If there is Will, he will find a way.

Not being a regular reader of the Washington Post, we might not have read many columns by George F. Will. It was only when Toronto’s National Post picked up one of his commentaries last weekend that we had the fun of trying to figure out how his mind works—or maybe does not. What appeared to start out as a mindless Republican tarring of America’s first black President, was found to include some mindless repetition of TransCanada Pipelines’ news releases.

This guy Will must be a staunch anti-environmentalist. Yet he has the temerity to say about President Obama that “his mind has always been as closed as an unshucked oyster.” Will adds that the more Mr. Obama talks about the pipeline, “the more ignorant he seems.” Would it be politically incorrect under these circumstances to suggest Mr. Will is guilty of being the pot that is calling the kettle ‘black’?

Mr. Will talks as though he cares about Canada leaving the wealth of the Athabasca and Cold Lake tar sands in the ground. Why should he give a damn? The states of California and Utah both have large tar sands deposits that also would be better off staying in the ground. Will seems to prefer to ridicule people who point out that tar sands are the dirtiest source of oil in the world. Just in refining the tar sands bitumen to synthetic crude oil produces three times the carbon of crude oil refining. The bitumen coke residue of the processing is dirtier than the most polluting coal.

If Mr. Will had any knowledge of his topic, he would have known that Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and the top brass of Enbridge were in Texas before his commentary went to press re-announcing the three-year old Flanagan South pipeline project from Pontiac, Illinois southwest to Cushing, Oklahoma where it connects to existing pipelines to the Texas Gulf Coast. While it is a less direct route than Keystone XL, it does not require State Department or Presidential approval. It has always been the bitumen pumping backup for the Alberta tar sands.

Mr. Will accuses people who care about the environment of working from some environmental catechism. We can assure him that we do not. He obviously does not understand the difference between oil and bitumen despite bitumen being the source of pitch used to waterproof the galleys that plied the Mediterranean back when the pyramids were being built.

If Mr. Will even had a clue as to the reasons for the currently low prices for oil, he would know that the last thing we need is to speed climate change for unnecessary profit.

But that seems to be what Republicans want.


Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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