Some people say it's stupid to oppose an oil pipeline since an alternative is to send the oil by train or truck. Pipelines are said to be much safer.
I think the problem is overall consumption of oil. Not that the pipeline is worse than rail or truck.
Seems like a lot of issues are shaped by legal maneuvering. When a pipeline goes through environmental review process, the laws talk about leaks. Not as much the big picture of a pipeline's role in enabling oil consumption. A pipeline can bring down the cost of oil and gasoline which really, isn't a good thing. Yes, people are still dependent on inexpensive oil.
For a trip down Memory Lane, old time Washingtonians will remember the "Northern Tier Pipeline." It was a proposal to build a pipeline across the northern tier of states to ship oil from Alaska to consumers back east. Back toward Chicago and points beyond.
Oil from Alaska has been coming to our local refineries since construction of the Alaska Pipeline back in the 1970s (80s?). It comes by pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to a port in Valdez, Alaska. Then by tanker ships to Northwest Washington refineries, here in Whatcom and Skagit Counties.
Northern Tier was to send some of that oil back east to more markets.
Well, it looks like we used up much of the Prudhoe Bay Oil anyway. Oil is now coming west, instead of east. Some of it is now coming from North Dakota to Washington State by train.
If Northern Tier had been built, maybe it would be working in reverse? The oil flowing west, instead of east? The pipeline wasn't built so it's going by rail.
Alaskan oil is starting to run out, except for maybe more in the ground at Anwar Wilderness Preserve.
Since the 1990s, higher prices and new technology have ramped up oil production in North Dakota. Oil from the Bakken Shale. Some of our oil is now coming from the east. North Dakota has produced oil before, but the Bakken Shale Fields has significantly ramped up North Dakotan production in the 2000s.