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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Keystone XL Pipeline Would Be Bad News for the Environment

In a world where money rules supreme and everything else falls second, it’s a wonder the Keystone XL pipeline bill was not passed by Congress sooner. The Keystone XL pipeline bill—passed by Congress but vetoed by our president—would be a 1,200-mile-long oil pipeline system spanning from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would connect to previously existing oil pipelines.

On the plus side, this would create tens of thousands of jobs for Americans and would be privately funded so as to be no burden to taxpayers. Also, there would be increased oil transportation from Canada, which would mean less of a dependency on the Middle East.

Usually, with great economic strife comes the turning of a blind eye towards environmental hazards. It’s easy to forget the BP oil spill that devastated the Gulf of Mexico back in 2010 due to the carelessness of the big oil company, or to overlook the immense damage fracking does to the ecosystem. The Keystone XL pipeline is no different, and while it may be beneficial from an economic standpoint, the environmental damage it may cause far outweighs the benefits.

The pipeline would be carrying tar sand oils, which are a type of unconventional oil deposit. Just the acquisition of this tar sand is extremely harmful to the surrounding ecosystems, leading to wildlife deprivation and the pollution of runoff water into nearby water systems.

Not only does that make it dangerous to animals, but it makes it a hazard to humans as well. Also, the area from which this substance is obtained gets greatly damaged. It takes about two tons of tar sand to produce only one barrel of oil, which adds up to a lot of misplaced land in the long run.

As if that isn’t enough of a deterrent, the production of this causes more greenhouse gas emissions than obtaining the more conventionally used crude oil.

Basically, if this bill comes to be, it would signal a full commitment to the production of oil sands.

Not only could the transfer of this over thousands of miles lead to spills, but also it means our dependency on fossil fuels will not change. With the entire world looking for a way to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions and production of renewable resources, recently holding a climate change summit in Peru to decide what do, the creation of this pipeline would almost double the fossil fuel dependency in America.

The Keystone XL pipeline is the money-guzzling oil giants’ way of saying they do not care about the environment and are willing to go to great environmental risks to ensure that they get that money. In passing this bill, Congress greatly overlooked the damage it could cause to the environment, leading Obama to veto it at his desk.

There are people out there who still don’t believe in climate change. Not only are those people ignorant of the fragility of our world, but they are blinded by a system designed to make money at all costs.