Oil and gas is a good industry that benefits many towns and cities and their inhabitants. Most of today’s cars, trucks, planes, and commercial machinery runs on the products of this industry. The result is most of modern life is made possible by the output from the oil and gas producers.
Personally, I would have no problem working in that industry. The economic benefits of migrating oil from the ground to practical application is clear. Outside of that scenario, I have wondered about the impact of oil and gas used to enable modern living. Will the economic benefits eventually fail in the face of the predicted dangers of using the liquid materials?
Intense harvesting of oil and gas is a financially rich opportunity that some see as having destructive side effects. At a societal level, will the financial largess passed to future generations dissolve when even the interest on savings are spent to undo mass scale damage to land, air, and water? Will it have all been financial gain in vain in a futile effort to recover land, air, and water to levels that existed in the past?
None of us are directly affected by something we cannot see in real-time. We do have the right to say it is not our problem. Given the state of human nature, such a decision is understandable. The real question is how do we as a society want to be remembered? People who truly valued the ground we stand on, the air we breath, and the water that forms the basis of life? Or will we be understood as persons trapped by economic choices we felt were beyond our control with wealth accumulation as the perceived purpose of our lives regardless of the intangible cost?
Based on that point of view, I fully support the decision to postpone the advancement of the pipeline until some future time. Know that the pipeline will be built. An economic force exists that will push this into existence. The pipeline will benefit many people, but time does exist to consider alternatives. Perhaps the inevitable will be averted on both counts.