Ethical and Regulatory Environment – a Look at the Keystone Pipeline
TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline is a $7 billion project to bring heavy, sour crude oil from tar sands production in Alberta, Canada to Port Arthur, Texas for refining. It has sparked an ongoing struggle as advocates and opponents of the project make their case in various ways to the Obama Administration (Anonymous, 2011, Keystone XL Exposed). But is this pipeline ethically the right thing to do?
The Tar Sands Keystone XL pipeline is a topic that some support, other oppose, but most do not realize the entire scope of this endeavor. There are four phases of this project and if it is constructed on its proposed path would begin in Alberta, Canada; go through Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Oklahoma, until it reaches Texas. The pipeline's 1,932 miles will cross through the middle of the United States, which is more than twice the size of the Trans Alaska Pipeline. Furthermore, the Keystone XL pipeline would cross the Ogallala aquifer that supplies drinking water for approximately 8 states and provides irrigation for millions of acres of farmland that supplies our nation’s food.
Tar Sands are only in a few countries around the world, one of which is in Alberta, Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands and this is the second largest oil deposit world wide. Saudi Arabia is of' course the largest. Other areas that tar sands have been found in are Venezuela and the Middle East.
Canadian crude oil may be cheaper, which is a positive factor the Keystone XL pipeline advocates want to focus on in order for them to obtain the required 'presidential permit' for this project to move forward. The process for approval requires that the State Department obtain sufficient information showing that the Keystone XL pipeline would be beneficial to our national interest. In my research of the Tar Sands...
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