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Protecting Our Own

Protecting Our Own
the Keystone Pipeline

The simple truth is we cannot drink oil or money. Protecting America’s potable water should not be forfeited for the sake of oil supply. The operation of the Keystone XL pipeline will have dire consequences on America’s most valuable environmental resources and will cause an increase in greenhouse gases. The creation of the pipeline is environmentally unjust. The promise of economic prosperity with the creation of American jobs will be short lived followed by long-term, consequential economic burdens due to environmental degradation.

The methods in which the oil has to be extracted from the Canadian tar sands will lead to alarming increases in greenhouse emissions, and inevitably increase climate change. Unnecessary aiding to climate change is not smart. The most devastating hurricane disasters are associated with the rising water-surface temperatures. The rising water-surface temperatures increase the frequency and the severity of hurricanes. The rising temperatures will also cause more severe precipitation which will lead to hazardous flooding. Along with the issues of climate change there is also an unacceptable amount of water that is used to extract the oil. The contaminated water can and has found its way to the clean water sources and have resulted in contamination.   

Increased oil leaks also threaten America’s environment. Oil leaks are a destructive occurrence that happens more times than the general population is aware of. In the United States alone there were an astounding 38 reported oil leaks in 2012. Although route revisions were made so that the pipeline does not go over the environmentally sensitive Sandhills, it still crosses the Ogallala aquifer. The Ogallala aquifer is a precious resource that covers eight states and supplies water to two million people in that area. The risk of building the pipeline is too much; an oil leak could undoubtedly poison the water.

The idea behind the keystone project is America will be able to effectively and efficiently transport oil from Canada to various parts in America to refineries and this will limit the trading America has with the Middle East. The proponents of the keystone pipeline argue that it will increase energy security, and it will produce more jobs. This is quite simply not true. The environmental-costly oil from Canada will be transported to the Gulf Coast refineries where it will be exported to other nations. There will still be a great dependence on Middle East oil. The jobs created will be temporary and will only involve the construction of the pipeline.  

False promises come at the expense of environmental injustice. The participating actors of the pipeline are the government and the oil companies. The people being affected are being affected in a negative way and have no legitimate voice in the decision. There are people in our own country, specifically in the Ogallala aquifer region, who are subjected to contaminated water. Oil contains harmful properties such as benzene that causes many illnesses including cancer. Our own American Citizens are suffering from dominant domain because their property is in the way of the illegitimate Keystone XL Pipeline.

The creation of the Keystone Pipeline is not a sustainable environmental, political, or economical solution. The creation of the Keystone Pipeline could poison valuable water resources and aid in climate change. The Keystone Pipeline will not give energy independence, and the Keystone Pipeline will not accommodate sustainable American jobs. Worst of all the Keystone Pipeline is environmentally unjust and are own American people will suffer the horrific consequences.

by Chad Cook

Categories: Uncategorized
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