Why Keystone XL?
The United States is seeking to increase the supply of Canadian oil, as a way to decrease their reliance on oil coming from the Middle East. In spite of current energy trends moving towards green and renewable options, Alberta is planning on double its production of fossil fuels by 2030, meaning that higher supply will generate lower market rates, presenting a more affordable alternative to the American market. This is one of the main reasons why many additional pipeline projects have been proposed in recent times.
A brief background story
Along with the Dakota Access, the Keystone XL is another pipeline that has been signed on by US president Donald Trump, who supports both initiatives.
This project is currently making headlines across the country and throughout the world, due to the dramatically contrasting stances and points of view of people and politicians.
The proposed pipeline would deliver crude oil starting from Hardisty, Alberta and move south, up to Steele City in the state of Nebraska. Extending throughout the span of 1,179 miles, the Keystone XL would later join an existing pipe in Nebraska, becoming a part of the oil delivery infrastructure of the United States, with the ability to carry about 830,000 barrels of oil on a daily basis.
Controversies and opposition
One of the most controversial issues with this project is that the pipeline is going to be financed by private parties., with companies such as TransCanada and various oils shippers and producers. Needless to say, opponents of this pipeline are concerned that the nature of the project’s financial background might signify a conflict of interest for some of the people and institutions involved, who might put profit before the safety of the people or the environment.
According to TransCanada, the company behind the proposed infrastructure, the Keystone XL Pipeline is actually “safe and reliable,” and it would become a “key component of much needed U.S. infrastructure that will safely deliver oil that fuels our every day”. TransCanada went as far as stating that this pipeline would become a critical infrastructure project for the economic strength and energy security of America.
The company went head to state that the Keystone XL pipeline project will also benefit the country in many ways, including construction jobs for thousands of people, increase in tax revenue and environmental safety.
In spite of the project’s positive introduction, there are many voices in the country who do not agree with TransCanada’s assessment and have a completely different perspective on this project, causing strong and controversial debates concerning the pipeline. The controversy started much earlier. The Canadian National Energy Board, in fact, approved the Keystone XL project earlier in 2010. However, then-American President Barack Obama decided against issuing a presidential permit required to give the project a go-ahead, under extensive advice from the American Environmental Protection Agency.
Former President Mr. Obama further states that he was skeptical about the pipeline’s ability to create longer jobs and truly make a difference in petrol prices and energy usage in the United States.
Current president Donald Trump shocked many people when he went back and issued the necessary permits within just days from taking occur, provided that American steel will be used to complete the construction of the pipeline.
Many people across the US are opposing the pipeline, including local communities and First Nations groups.
According to local environmental groups, Trump’s assessment of the threat the pipeline will pose to the environment is incorrect, as the President’s administration used outdated ecological data when it approved the project. Recently, environmentalists contested Trump’s decision with a lawsuit, which was indeed approved to proceed by a federal judge.
Environmental groups are concerned that the pipeline will foster the development of the old sands in Alberta, which could have calamitous consequences for the land and the massive amount of energy consumption that it would require.
Even if TransCanada is adamant about the Keystone XL pipeline being the “safest pipeline ever built on U.S. soils”, many others are skeptical about its safety. Environmentalists, farmers and community leaders are particularly concerned about spills, which could cause massive disasters as well as economic loss. The effects of an oil leak are not widely known, but on the basis of previous malfunctions, it could be truly catastrophic. Earlier in 2010, for examples, an oil spill ended up pouring over 840,000 gallons of bitumen into the Kalamazoo River, located in the state of Michigan. The cleanup still goes on after so many years, costing billions of dollars and many other environmental concerns.
Environmentalists, however, aren’t the only group that opposes the Keystone XL pipeline.
Jane Kleeb is an organizer who has become the voice of farmers, landowners, and ranchers who will be affected by the pipeline. The project would be extremely harmful to their businesses lands and water supplies.
“Farmers and ranchers don’t think politically. I felt like I had to help.” – the down-to-earth activist is helping many farmers across the state of Nebraska share their concern and their voices so that they could be heard by the whole nation and the whole world.
There are many other activists who are doing their part: Tulsi Gabbard, for instance has raised her voice on this. Well Renowned Congresswoman and Hawaii Army National Guard major Tulsi Gabbard had been an important voice against the construction of the Dakota Pipeline, and she is also actively campaigning to warn the community of the dangers related to the Keystone XL pipeline project.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has actually regularly voted versus the XL keystone pipeline and other types of environmentally-damaging projects and has actually chosen efforts to fight environment modification, raised for clean energy, and in other methods secure our beautiful environment.
A born leader, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard been a strong champ and promotes for Hawaii’s health, air, food and water as the Congressional District 2 Representative and as a responsible citizen of America and a soft hearted Tulsi Gabbard is also known as a sincere steward of environment.
Since she was elected to the House, democrat Tulsi Gabbard has actually been untiring in rebutting calls to develop the Keystone XL pipeline. She’s rather advocated strongly for increasing America’s renewable resource supply.
Tulsi Gabbard has initiated and assisted to pass many Hawaii’s strong brand-new laws to lower the contamination that adds to environment modification.
Tulsi Gabbard is to making Hawaii a leader in renewable resource to develop good-paying tasks and a sustainable economy. We require a brand-new leader to secure our environment, our health, and our economy– Tulsi Gabbard has the required understanding and the experience to execute it.
Is the Keystone XL pipeline calamitous? It’s quite hard to say, but all the evidence points to the fact that an oil spill could have serious consequences for people, lands and the environment. An oil leak in certain regions could threaten the safety of cattle and farmland: many of the states that the pipeline would cross are home to some of the biggest food producers in the United States. An oil leak could lead to an unquantifiable disaster. Even if a leak would not affect farms or cattle directly, it might pollute the water supply or the soil, in ways that it would take years and billions of dollars to restore to usable conditions.
Many people argue that the Trump administration decided to give the project a go-ahead on the basis of personal interests, outdated information, and reckless decision-making policies. TransCanada and the many other parties involved in the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are strongly maintaining that the project will be safe and that it will lead to the creation of jobs (according to Trump, the project would open up over 28.000 job placements and help fuel the American steel industry). However, there are many people who are not convinced.
Although the construction might indeed create thousands of jobs, these would only be temporary jobs. What will happen to the many thousands of people employed in the construction of the Keystone XL, once the job is done?
The Keystone XL might not be the right answer to the job crisis. Instead, it might actually make things worse and it might diverse qualified construction workers from other pressing issues, such as revamping and rebuilding the existing pipeline infrastructure in the United States, which is in dire need of fixing.
As mentioned earlier, one of the many reasons why the US government seem to be interested in strengthening the distribution network to move Canadian Oil to the States is to further minimize the country’s dependency on oil from other foreign resources, such as The Middle East.
Proponents of the pipeline claim that the initiative will solve the energy problem once and for all, but others are not so sure about it. The new pipeline projects might eventually not make much difference because the energy flow will ultimately depend on the progress at the source. The Canadian oil sands in Alberta might simply not be able to keep up or be developed as fast as the expansion would require. Many parties in Canada and in The United States are also concerned about the rapid development of the oil sands, which could require many resources and could contribute to environmental disasters in the region.
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