People like trains. Whether taking a long trip or making the daily commute, riding the rails, without the hassles of airports and the tensions of driving, can be the most sensible and pleasurable way to get from here to there.
The corporatists in Congress barked at Obama that he must approve that Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Because Exxon, Chevron, et al. need to get all that Canadian tar sands oil to their Texas refineries. That'll increase the supply of gasoline and lower the price at the pump.
Really? Well, consider this complicating fact: Big Oil has quietly been siphoning oceans of fuel from their US refineries and shipping it to Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Last year, for the first time ever, fuel became the top export of the United States--the big refineries shipped 117 million gallons of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel per day out of our country. Suddenly, fuel exports are bigger in dollar value than the foreign sales of American aircraft, agriculture, or any other product.
Commuters, truckers, farmers, airlines, and others who're dependent on those fuels have been soaked in the past year by gasoline pump prices that have averaged $3.52 a gallon--a record high. This price shock has given Big Oil's political puppets an excuse to yap ceaselessly about the urgent need to "build that pipeline." The environment be damned, is their cry, full speed ahead to increase supply.
These ranters don't mention the giant refiners' control and manipulation of our gasoline supply for their own profit. Refiners refuse to reveal how much they profit from exporting fuel, the more they send overseas, the less there is at home, allowing them to jack up our prices. No surprise then that the Big Five gaso-line makers enjoyed record profits in 2011.
And, sign up for monthly issue announcements and breaking news: