Interesting Fareed Zakaria article in Time.
Essentially his argument is:
* The tar-sands will be developed & burnt with or without the pipeline.
* So the carbon will end up in the air wither way.
* Without the pipeline it will likely be transported by train.
* Moving it by train will produce more C02 emissions that moving it by pipeline.
* The US will burn the same amount of oil (and of approx the same quality) either way.
So..."it would be a symbol, and a depressing one at that. It would be a symbol of how emotion has taken the place of analysis and ideology now trumps science on both sides of the environmental debate."
He also mentions that a carbon-tax or cap-and-trade would be a better solution -- with proceeds to fund research on alternative energy. He notes the US spends $73 B [per year I guess] on defense research, $31 B on health, but just $3 B on Energy.
* He doesn't say, but I assume the risk of "spills" is the same or greater for trail as for by pipe-line*
* I still don't like the pipeline. For one, I believe it takes land by eminent domain.
* I don't want to make it easier for oil companies. Not in any way.
* I agree 100% on TAX THE CARBON, put on an end user GAS TAX too.
* Put that $$ to research and infrastructure for energy.
* Not at all for cap-and-trade. It's another way systems get hacked/corrupted.