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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Debating the Keystone XL Pipeline

Pipeline will lead to runaway climate change

I urge President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline and for your readers to speak out against it [“Obama’s climate goals shape Energy, EPA choices,” News, March 5].

Despite what a few industry-paid climate-denial “scientists” are mouthing, the scientific community as a whole is practically unanimous in validating the urgency of reducing climate-warming carbon pollution, which is a direct result of fossil fuel production and consumption.

Tar-sand fuel is a “carbon time bomb.” While our oil-addicted economy may be tempted to grab this quick fix, doing so will accelerate runaway climate change. Keystone XL will do nothing to solve America’s energy independence and only result in environmental desecration due to inevitable spills, which usually are borne unevenly by America’s poor and people of color, certainly not those few shareholders who are lobbying in D. C. heavily for this project.

As individuals, as a nation and as an interdependent global community, we need to take responsibility now for a sustainable energy future through massive investments in solar, wind and other sources. We still have options to forge a path of sustainability for our children and future generations, but time is not on our side.

–Jordan Van Voast, Seattle

We need the economic stimulus

I’m responding to the letter “Obama nominees and Keystone Pipeline” [Northwest Voices, March 11]:

How do you know the pipeline will contribute to climate change? How do you know job creation will be negligible? Strong statements without backup.

I’m a new Washingtonian from Alaska (30 years). I’m familiar with the trans-Alaska Pipeline. Maintenance alone requires a workforce on a pipeline. When running pigs through the pipeline for diagnostics, people are required to read and respond to the data. Alyeska Pipeline Service Company employs 800 people plus contracted workers; all good-paying jobs. The pipeline is 35 years old and has pumped nearly 17 billion barrels.

Climate change: You’re hard pressed to convince Alaskans the pipeline damages the environment — even at Prudhoe Bay where oil enters the line. It’s heavily monitored, as it should be. Alaska’s pipeline record demonstrates a pipeline can be placed in delicate/fragile environments without damage. The Porcupine Caribou herd has only increased since the pipeline completion.

Alaska is planning a natural-gas line and has the track record to support another project. Please consider these facts. I hope Keystone Pipeline begins. We need the economic stimulus.

–Vicki Schneibel, Sequim

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, Climate change, Energy, Environment | Topics: Barack Obama, Keystone XL Pipeline, oil

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