U.S. Debates Keystone XL


Colin Cameron – Printz Reporter

Over the past year, the benefits of constructing the Keystone XL pipeline have been hammered into a political staple by the Department of State and supporters, while the cons of such a project were put on the backburner or not logically considered.

In an environmental analysis report, the state department ultimately said the pipeline wouldn’t yield any significant impact on the environment, but fails to recognize the exterior factors in each of its projected “scenarios.”

The report fails to include any considerations for the dirty tar sands oil that will be extracted and transported by the pipeline and the greenhouse gas emission that will be produced as a result.

For one, this “tar sands oil” that will be extracted and burned is not only extremely labor intensive to retrieve, but is the dirtiest type of liquid fuel on the planet – producing a harmful high-sulfur, high-carbon byproduct known as “petcoke.”

Furthermore, the Keystone XL pipeline poses additional environmental threats as well. If constructed, the pipeline would pass directly through America’s agricultural hub, putting the American heartland, as well as one of the world’s largest aquifers, at a constant threat of an environmental catastrophe by potential spills and leaks.

TransCanada’s leaked a total of 14 times in only its first year of operation. In Canada, the consequences regarding this have already begun to take a devastating turn for the unfortunate communities residing downstream from the project.

A health study conducted by the University of Manitoba, titled Environmental and Human Health Implications of Athabasca Oil Sands, revealed and confirmed the association between the oil sands contamination and the increased rate of rare cancers in the surrounding communities.

Should the U.S. follow through with the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, we will likely find ourselves in a similar situation.

However, pipeline construction supporters have seemed to overlook the obvious environmental and health threats that the pipeline poses and instead have chosen to appeal to the American capitalistic spirit, boasting the economic opportunities that the project will generate.

This, quite frankly, is a lot like putting a tiny bandage on a broken arm.

The argument that it is necessary to invest in such a dirty source of energy is played out and no longer relevant.

The pipeline will create a few jobs; however, clean-tech jobs are quickly replacing the oil industry as it is, and are actually yielding positive, cleaner forms of energy. Not to mention these jobs are higher paying as well.

Regardless, overall production of this low quality fuel would constitute a rise in gas prices for American consumers.

A logical gray area is insinuated as a result, for the very reason why consumers are having to pay more at the pump is merely being exported and is in no way guaranteed to stay in America.

Should the project pass, it is likely due to the failure to provide adequate considerations for the harmful facts that are pitted against and associated with the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.


Chris Lee – Printz Reporter

One of the highly controversial bills making its way through the federal legislature is a bill allowing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The passage of this legislation would bring more than 42,000 jobs to the United States at a time when Americans need it the most. Both American workers and American towns, which the pipeline will run through, will benefit greatly from the construction of this pipeline.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would stretch from Alberta, Canada, to the oil refineries located on the U.S. coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

The pipeline would allow Gulf oil refineries to receive crude oil from Canada they need in order to produce products that are vital to the American way of life, such as gasoline.

The pipeline is not a government-funded project. It is a private project that TransCanada wishes to build in the United States that would benefit both the U.S. and our neighbors in the Great White North.

But, the final product is not all that would benefit the United States. To build and maintain this pipeline, TransCanada is going to needs thousands of highly trained and educated U.S. workers.

Many would argue that the unemployment rate in America is down, but they would be ignoring the fact that many U.S. workers have simply given up hope and dropped out of the workforce.

The jobs created by the Keystone XL pipeline are a step in the right direction for restoring that hope.

The delay of this project delays American workers from receiving the $2 billion in wages that the construction of the pipeline would offer.

In addition to providing well-paying jobs to American workers, the counties in which the pipeline will be built could be see significant economic benefits from the millions of dollars in property taxes that would be payed by TransCanada.

The tax revenue in these counties would be increased significantly allowing the cities to increase spending, which would result in better schools, better buildings, and better services.

America needs gasoline. America needs jobs. America needs the Keystone XL pipeline.