Summer Sale Extended! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Keystone XL is one more hole in a sinking ship [Letter]

On what basis did the U.S. State Department conclude that the Keystone XL pipeline project is relatively benign in regard to greenhouse gas?

The key passage from the report's executive summary states that "approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed project, is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States based on expected oil prices, oil-sands supply costs, transport costs, and supply-demand scenarios."

Here's an analogous situation: A small boat is out on mid-ocean. It has 10 holes below the waterline and is sinking fast. No one on board seriously thinks the boat won't founder if the leaks aren't promptly fixed.

Yet despite this consensus, the passengers and crew allow the water to enter unimpeded as they occupy themselves with another controversy. And what is that controversy? Whether to drill an eleventh hole.

A committee is formed to study the matter. After seemingly endless deliberation, it concludes that, with 10 holes already gushing water into the boat, one more hole won't make much difference.

Daniel Fleisher, Baltimore

To respond to this letter, send an email to Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Keystone comes up dry

    Keystone comes up dry

    Tuesday evening's Senate vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline may have come up one vote shy of the necessary 60-vote margin, but it's surely not the last we've heard of the project. Republicans have become so enamored of TransCanada's vision of a 1,200-mile link from Canadian tar sands through...

  • Keystone XL is an outdated technology for meeting tomorrow's needs

    Keystone XL is an outdated technology for meeting tomorrow's needs

    It makes no sense to invest billions of dollars in a dead-end technology like the Keystone XL pipeline, which will be obsolete and of ever-declining value over the next dozen years as we burn up yet more of our dwindling fossil fuel reserves ("Keystone comes up dry," Nov. 19).