Keystone Pipeline as Strategic Uncertainty

By Zachary Alexander on

The State Department released its report on the environmental impact of the Keystone Pipeline to the public. Based on the non-findings of the report, a lot of very serious people believe that the issue of building of the Keystone Pipeline is simply an issue of jobs. For those tasked with supporting sustainability, the Keystone Pipeline needs to be viewed as a very dangerous strategic uncertainty.

As you know, strategic uncertainty is the potential that a given techno economic event could collapse either a major market or your entire industry. By this definition, building the Keystone Pipeline represents a strategic uncertainty for those tasked with supporting sustainability. The reason is as Professor Paul Krugman recently said, all government spending even the inefficient kind has a lifting effect in depressed times.

Building the Keystone Pipeline makes perfect sense when viewed through the lens of jobs growth. However, it is ludicrous when viewed through the lens of sustainability. Post-Globalization, the United States will not have the special relationship it has enjoyed with its trading partner because they have to do business with American partners in order to get United States dollars to buy oil.

In fact, America is in danger of isolating itself from the community of nations by doubling down on its lax environmental policy. This is not to say that the post-Globalization marketplace will be any less integrated. However, this blog segment was written to warn you and your peers about the strategic uncertainty that is associated with ignoring sustainability. And the intent is to alert you to the dangers of maintaining the status quo.

Zachary Alexander