How is that oil supposed to get places?

A worker from Folz Welding repairs an oil pipeline in Patoka, Illinois in 2016.

A worker from Folz Welding repairs an oil pipeline in Patoka, Illinois in 2016. | Neil Steinberg/Chicago Sun-Times

Why do we panic when hackers shut down oil pipelines, but cheer when protesters do?

“People are the worst,” said my older son, a phrase I kept in my back pocket for frequent reference, as a sort of half explanation, half benediction. He put a little oomph on the last word, “People are the worst!”

Although, in their defense, people can be very indulgent about learning new words. For my entire career, I’ve trotted out five-dollar locutions in this column, sometimes because they’re the most precise term for conveying a particular thought, sometimes just to show off. Either way, readers invariably take the bother of looking them up, occasionally even writing in, grateful to learn a new word.

Words like “juxtaposition.” Setting one thing next to another, for comparison and contrast. To clarify a point that otherwise might be elusive.

For instance. Remember in early May, when cybercriminals shut down the east coast’s Colonial Pipeline? Suddenly everyone was panicked about gas shortages and price spikes. That video of some idiot (people … are … the … WORST!) filling a garbage bag with gasoline. Nobody greeted the Colonial crisis with “Hooray for hackers! I hope the pipeline never re-opens.”

Now draw a line from that to this week, and the Keystone XL crude pipeline being finally scuttled after years of fighting environmentalists and Native American protesters. Good news, right? Boo global warming! Three cheers for tribal activism!

Let me ask you this: How is oil supposed to be transported across our enormous country? Because if it doesn’t go by pipeline, it has to move in trucks or train cars, which are even more expensive, more dangerous and worse for the environment. …read more

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Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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