There is more to the Keystone Pipeline story than is being covered by the news this week. The media is only focusing on the political angle and the jobs that will be created by the construction of the pipeline. The job creation is great, but the important story is the national security implications of this project.
The reason that the security issue does not get top billing is that you first have to accept the premise that a major disruption in the worldwide supply of oil is possible. Everyone is looking at this situation under the premise that oil from the Middle East will always be available to the US and the world; sure it may cost more on the world market, but the supply will remain relatively constant. Under this premise, the construction of a new pipeline from producers in Canada to refiners in Texas is open to debate.
It is so easy to be lulled into a false sense of security on this issue. Despite the fluctuations in price caused by international market conditions, we have always had a relatively stable supply to our refiners. We have depended on the financial requirements of oil producing nations to keep oil on the market; the argument being that it is not in the best interest of their economies to shut off the supply to the world and loose the billions of dollars of revenue.
For a moment, let’s throw out all of the old rules and arguments and apply a new reality to the situation. Here is an alternate reality in which to consider the pipeline issue:
“Following months of sanctions and the exposure of its alliances with global terror groups and allied countries, Iran decides to take the final step in its quest for control of the Middle East. The first move was the closure of the Straits of Hormuz to all maritime traffic along with coordinated terror attacks on freighters in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. In the course of one week, 70% of all seaborne crude oil shipments have been halted. In addition to the curtailment of seaborne shipments, well planned attacks on pipelines in Turkey and the Balkans have halted oil transport to much of Europe. Venezuela, in coordination with and with the financial backing of Iran, China, and Russia, startled the world by halting all oil production and shipments out of its country. Trading in crude oil is halted as international markets respond to the disruption in supply, and maritime insurers cancel liability policies on freighters transiting international waters.
In a show of solidarity with Iran, the navies of China and Russia simultaneously reposition their fleets into the Pacific Ocean. All countries are on a heightened level of alert as it is obvious that the world is at the brink of a world war. As efforts are made to resolve the conflicts at the UN, terrorists based out of Gaza use a shoulder fired missile obtained when Libya fell to down a 757 passenger plane on final approach into Ben Gurion Airport in Israel.
It has been ten days, and the world has changed forever.”
Now, let’s go back and look at the questions surrounding the decision to build a pipeline and purchase oil from Canada.