The Keystone XL Pipeline Debate

Decent Essays
Keystone XL is one of the worst energy solution proposals in recent memory. Recently, President Trump issued a go-ahead order for the pipeline to be built, which countered Obama’s own order to halt its construction. While there is continuous debate on which of Trump’s orders is the most harmfull, the issue of the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is a prospect many should be concerned about. Not only does it violate many environmental regulations (which Trump also aims to be rid of), but the costs will end up outweighing the potential “benefits.” In this paper, I will examine potential problems associated with Trump’s decision to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and argue that it should not be built in the first…show more content…
The proposed pipeline goes over the great plains, which rely heavily on groundwater supplies. Mason Inman, who works for National Geographic, explains that “Keystone XL would pass over [a] heart of [a] aquifer, cutting through the Sand Hills of Nebraska, a region of grass-covered dunes that contains one of the largest wetlands ecosystems in the United States. The region's porous ground acts as a thick sponge, environmentalists say, allowing oil to soak into the aquifer more easily than it would if the soil were more solid.” This would mean that the drinking water would be contaminated for countless individuals, creating a water crisis arguably as bad as the one in Flint, Michigan. Let’s address the specific health issues that oil causes when diluted in water. Diluted bitumen, also known as “dilbit” is a specific type of oil transported by the pipeline, which National Geographic says that it “carries hazardous chemicals such as cancer-causing benzene and toxic heavy metals such as arsenic. Because it also contains particles of sand, the environmental groups say, dilbit is much more corrosive than oil alone, thus more likely to cause leaks.” Basically, if an oil spill were to fall into those water supplies, there would be a sharp increase in cancer and other deadly diseases in that area, creating even bigger disaster than one just affecting animals. The most concerning part of that passage, however, is that dilbit is more corrosive than standard oil, which means that the already high chance of an oil spill rises even more. The risk of this alone should frighten people away from such a dangerous energy
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