Winston Churchill once said: “Never let a crisis go to waste”. And that's exactly what's been happening in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec since the terrible train wreck happened on July 6. Socialist politicians like Thomas Mulcair claim that budget cuts are responsible for the catastrophe — even though it's false. Environmentalists gurus like the David Suzuki Foundation think, yet again, that it's time to question our “dependency” on oil and think of alternatives. This way of thinking is faulty too.
First of all, no free country is “dependent” on anyone. Using that logic, then the rest of the world is dependent on Quebec maple syrup — 71% of the world production comes from this Canadian province. It is rather interdependency, which is why we have commerce. Without it, most of Canada is doomed since it would cost too much to be self-sufficient on fresh fruits and vegetables during winter, while other countries might have a harder time getting metals like gold, copper, lead, oil, and many more
Also, the said “alternatives” have been tried again and again and have failed miserably. Germany is seriously questioning them. It is one of the causes of the economic woes in Spain and of the exploding energy prices in the Canadian province of Ontario. Several “green” energy companies in the U.S. have failed despite receiving federal funds, showing that they can't satisfy any demand.
Furthermore, despite what environmentalists wish for, we won't “get rid” of our “dependence” on oil anytime soon. Not only is it used in transportation, but also with plastic (which most probably includes your modem), and even medication. So until other sources of energy become affordable on their own, we will continue to rely on petroleum.
So we might as well think of the most secure ways to transport it. According to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, that way is by pipelines, be it for gas or petroleum. The latter leads, on average, to four times fewer accidents and 30 times fewer victims than train transportation.
Despite these obvious advantages, people are against pipelines. Some of them are even lobbying hard (or, at least, “praying” hard) in order for projects like the Keystone XL pipeline to be abandoned. People like... Warren Buffet, who owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC railroads. Of course, the fact that he's a Democratic contributor has nothing to do with it at all. And the fact that using trains (or even trucks) produces more CO2 doesn't seem to bother environmentalists.
The same thing goes for shale gas. Since the fracking revolution began in the U.S., it has tremendously increased the country's oil and gas exports, allowing it to compete with countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. So it is no wonder that the former and the latter financed movies that falsely accused fracking of all sorts of ills and propagated lies on the subject to scare people and save their behind.
In other words, always be wary of people opposing pipelines and shale gas. Sometimes, it's because their self-interest is at stake, in which case they will use environmental groups to demonize their opponents. Always follow the money.