Katie Kieffer / Townhall Columnist
However, our railroads do not have the capacity to transport unprecedented levels of crude oil as well as the fall harvest. Farmers are understandably frustrated with the railroad companies, yet the railroad companies say they are already doing everything possible to increase speeds.
Farmers are scrambling to store their harvest while they wait for rail service. Some growers are forced to store their grain on the ground because they do not have enough temporary bin capacity—rendering the grain susceptible to spoilage or insects.
Overall, the rail delays are increasing costs for farmers and will likely end up raising the cost of food for consumers down the line. In Minnesota alone, transportation delays cost wheat farmers $8.5 million, soybean farmers almost $19 million, and corn farmers $72 million between the months of March and May.
Realistically, oil will continue to flow out of the Bakken and there will be another harvest of corn, soybeans and grain in the autumn of 2015. So, the long-term solution is not to accelerate trains and increase the risk of fiery derailments. The long-term solution is to build more pipelines, starting with Keystone XL.
Rail is the most dangerous mode of transportation for crude oil and it is only a matter of time before Americans die in a tragic derailment. Last summer, a train loaded with crude from the Bakken derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec and killed 47 people. And, a few months ago here in the United States, a train derailed in Lynchberg, VA just outside of a children’s museum—barely sparing the children inside.
The State Department has thrice (yes, that’s three times) declared the Keystone XL pipeline to be environmentally safe. And, as I prove in “Let Me Be Clear,” transporting crude via rail is far more damaging to the environment than via pipeline. Yet President Obama and his sidekick Vice President Joe Biden are prioritizing huffing and puffing about raising the minimum wage rather than approving Keystone XL—a project guaranteed to make Americans safer and more economically secure.
The United States is on the fast track to looking like the America that Ayn Rand describes in her novel “Atlas Shrugged” if Obama doesn’t take his boot off the throat of Keystone XL. Our president is continually harping about creating a better future for America’s children, and yet he is the lone man standing in the way of building the technology that will keep our children safe. Obama also perpetually reminds us how the Republicans will not negotiate with him (which he defines as letting him take a metaphorical blowtorch to the U.S. Constitution). Yet isn’t it interesting that Mr. Compromise is the only person in the entire United States who is unwilling to reach across the northern border and shake hands with our friend and ally Canada?
Are we willing to wait until another derailment causes a fire that takes the lives of innocent children before we build Keystone XL? Are we willing to stall until the price of bread breaks a middle class family’s budget before we increase rail service for farmers and let the Bakken’s shippers use a pipeline? I think not. It’s time to build Keystone XL.
Acts of Pure Evil vs. NO Strategy at All
By: Diane Sori
We're now six days out from a speech of NOTHING but placating words...words that have NOT yet been backed-up by actions. Six days out and NO sense of urgency in attacking ISIS in Syria...NO sense of urgency in attacking ISIS in Iraq. Six days out and Barack HUSSEIN Obama still will NOT call ISIS what they are...an islamist...YES islamist...terrorist group of murderous savages out to kill us all. Six days out and the word 'war' has NOT yet crossed the lips of the man who fears a vote of war in America's halls of Congress...fears that word as November looms large.
And now a third westerner has been beheaded by ISIS...this time British humanitarian aid worker David Haines...another death that can be laid at the feet of the man who for all intents and purposes has done NOTHING of substance beyond spewing 'political promises'...promises made to try and save his miserable legacy. Placating words of a 'NO strategy' strategy cobbled out to try and stop numbers in free-fall...numbers that show that Americans have NO confidence in him or his policies...numbers that show the rest of the world is laughing at him...is laughing at our beloved America... as they now see Vladimir Putin as the world's top dog.
And the bottom line is if this most traitorous of presidents had NOT announced for the world and our enemies to hear our date of withdrawal...if he had heeded George W. Bush's 2007 warning that pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq too soon... pulling them out against the advice of our commanders on the ground...would have devastating consequences...consequences including that said withdrawal would allow terrorists to establish a 'safe haven' in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan...ISIS would NOT be the threat it is today for ISIS' emergence as a prime player on the world stage corresponds directly with Obama's pullout of our troops from Iraq.
And now to add insult to the injury of his 'NO strategy' strategy, Obama wants to arm the Free Syrian Army even knowing that several factions within said 'army'... factions including Ahl Al Athar, Ibin al-Qa’im, and Aisha...have 'pledged' to support ISIS...have pledged NOT to fight against ISIS so that they can continue to focus on taking down the government of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad. And there's something very unnerving in this 'pledge'...and it's something Obama knows damn well...and it's the fact that this ceasefire of sorts between the Free Syrian Army and ISIS was mediated by the al-Nusra Front, which is al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria.
And these are the people...people tied to an al-Qaeda affiliate...al-Qaeda who brought the World Trade Center down...these are the people that Barack HUSSEIN Obama wants to have America now arm.
So do you really think Obama wants to take out ISIS knowing that al-Qaeda has NOT really broken their ties to ISIS by their working through the Free Syrian Army...I for one think NOT. And how can Obama believe that the Free Syrian Army itself won't actually merge with ISIS if that's the best way for them to topple al-Assad...won't merge with ISIS while carrying and using U.S. made weapons and arms. And how can Obama NOT see that the true goal of the Free Syrian Army is NOT just regime change as they so claim, but is to join the caliphate as they fight against the secular government of al-Assad with one hand and carry the black flag of islam with the other. And when will Obama realize that there are NO moderates in Syria when the very group he keeps calling 'moderates' are the ones who last March slaughtered 88 Christians in Kassab (beheading thirteen of them), and are the very ones who massacred 220 unarmed civilians in Ballouta, in August of 2013.
And when will Obama realize that his belief that ISIS can only be destroyed with a long-term strategy founded upon building a coalition of local and regional allies will NOT work...and when will he realize that 'limited' air strikes alone do NOT a sustainable counter-terrorism strategy make...that only 'boots on the ground'...as in upward of 120,000+ will...and that those 'boots' need to include many Arab 'boots' as well. And when will Obama realize that ISIS is indeed vulnerable...very vulnerable in fact to undermining strategies when the beheading videos they put out are NOT just done to strike fear into we infidels, but are primarily done in hopes of recruiting Americans and Europeans into their ranks...and this leaves the door wide open for infiltration by U.S. and allied intelligence...that is if one's goal is to truly take the enemy called ISIS out.
To take the enemy out...I'm NOT even sure that Iraq itself wants to take ISIS out for Iraq's new Prime Minister al-Abadi has recently said that he will NOT allow Iraqi warplanes to bomb civilian areas...even areas ISIS controls...areas like in the major cities of Mosul, Takrit, and Fallujah...in an effort, he says, to ease the growing tensions between his Shi'ite government and the Sunni minority. And so just like Obama's putting politics before doing what's needed to end the scourge of ISIS once and for all, al-Abadi hopes...NO prays...that ending the bombings of civilian areas will slow or halt the support the Sunnis have shown towards ISIS as payback for what they believe to be abuses done by Shi'ite led security forces...by the Shi'ite dominated government forces.
But you just know we're in trouble when first, the U(seless) N(ations) agrees with a leader who is supposed to be on our side...a leader of a country that saw thousands of American lives lost and billions of dollars in treasure spent...second, when this new policy of al-Abadi could affect how much, how often, and where the U.S. itself could bomb...and lastly, you know we're in trouble when the sad reality is that even if we manage to defeat the islamic terrorist group known as ISIS, the discontented and delusional who survive will simply morph into yet another group out to kill us all.
And we know this because the problem is NOT with ISIS alone but is with the entirety of islam...and it's time the world knows this truth as well...they just need to take their blinders off and see the carnage that has been done in the name of islam...in the name of allah.
And ISIS knows all this because Obama continues to ignore all the obvious things that need to be done...and they know this because Barack HUSSEIN Obama is indeed a muslim and as such is now and forever part of the collective consciousness of those out to kill us all.