Cosby’s. The mostly Democratic environmentalists are watching, observing, waiting to see if the president backs down from his promise of a cleaner earth, ready to pounce on him the second he relents.

But the political game of chicken doesn’t stop there. Looking for any weak spots in the entirety of his presidential career, House Republicans, bolstered by their new majority seats, continue to cram this issue in the Oval Office, spouting pseudo-patriotic jargon about how America needs to be an energy powerhouse, or about the number of jobs that will be created. When those same politicians first heard of the planned construction of the pipeline, what was their primary concern?

Probably not for the thousands of seasonal jobs that would be made, and definitely not a vision to become an energy powerhouse. Like the president, these men and women also have their own agenda, many of them facing a tough election season when November rolls around, and some even considering making their own presidential bid. They can’t be seen agreeing with a president that has 47% disapproval rating, regardless of their true beliefs: it’d be political suicide.

Everyday the topic of the Keystone pipeline is brought up by news outlets nationwide, and everyday the story grows in importance within the minds of Americans. But in all honesty, the issue is completely overblown out of proportion, and its constant coverage blinds people from seeing what it really is: just another pipeline.