With several major pipelines in the United States having been halted, including the Keystone Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline, many are wondering what these changes mean for the future of the US oil industry. Winona LaDuke, Co-Founder of Honor the Earth and former Green Party vice president candidate of Ralph Nader provided expert insight into this topic.
According to LaDuke, there’s been a fleeing of industries from pipelines. “Pipelines are a risky business, you know? And just to be clear, like to me, this is really not just a pipeline question. It’s a question of infrastructure,” LaDuke said. She emphasized that pipes are a necessity, but not for oil companies, “We do need pipes, we do need pipes, but we need pipes that are like water and sewer pipes. We don’t need pipes for oil companies. And so it’s a question of, you know, how are you going to spend your infrastructure money?”
For LaDuke, green energy is the best path forward for the industry. “It’s the end of an era. So anything you’re going to try to put in is going to be pretty much a last [ditch] effort. And the cost overruns of every project, you know, for the fantasy of a pipeline has been so egregious,” LaDuke noted.
LaDuke is optimistic that green energy will provide job opportunities, which is especially valuable in light of recent events. “One of the many things taught to us by the COVID pandemic is that we make everything in China,” she explained. LaDuke believes we need to make renewable energy in the US instead of importing parts from other countries. “We need to rebuild an industrial sector in this country. That makes sense. And that’s what the new green revolution is. That’s the one I’m part of.”