The proposed Keystone Pipeline is kaput, thanks to President Obama. I am relieved.

Congress was suspect when they pushed for construction of the humongous pipeline to be built by foreign entities––either companies or governments––smack through the middle of America from Canada to Mexico, allegedly to carry dirty fuel for sale to nations overseas.

Supporters like my own U.S. Senator, James Lankford (R-Ok), said the Keystone Pipeline would provide jobs for Oklahomans. What? Digging a giant trench and laying pipe? That kind of work brought Chinese laborers to America two hundred years ago to build railroads, work few settlers wanted.

As a novelist, the proposed pipeline initiated wild imaginings in my head.

Here in Oklahoma, landowners negotiate with companies drilling for gas and oil, for “taps” in the lines to allow residents to siphon some of the production for personal use.

What if Keystone had provided similar taps for enterprising souls? I remembered the inmate whose people dug a tunnel directly to his jail cell and provided a small motor scooter to transport him through the tunnel to freedom. He has not yet been recaptured.

What if owners of the Keystone facility inserted outlets along the pipeline, then sent Isis insurgents into the tunnels to pop up randomly throughout America?

Why not? No security checks at either end.

What if a line like that ruptured and blew up buildings or ignited fires like residential gas lines that have erupted in U.S. cities recently, or broken waterlines that wreaked havoc?

All than conjuring gave me new ideas.

Last February, “Morning Rundown” showed a U.S. Coast Guard cutter breaking up ice on the Hudson River. The report said those efforts keep that passage open for barges that carry 70 percent of the heating oil that supplies the Northeast United States. I supposed barges have been providing that oil to those states by that method since before the birth of the nation.

If politicians want to get in the pipeline-building business, perhaps they could run a domestic line alongside the Hudson River to New England, replace those barges with new, more dependable infrastructure.

How about a pipeline from America’s wetlands out to often-drought-stricken California?

Americans are encouraged to think outside the box. That’s how we’ve come up with so many inventions, medical cures, etc.

I write novels––fiction. If you like how I think, you might enjoy my books. Check them out at



About sharonervin

I write novels for and about women. I work half-days in my husband and son's law office. A former newspaper reporter, I have a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. I have four grown children.
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