A fact sheet outlines the toxicity of this form of oil and the resulting ecological devastation from the extraction process. Additional concerns include the excessive use of fresh water, high risk of endangering water supplies, spills, and the data documenting a spiked rate of cancer in communities adjacent to drilling areas.
What a waste -- not just of forests, habitat, energy, air, water, health, and our climate. What a waste of human talent. Watching all this, I found myself contemplating how much could be achieved if all of this effort, ingenuity, and engineering prowess were instead directed toward developing clean power?
In the Delaware Riverkeeper v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) case, judges ruled that a continuous pipeline project cannot be segmented into multiple parts to avoid a comprehensive National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review. This is what Kinder Morgan proposed and did for its Northeast Upgrade Project.
Regulating by emergency orders gives the distinct impression that the government is wholly unprepared to deal with safe handling of ultra-hazardous oils. Maybe it's time to take a good look at what we are doing and where we are heading before creating an energy future that may be slowing national productivity, not building it.