A group called Ethical Oil, the brainchild of neocon Alykhan Velshi, is running an ad touting Keystone XL as the savior of women in Saudi Arabia. Because suddenly conservatives care about women's rights.
The argument runs something like this: Saudi Arabia is not the best place to be a woman. (This is very true, though maybe SLIGHTLY less pegged to America's oil importation habits than Ethical Oil would have you believe.) Canada, however, is a bastion of progressive ideals. So we should get more oil from Canada so we can stop getting it from Saudi Arabia. Of course, we already get nearly twice as much crude oil from Canada as from Saudi Arabia, but why rely on facts when you can appeal to people's sense of outrage?
Leaving aside the fact that there are probably better ways to support women in Saudi Arabia than ratcheting up greenhouse gases and dousing the U.S. in oil gunge, let's not forget that Keystone XL is hardly going to starve out oil imports. According to a report from Oil Change International, the oil that TransCanada delivers through the pipeline will be earmarked for export. And for better or for worse, that oil is getting here whether we build a troublesome new pipeline or not, says a study commissioned by the State Department. So basically, Ethical Oil thinks we should increase greenhouse gases, build disruptive new oil infrastructure, risk record numbers of leaks, AND keep supporting the Saudi regime. Feminism!
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