Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Have you ever witnessed your personal flip-flop on an issue? Have you ever been for something, until you were against it? Were you divided by corporate, fiscal obligations rather than moral, community responsibilities? These are the questions fueling my struggle in having a definitive position on the Keystone Pipeline.
I first became aware of promises of oil sands, or tar sands, in 2008. I was working for a Fortune 1000 industrial manufacturing company. We had a wear resistant technology that provided productivity gains in the processing and transporting of bitumen in the mines of Alberta Canada. I worked in Strategic Marketing, as an internal consultant to business unit leaders, evaluating the potential risks and financial rewards for investing resources into this adjacent energy sector. Back then, I was a proponent of oil sands, conforming to the thoughts of energy giants like Shell and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, who were forecasting an economic boom.

Fast forward to 2011 and I was an entrepreneur opening a manufacturing consulting office in Port Arthur, TX--the terminal destination of a proposed pipeline to transport oil sands crude from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast ports and refineries. Our first ad in the local business journal ran in the same issue headlined by a story of protesters targeting the Keystone XL Pipeline.  I attended a community meeting as a member of the chamber of commerce, supporting the promise of jobs and economic stimulation expected from constructing the pipeline. What I walked away from that meeting with were alternate thoughts on the negative impacts on the community, both environmentally and economically.  This ignited my internal struggle as an industrialist vs. a concerned community citizen and the ongoing battle between my support of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources.  Most importantly, I wanted to know more about the real jobs numbers, both temporary and permanent.

Collage made from September 2011 issue of the  Port Arthur  Business  Journal To read more on the jobs debate, read the argument presented by TransCanada, the company pushing for the pipeline expansion:  http://keystone-xl.com/its-time-for-a-better-discussion-about-jobs/
Where do I stand on support of the Keystone Pipeline today? Admittedly, my support has transformed based on having different information and personal experiences.  I have watched local citizens not get jobs in favor of work crews temporarily relocated from other parts of the country. I have witnessed the destruction left behind when a pipeline unexpectedly bursts (re Mayflower, AR in 2013). And I have become weary of the current political debate that fuels more separation rather than solutions toward a real jobs plan. My faith lets me know that regardless of who is in the White House, one day we will know His good and perfect will on this matter. What are your thoughts on the Keystone Pipeline? Feel free to comment, or, send me an email at latanyua.robinson@gmail.com. If you like this post and want to catch up on some of my previous discussions, please visit the full Purposed Work blog at http://ltr-latrobe-mfg.blogspot.com/.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Have you ever witnessed your personal flip-flop on an issue? Have you ever been for something, until you were against it? Were you divided by corporate, fiscal obligations rather than moral, community responsibilities? These are the questions fueling my struggle in having a definitive position on the Keystone Pipeline.
I first became aware of promises of oil sands, or tar sands, in 2008. I was working for a Fortune 1000 industrial manufacturing company. We had a wear resistant technology that provided productivity gains in the processing and transporting of bitumen in the mines of Alberta Canada. I worked in Strategic Marketing, as an internal consultant to business unit leaders, evaluating the potential risks and financial rewards for investing resources into this adjacent energy sector. Back then, I was a proponent of oil sands, conforming to the thoughts of energy giants like Shell and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, who were forecasting an economic boom.

Fast forward to 2011 and I was an entrepreneur opening a manufacturing consulting office in Port Arthur, TX--the terminal destination of a proposed pipeline to transport oil sands crude from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast ports and refineries. Our first ad in the local business journal ran in the same issue headlined by a story of protesters targeting the Keystone XL Pipeline.  I attended a community meeting as a member of the chamber of commerce, supporting the promise of jobs and economic stimulation expected from constructing the pipeline. What I walked away from that meeting with were alternate thoughts on the negative impacts on the community, both environmentally and economically.  This ignited my internal struggle as an industrialist vs. a concerned community citizen and the ongoing battle between my support of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources.  Most importantly, I wanted to know more about the real jobs numbers, both temporary and permanent.

Collage made from September 2011 issue of the  Port Arthur  Business  Journal To read more on the jobs debate, read the argument presented by TransCanada, the company pushing for the pipeline expansion:  http://keystone-xl.com/its-time-for-a-better-discussion-about-jobs/
Where do I stand on support of the Keystone Pipeline today? Admittedly, my support has transformed based on having different information and personal experiences.  I have watched local citizens not get jobs in favor of work crews temporarily relocated from other parts of the country. I have witnessed the destruction left behind when a pipeline unexpectedly bursts (re Mayflower, AR in 2013). And I have become weary of the current political debate that fuels more separation rather than solutions toward a real jobs plan. My faith lets me know that regardless of who is in the White House, one day we will know His good and perfect will on this matter. What are your thoughts on the Keystone Pipeline? Feel free to comment, or, send me an email at latanyua.robinson@gmail.com. If you like this post and want to catch up on some of my previous discussions, please visit the full Purposed Work blog at http://ltr-latrobe-mfg.blogspot.com/.