Canada is witnessing a similar heavy-handed control over government scientists as the United States saw under the George W. Bush administration and its censorship of climate research and other environmental sciences. This conflict between government agenda and the free flow of knowledge science will have (and quite probably is having) a significant influence as to whether the Keystone XL pipeline is approved or not. It is quite probable the US State Department’s recent, appraisal report on the pipeline utilized the findings of potentially skewed science from Canada’s Harper administration.
As gas prices rev up into high gear well before the summer months of traditional high demand predictions estimate prices at the pump will reach well over $4.00 a gallon. Along with the impacts this will have on the average consumer, these increases will, and already have, produced gushers of political rhetoric, laying blame squarely on the President’s shoulders. While high gas prices are great fodder for political gamesmanship, their accuracy is often suspect. How much influence does or can the leader of the U.S. have over the price of crude, let alone the prices at the pump?
Is shale gas good for us or not? Most of that argument has been over the potential risks that hydrofracking for shale gas might pose to water supplies—risks that were highlighted again this week when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came to Dimock, PA, to test groundwater in the area. You might know Dimock from the anti-fracking film Gasland—a group of residents have claimed for years that fracking poisoned their water supply, and federal involvement indicates there may be more at stake.
Morphing into a political and economic lightning rod, the current Keystone pipeline plan’s fate was decided this week…Permit DENIED. The decision was met with scathing criticisms from Republicans and praise from the President’s supporters. While much of the debate bounded between the two dominant issues; job creation and environmental concerns, few have asked, “Why?” Why do we need another pipeline for Canadian crude?