The Keystone Pipeline System Controversy

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Probably the most antagonistic debate of President Obama’s secondary term, the Keystone pipeline system controversy has caused a major disturbance in the political regime due to its heavily disputed factual evidence. Ever since construction began in 2008 and it was commissioned in 2010, the Phase I portion of the pipeline has been haunted by talk of the possible expansion causing disorder among environmentalists and preservationists. While Phase II and Phase III have been completed since the current date, Phase IV, commonly referred to as the Keystone XL pipeline, has been put to startling halt due to the President’s veto on February 11, 2015, to a bill passed by the Senate advocating the pipeline. The President’s veto was placed forth due …show more content…

While proponents for not building the pipeline cite past unfortunate events as evidence for their argument, there are many facts that lead to the dismissal of these claims as unrelated or simply irrelevant. A widely used example is the Deepwater Horizon spill, or the BP oil spill, in April of 2010. This spill was highly covered by American media, engraving in the public mind that waters surrounding oil refineries and lines often become damaged or contaminated. This is shown by the opposition’s contention that the original route crossed the Sandhills in Nebraska. The Sandhills are considered wetlands by state and federal governments and are home to a large portion of the Ogallala Aquifer, “the single most important source of water in the High Plains region, providing nearly all the water for residential, industrial, and agricultural use” (Ogallala Aquifer). Comparing the consequences of the Deepwater Horizon incident to pessimistic thoughts of the Keystone XL, advocates of the project’s cancellation claim that if the pipeline were to break or leak at point along the route near the aquifer, it would pollute the area’s usable water, therefore causing significant environmental and economic damage. Rebuttals for this argument are very resolute; pipeline supporters and other experts assert that this should not be as big of an issue as it is advertised to be. James Goeke, professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a hydrologist by trade in

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