KEYSTONE PIPELINE XL: CANADA TO UNITED STATES
The Canadian company Trans Canada hopes to begin building the northern section of an oil pipeline that would trek close to 2000 miles from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas. If constructed the pipeline known as Keystone XL will carry one of the dirtiest fuels tar sands oil. Along its route from Alberta to Texas this pipeline could devastate ecosystem, pollute waste resources and jeopardize public health. Giant oil corporations invested in Canadas tar sands are counting on the Keystone XL pipeline t make the expansion of oil extraction operations there profitable. The pipeline would double the imports of tar sands oil into the United States and transport it to the refineries on the Gulf Coast and ports for international export. The 5.3 billion keystone xl pipeline project is the largest infrastructure project currently proposed in the United States. Construction of the 1179 mile pipeline will require 90000 skilled American workers. The project will provide jobs for welders, mechanics, electricians, pipefitters, laborers, safety coordinators, heavy equipment operators and other workers who rely on large construction projects for their livelihoods. In addition to the construction jobs an estimated 7000 U.S jobs are being supported in manufacturing the steel pipe and the thousands of fittings, valves, pumps and control devices required for a major pipeline. Construction of keystone xl project is anticipated to generate 20 billion in economic impact in the U.S including 99 million in local government revenues and 486 million in state government revenues during construction. The pipeline will also generate an estimated 5 billion in additional property taxes during their operational life. The Canadian Energy Institute predicts that Keystone XL will add $172 billion to America’s gross domestic product by 2035 and will create an additional 1.8 million person years of employment in the U.S over the years. Looking at the other side of the pipeline project there’s a different side to it. Pollution from tar sands oil greatly eclipses that of conventional oil. During tar sand oil production alone levels of carbon dioxide emission are three to four times higher than those of conventional oil. Due to more energy intensive extraction and refining processes. The pipeline would carry 83000 barrels of tar sands oil in the U.S daily and result in climatic damaging emissions equal to adding more than 5.6 million new cars to U.S roads. During the tar sands oil extraction process, cast amounts of heat, water and chemicals are needed to separate the tarry substance from sand, silt and clay and flow to the pipeline. Water used in the process comes from rivers and underground aquifers. 95% of the water used to extract oil which is 2.4 million barrels per day is so polluted that the water must be stored in large human made pools. As the heavy bitumen sinks to the bottom of these ponds the toxic sludge works its way into neighboring clean water supplies. The tar sands oil are underneath the world’s largest intact ecosystem, the Boreal forests of Alberta. The forest not only serves as an important carbon sink but its biodiversity and unspoiled bodies of water support large populations of many different species. They are a buffer against climate change as well as food and water shortages. In te process of keystone pipelines which requires digging up tar sands oil forests will be destroyed. The valuable forest and its endangered caribou are both threatened by the pipeline. Northern Alberta the region where the tar sands is extracted is home to many indigenous populations. Important part to their cultural traditions an livelihoods are coming under attack because of tar sands operations. Not only have communities been forced off their land but also living downstream from tailing ponds have seen spikes in rates of rare cancer, renal failure, lupus and hyperthyroidism. These problems will increase...
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