Seeing the Round Corners

April 10, 2017

   For the next few weeks, columns from the archives will appear while this writer takes a break to get a brand new shoulder. Enjoy!

CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR!                      May 20, 2013

It is opinion time so bear with me.

A recent edition of Indian Country magazine carried a political cartoon by Marty Two Bulls targeting the Keystone XL Pipeline (KP). Think before you shoot this one down.

Surrounding a person in full protective hazardous materials gear and equipment, “KEYSTONE PIPELINE:  Providing employment for the next hundred years. Future jobs for your grandchildren created today! Employment of hazardous removal workers is expected to grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average of all occupations.” (Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor.)

Now, in all the rhetoric on just how grand and glorious the KP XL is, at the head of the list, how many jobs it will create – the solution to the entire unemployment problem in the United States. Yet, where are the solid facts and figures to prove this point, what types of jobs, the construction ones are temporary for pipeliners, a very select segment of the population.

Today’s edition is a prelude to more in-depth columns over on Seeing the Round Corners which begins in June. In the meantime, take note of the following information.

  • May Boeve, executive director of, an environmental advocacy group:  “The tar sands oil that would flow through the KP XL is the dirtiest form of fuel on the planet, and burning it would have a devastating effect on our climate.”
  • In 2007, a journalist reviewing documents filed with the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found TransCanada’s waiver. The waiver, along with other information available in federal agency records revealed that, “TransCanada will be allowed to use a design factor and operating stress level of 80 percent of the steel pipeline’s specified minimum yield strength in rural areas.” (Maximum yield strength refers to a higher pressure-to-strength rating.)
  • Under U. S. regulations, the maximum yield strength in rural areas is 72 percent. Canada’s allowed maximum yield strength?  You guessed it, 80 percent! 
  • A professor at the Balsillilie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, writes in the New York Times:  “. . . Many Canadians want the industry stopped – it is relentlessly twisting our society into something we don’t like. Canada is beginning to exhibit the economic and political characteristics of a petro-state.”

   Watch for more on the other side of the KP XL coming as it progresses.

The reader's comments or questions are always welcome. E-mail me at