The Pros And Cons Of The Keystone Pipeline

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The Keystone Pipeline is an oil pipeline system in the United States and Canada. It was commissioned in 2010 and is now owned by TransCanada Corporation. The pipeline has become a subject of controversy when the planned fourth phase of the pipeline sparked environmental protest. It has become a symbol for the fight over climate change and the use of fossil fuels, specifically crude oil. Three phases of the pipeline have already been completed; The Keystone Pipeline (Phase 1), the Keystone-Crushing extension (Phase 2), and the Gulf Coast Extension (Phase 3). The original problem is that the pipeline doesn’t go in a straight line. The proposed fourth phase, Keystone XL, would create an expressway that cuts a straight line from Hardisty, Canada, …show more content…
But, once it is completed only 35 permanent employees would be necessary to operate the pipeline, along with another 15 temporary contractors. (2) One of the key economic benefits of the pipeline is that it is supposed to create jobs to boost the American economy, unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be any exponential job growth in the long run.
The Keystone Pipeline faced a possible problem when President Trump signed an order requiring that all pipelines in the United States be made with steel from the U.S. The White House released a statement saying that the Keystone Pipeline will be exempt from this regulation. This contradicts a previous promise made by Trump, that the pipeline would be made solely with U.S steel which would be a boost for American manufacturers. (3)
TransCanada feels optimistic about the future of the pipeline despite its controversy. So does Canada’s Minster of Natural Resources, Jim Carr. “Our economies are integrated, and they have been for a long time," Carr said when referring to how the pipeline will affect the two countries. According to Carr, Canada’s interests are the same as America’s when it comes to creating jobs. “We are in this together.” The pipeline hasn’t hurt our relations with neighboring ally, Canada. If anything it has furthered the economic reliance on each other because the pipeline would be the main means of transport
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Environmental groups have said that the pipeline would generate more carbon emissions just to refine the heavy-crude oil. Engineers have also stated that TransCanada has underestimated the chances of a major oil spill from the 36-inch diameter pipeline. (4)
Environmentalists don’t like the sound of 830,000 barrels of crude oil being transported through the Great Plains. The threat of oil spills is high to the already fragile ecosystems in these areas. Spills aren’t a possibility, they are almost guaranteed as even “TransCanada allowed that there would be at least eleven spills over the project’s fifty-year lifespan (although some experts put that number as high as ninety-one).” To help quell these fears, TransCanada rerouted the pipeline away from endangered wetlands and freshwater aquifers. They also made plans to bury the pipeline deeper underground. (5)
The environmental concerns aren’t just with the pipeline but also with the oil that would be transported. The oil transported by Keystone XL will be from the Canadian tar sands. Tar sand oil requires more energy than traditional fuel to extract. It requires more fossil fuels and can release “17 percent more greenhouse gasses than traditional oil.”