EDITORIAL: Keystone II: Second Chance
by American News, Aberdeen, S.D.
May 08, 2008
A sequel is in the making.
TransCanada Corp. officials are planning to bring another crude oil pipeline through South Dakota. Keystone II would bring oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast. The proposed route would enter the United States in northeast Montana and run diagonally through South Dakota. It would enter the state through the northwest and exit through the central part at the southern border with Nebraska.
The timing is good since people are complaining about the high price of gas. The plain, straight truth is that we need oil sources closer to home. People gripe and moan about high gas prices, yet lifestyles haven't significantly changed. All you have to do is look around to see the evidence: People are still driving. Vehicles aren't getting smaller -- sports utility vehicles, vans and big trucks still line the streets.
Plus, this gives TransCanada a second chance to win South Dakotans over to their side. Most people would agree that the company's public relations efforts lacked a certain something -- let's say warmth and a spirit of community support -- the first time around. Maybe this time the company will enter the state with its best foot forward.
The fact is that the pipeline does provide a benefit. Yes, we might not like all the "fringe benefits" that accompany it, but that's the price we pay for the hope of more reasonably priced energy sources.
We can't have it all. We either need to be willing to live with less -- smaller vehicles and non-motorized transportation options -- or we need accept skyrocketing oil prices.
Or, we have to bite the bullet and accept the fact that pipelines are going to need to run through our land. We might not like it, but allowing it to happen should benefit U.S. citizens as a whole in the long run -- through more reasonable oil and gas prices.
Likewise with the proposed Hyperion refinery near Elk Point. Hyperion Resources of Texas is considering Union County for an $8 billion refinery to produce diesel fuel and gasoline -- about 400,000 barrels a day.
Certainly there are concerns with the pipeline as well as the refinery, ranging from environmental to quality of life and many, many areas in between. Lots of questions still need to be answered, but the possibility is exciting. The nation needs a new refinery. The last one was built in 1976.
Richard Benda, secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development, said South Dakota would be the "epicenter of clean energy production" if the refinery were built here.
That would be one title our state should be glad to accept. Especially considering that doing so will not only benefit us, but the nation and, possibly, the world.
Copyright (c) 2008, American News, Aberdeen, S.D. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
TransCanada (developer and operator); ConocoPhillips
Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing, Okla. and Patoka, Ill. United States