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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Republicans Insist On Living In Our Energy Past

Category: 2016
Posted: 09/12/17 12:01

by Dave Mindeman

Minnesota Republicans pounced on an announcement from the MN Commerce Department regarding the Enbridge oil pipeline....

"In light of the serious risks and effects on the natural and socioeconomic environments of the existing Line 3 and the limited benefit that the existing Line 3 provides to Minnesota refineries, it is reasonable to conclude that Minnesota would be better off if Enbridge proposed to cease operations of the existing Line 3, without any new pipeline being built."

And what is Pipeline 3?

Enbridge wants to decommission the existing Line 3, which runs from Alberta, Canada, to an Enbridge hub in Superior, Wis. The company would leave it in the ground and build a new line along a different route, south of the existing pipeline corridor.

While Republicans give us their outcry about building this type of infrastructure, they fail once again to look at the larger, futuristic picture.

We do not need more oil infrastructure. It seems incredible to be saying that. For so many years the main political argument is how to be less dependent on foreign oil. But the trendline for oil and gas is down. We have full tankers sitting offshore waiting for the price of oil to go up. We have enough oil reserves that we do not have to utilize the cruder forms like the Canadian tar sands oil.

The boom and bust days of oil are back because our need for oil is falling and with new technologies, it should continue to fall.

We have seen what has happened to the coal industry. Energy has become a process of natural selection. We go with the cleaner fuels - wind, solar, natural gas. And when that happens, old tech jobs will be lost. Energy Darwinism as it were.

Oil is the next energy source to take the fall. So why build infrastructure to support a declining industry. Save those resources for access to better and cleaner energy sources.

The Republican response is typical and predictable. They are joined at the hip with the old ways. They cannot fathom a future without "big oil". But we have to - we have to end our dependence on not just foreign oil, but oil period.

If the GOP insists on living in the past, then we will leave them behind.
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