After President Obama moved the country one step forward by refusing to look into the Keystone XL pipeline expansion, Missouri took two steps back this week. Apparently, Gov. Jay Nixon missed the memo that tar sands oil pipelines through natural areas and farmlands are taboo in this country.
Nixon announced Monday that he was supporting a bid from Canadian company Enbridge Inc. to link an existing pipeline in Chicago to another pipeline, currently running from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf of Mexico.
The connector pipeline would span 600,00 miles and could be functioning by 2014. St. Louis would not be affected, but the line would run across the northern part of the state near Kansas City, Mo., carrying 700,000 barrels of oil a day.
A main argument from Keystone protestors held that the pipeline would cross a main source of water in Nebraska and could potentially destroy natural habitats. Though the Enbridge line wouldn’t necessarily threaten Missouri’s water source, The Journal thinks Nixon would do well to remember the Deepwater Horizon fiasco. Accidents happen, and it would be unfortunate for one to happen in our own backyard.
The Journal knows that if Nixon is smart, he will present the new pipeline proposal as a jobs initiative rather than an environmental risk. Missourians, and Americans in general, are still looking for jobs as our economy slowly rebounds. But we urge Missourians to understand that the project would create temporary jobs only during construction. Are these temporary positions worth the potential long-term consequences of dirty oil running through our communities?