Real Jobs and Real Security
Posted on 05/07/2012 @ 03:44 PM
Bitumen rich tar sand mining is one of the most environmentally dangerous energy resource extraction processes in existence. In recent months, I have written many blog posts about the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline which would transport sands for refinement from the Athabasca region of Alberta down through the heartland of the United States to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
In a time when corporate structures have the same rights as individuals, it is even more important for individuals to make their voices heard. Our tax code already supplements big oil’s annual profits with disturbing amounts of tax payer money in the form of subsidies. On top of that, The Hill reports that “the Pentagon pays an average of $400 to put a gallon of fuel into a combat vehicle or aircraft in Afghanistan.” Guess who pays for that? That’s right, you and I do.
We must re-evaluate our country’s dependence on fossil fuels. All of the money that big oil receives annually could be re-allocated to incentivizing alternative energy resources. Imagine what that would do not only for environmental purity, but also for our government’s fiscal concerns. Although a monumental task, redefining energy sourcing and infrastructure financing is a process that America won't be able to avoid in the future. That task is one that many countries worldwide have been working hard on for years now, and it is paying off. Make no mistake, the money is there. The real problem is changing the priorities that determine where money streams flow, particularly where Washington is the point of origin.
There are many viable alternative energy technologies available for implementation. China’s solar industry is so heavily subsidized by its government that the Chinese solar industry controls the international solar market. If China can do it, can the wealthiest country in the world do it? You bet.
Bitumen sands aren’t likely to go away without a serious fight from well educated citizens. A company in Utah will likely be employing the same technology that Transcanada does for oil sands extraction in the U.S. It is likely that the pro fossil fuel jobs and domestic energy security rhetoric will be at work in Utah as well. Many already understand that true security comes from supporting clean industries that will provide good, long term jobs that do not endanger the water, air and soil that support American lives. And there is even more good news on this front.
There is a wealth of pro-fossil fuel mis-information linking jobs and energy security to public opinion. However, this recently released poll from the Yale and George Mason climate change communication programs is revealing.
Brigadier General Jonathan Gensler, a fellow at the Truman National Security Project claims, “the longer the United States remains dependent on fossil fuels – no matter where it comes from– the longer our nation’s security will be vulnerable.”
There is growing understanding of just how deeply the misinformation behind big oil has penetrated our Nation’s psyche. Speak to your friends and family, write a blog, call your representative and ask them to oppose the Keystone XL permit amendment to the surface transportation bill, or write a letter to the editor of a local paper. Do what you can because big oil will do everything they can to make sure that their profits go unchecked, and that the U.S. remains the only country in the developed world that does not have a comprehensive climate change strategy.