Should We Choose Job Creation or the Environment?

Several key projects in the energy space are being held up by environmental and political red tape. One of the key questions energy executives tend to pose concerns our desire to create jobs. They say that these projects will create tens of thousands of short- and long-term jobs. So, why won't we approve of them?

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (UNKNOWN: KMP.DL  ) is just the latest company to run head-on into environmental headwinds regarding its planned coal terminal expansion in Houston. Whether or not this $400 million expansion is approved could have a significant effect on the earnings potential of Kinder Morgan and several other coal companies. For now, it appears that fears over coal ash are winning out over economic development and job creation.

The same can be said for the amply covered Keystone XL pipeline. Debates continue to roll on about this project's possibilities. With job numbers ranging from the 2,000 mentioned by President Obama to TransCanada's (NYSE: TRP  ) 13,000, there are clear benefits beyond greater market efficiency. Unfortunately, Canadian oil sands are said to produce increased levels of environmentally damaging byproducts, so this project is most certainly still in limbo. Tune in below for more details on how these companies could be affected.  

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  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 10:08 AM, Sumflow wrote:

    "They," don't want the crude coming through the pipe, but it is OK to bring it in by the more dangerous rail. Does that make any sense?

    What the want to do is keep the coal in the ground un-mined. Why don't they just buy it up.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 3:00 AM, mdmattson wrote:

    a simple mind sets simple limits and to say that there are only the two choices is simple. It is a false limit. It is a complex issues and to say that you can only have one or the other is simply poor thinking.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 3:31 PM, ZanahMartin wrote:

    You raise a false dichotomy. Every legitimate study on the books documents that protecting the environment CREATES jobs, many more jobs than business as usual.

    The real question is: do we want jobs in industries that are destroying the planet, or in industries that support environmental, human rights, and planetary values?

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 7:22 PM, EdNope wrote:

    I've never been accused of being an environmentalist by anyone, but I think we need to put the environment before money. All the money in the world isn't going to buy the average citizen drinking water in 50 years, at the rate we're destroying our lakes and rivers - and the ocean.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 9:52 PM, lau56806 wrote:

    There are technologies available to make coal, hydrocarbons environmentally safe. We can turn seawater to potable water, address the carbon dioxide problems, etc.

    They don't want to crude come down from the Keystone pipe lines to our refineries in the Gulf. Canadian suppliers will just build the pipe line to the west coast and give the business to someone else.

    In the same way, we can ship our coal to China. If you notice, all environmentalists are celebrities or rich people. If you don't have food, why don't you eat cakes?

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