Keystone XL Pipeline

Topics: Petroleum, Oil sands, United States Pages: 5 (1058 words) Published: March 16, 2015
Keystone XL Pipeline
As controversy continues to rise, political and moral disputes encompass the decision to construct the extension of a tunnel containing a composition of today’s most beloved resource, and what has been referred to as “black gold” by the Arabs during the 20th century oil boom. The Keystone XL Pipeline would potentially transport thousands of barrels of oil from its source in Alberta, Canada, to refineries throughout the Midwest and Gulf Coast region of the United States. The extension would add to the number of pipelines already established in the U.S. and continue to convey the tar sands, a compound of clay, sand, water, and bitumen that its lead producer manufactures. The debate of whether or not the construction of this conduit should actually take place has been a hot topic for many politicians and environmentalists. Should the United States authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline to import tar sand oil from Canada? Given the amount of friends turned foes and vice versa that America has created with the countries of our world over the years, Canada has been one of the few that we have managed to remain close with. As of today Americans and Canadians have fully committed to the construction of the Pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska. Although both sides of the boarder agree to the fullest on the pipeline, the president of the United States of America continues to demonstrate his inaugural promise to a green America. TransCanada, who is the lead producer of the pipeline, has applied for a Presidential Permit (which is required as the pipeline will cross the Canada/U.S. border) in the past and was granted in 2010 and 2011. Following those years, construction has been continually denied. Politicians have argued that building the pipeline will create more jobs, reduce spills, and limit our dependence on foreign oil. Republican Senator of Nebraska John Hoeven stated that “Working with Canada will help us achieve true North American energy security and also help our allies. The project will create thousands of jobs, boost our economy, reduce our reliance on Middle Eastern oil and make our country more secure.” So, why would anyone argue that building this pipeline is a bad idea at all? The dilemma this project faces is that there are too many people, including the President, opposed to the idea of inserting a permanent pipeline that will transport harsh, dirty, crude oil. One of the world's richest forests stretches across northern Alberta, making the Canadian province home to a vast array of migrating birds, diverse wildlife, and the First Nations people who once thrived on the region’s natural bounty. But in recent decades, mining companies have torn up the land and polluted its waters in a quest to extract tar sands, which yield a heavy crude oil trapped in a mixture of sand and clay. According to the National Resource Defense Council, it is “dirty fuel; the extraction and refining process is even dirtier. It's so energy-intensive, in fact, that tar sands oil is barely economical to bring to market. The industry is so desperate to build Keystone XL.” The proposed $7 billion tar sands oil pipeline would run 2,000 miles across the American heartland, crossing the country's largest freshwater aquifer to reach the Texas Gulf Coast. There, refineries would process a projected 830,000 barrels of dirty crude daily, most of them bound for overseas markets, with little impact on U.S. energy independence or gas prices. The new pipeline would be harmful not only to the people, but to our water, wildlife, and climate! It’s less about creating temporary jobs and more about conserving the environment for our children and grandchildren. There are multiple reasons why Keystone XL is a bad idea and tar sands oil should stay in the ground. First and foremost, it’s not safe. Tar sands pipelines are more vulnerable to spills than others conveying traditional oil because of its...
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