The consequences of high energy costs are real. Families living paycheck to paycheck cannot be forced to absorb higher costs in the name of poor policies. Every single piece of legislation, every proposed rule, every action undertaken at the federal and state levels that affects energy production and utilization should be vigorously evaluated to assess impacts to energy costs, not only on the environment, but the welfare of the people to provide the cheapest, safest energy available.
Ultimately, by trying to prevent the construction of the final piece of the Keystone XL pipeline, activists are undermining their own credibility as defenders of the environment. Common-sense environmental conservation is taking a back seat to emotion and ideology. And in the end, the oil still gets to market but at a higher cost to everyone.
Brigham McCown is the former administrator of the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.