On the Issue of the Keystone XL Pipeline

624 WordsFeb 20, 20182 Pages
On the Issue of the Keystone XL Pipeline As a way to directly link the unrefined tar-sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the refineries in Texas, there is no doubt that the Keystone XL Pipeline remains a topic of controversy. As with many large projects, there are both positive and negative consequences that result from its construction. While there are potential economic benefits like the creation of infrastructure-related jobs and a potential shift from energy dependence, there are many dangers to the building of the pipeline. The notion of building a pipeline that connects Canada and the United States for economic reasons is neither completely unjustifiable nor unreasonable, but given the current circumstances, in which ecological damage and neglect on the part of TransCanada are likely, I cannot support the building of the Keystone XL pipeline. The most common argument is that the building of the pipeline damages the environment and worsens climate change. Tar-sands oil, also referred to as bitumen, is a thick form of oil that has to be mined, separated from sand, and refined. In order for bitumen to be transported through the pipeline, it has to be mixed with other chemicals, including benzene, a known carcinogen. The entire process uses about “three times the amount of water as conventional oil and generates up to four times the amount of carbon emissions.” This damage is added to the fact that many First Nations lands are being destroyed. The extraction process in
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