Oxymoronic ‘Ethical Oil’ Meets Irony

I hate promoting the severely flawed concept of ‘ethical oil’, so much so that I don’t even like using the phrase as it spreads the meme. Still, with the Keystone XL pipeline in the news these days, here’s a fact worth punting your way.

The toxic, corrosive Tar Sands crude to be transported by that pipeline will be processed by two refineries.

One of those refineries is half-owned by Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia.

Given that the ‘ethical oil’ propagandists are pushing the false fact that more tar sands oil will mean less oil sold by human-rights-abusing, terrorist-funding Saudi Arabia, this is quite an inconvenient truth. After all, the point of oil is profit, and Saudi Arabia will profit directly from this so-called ‘ethical oil’ pipeline where it would have made nothing before.

Of course, there’s nothing ethical about oil production and consumption.

It drives untenable infrastructure.

It causes, and will continue to cause, armed conflicts, which we will still be involved in because the Tar Sands actually can’t produce enough for all of our needs. Heck, looks like it’s just going to be refined and largely exported. Meanwhile, Eastern Canada will continue to import oil from abroad.

Oil production and consumption pollutes.

It produces greenhouse gases. The production of crude from the Tar Sands is the most greenhouse-gas intensive way of making crude. It leaves a highly toxic goop behind that we store in huge lagoons. We have no idea what to do with the goop, but we gleefully make it anyway.

It severely disrupts the ecosystem when they extract it (remediation efforts to date are very modest).

And, no matter how much we make, Saudi Arabia will have no problem selling all the oil it wants to somebody. Like the emerging economies of China and India.

The only true point to the ‘ethical oil’ frame is to shut down debate with a false argument propagandists hope will be of appeal to the masses.

Remember, guns are legal too.

Is a gun made ethically any less deadly?