That was terrible. It basically defined the pipeline business in North America and has been the poster child for all that's wrong with pipelines. I think it is Exhibit A against Keystone.
Given that environmental destruction, and it was undeniably destructive, there is tremendous political resistance to this method of transport. So what's happened? It's not like we are keeping the 6% to 7% oil growth in this country in the ground. We're just shipping it differently, mostly by rail. But there is so much of the stuff that it is likely that we will have to send the so-called dirty oil from Canada overseas.
Despite the bountiful new supplies of energy we are still importing six million barrels a day from non-North American sources. Where does that come from? The big three: Saudi Arabia, which is responsible for 13% of our imports; Venezuela, 9%; and Russia, 5%, according to the latest bulletin from the Energy Information Administration.
Without political resistance, it is possible that in a couple of years' time we couId be all North America. Right now we are helping to prop up two regimes that I think most Americans would regard as our actual enemies, Venezuela and Russia, particularly over the Syrian issue, and Saudi Arabia, which makes us hostage to any shutdown from any antagonistic regime in the Middle East tinderbox.So the choice is clear: create more jobs and make us energy secure vs. the oil spills that pipelines, by far the most efficient and most lasting and arguably, given several recent oil train accidents including one that killed five people in Quebec, the most efficient and safest way to transport oil. Yet, the political opposition to these initiatives is incredible. We would rather buck up enemy regimes and create almost no jobs than risk these pipelines. To me it is an incredible gap in common sense, but it is only increasing. Now I still believe Enbridge will hit the numbers. But the bigger issue is how come no one, not even the military, is making the case for bringing in oil from Canada vs. importing oil from these rogue countries. Some complain that we would be bringing in so-called dirty oil from Canada, but we have ample refinery capacity to make it this oil as clean as that foreign oil from Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, particularly with the new energy technology from Honeywell (HON - Get Report).