EPA: If Nobody Minds, We Have a Few Things to Ask About This Oil Pipeline

Hey, State Department, it’s the EPA.

Sooooo, we read your environmental review on the Keystone XL pipeline. First things first, we love environmental reports and really appreciate you taking the time to do one even though you deal with really important things. If you wouldn’t mind though, a few things just kinda popped up in our heads—all good things, mind you—and we were hoping to quickly go over them if you’ve got a moment. Cool?

We’re sure you already know this, so let’s just say it as a dumb, boring formality: Tar sand oil can emit up to 82 percent more carbon dioxide than regular oil. Just something to consider when you write up your final review in a few months, which we know is going to be great and wonderful. People are going to read it and say, “Hey! This State Department knows a thing or two—why don’t we let them handle environmental policy?” Haha. (Laughing there not because you couldn’t handle it, just that it’s a funny idea that people would throw us out on the street, you know?) 

One thing that you guys did that was really awesome was that you looked into not making a pipeline, but instead transporting the oil from Canada by trains—great idea! Super great! Even better is that you said it’d be logistically and economically feasible. We hope this doesn’t come off as sarcastic or disrespectful or whatever, but, hey, why not outright say we do that instead of worrying about this whole pipeline business? Something to consider if and when you have time—big emphasis on the “if.”

Not to turn this into a dusty, old lecture, but we just want to touch on this real quick: Crude oil from tar sands is a real pain to clean up. Even worse than conventional oil—and we all know what a pain in the pants that is to clean!

Obviously, if you give TransCanada the thumbs up to build the pipeline, it’s  going to be totally great and safe. We just want to make sure everybody knows that oil sands crude doesn’t, you know, biodegrade very well.

So if you talk to TransCanada, you might want to get a sense of how they’re doing on coming up with a plan to clean up that oil, since—and not judging anybody here!—they don’t have a plan.

Please, please, please, State Department, don’t take this personally, but we’re going to grade your review—ugh! “Grade? Hey, who let the teacher in!”—we’re going to label your review as “insufficient.” Between you and the kitchen wall, there’s not much we can do beyond that, and we certainly don’t want to get in your way. If you want, just look at these “recommendations” as our way of trying to make a fantastic environmental review a notch or two better. And don’t be afraid to let us know if there’s one too many chefs in the kitchen, obviously. This is your cake and we respect that. (“Hey! This State Department knows a thing or two about making cakes—why don’t we let them handle cake policy?” Haha. Kidding, but we bet you make great cakes.)