Forward on climate, forward on the streets

03.12.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

climate picture  On February 17th, 2013, approximately 40,000 people gathered on the mall in Washington D.C., coming from over 30 states, in order to protest the pending keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline is proposed to be 1,179-miles long, running from Southwestern Canada to Texas refineries. The KXL would be run by TransCanada, a leading North American energy infrastructure company, through the Athabasca oil sands region. It would carry tar sands extracted from the ground. Tar sands are the least efficient form of oil extraction. This is because the method requires a large amount of technological use but only produces a small amount of oil in return. Therefore, it does not sound like a economically feasible plan to begin with.

In a time of hard economic times, some say the pipeline is exactly what we need. The project would create approximately 40,000 temporary jobs while the construction is underway. Yet, once the pipeline is done, it will only need about 20 people to manage it. The project would secure oil deposits in American refineries, allowing the US a reliable source of oil. Oil independence is a topic that has been discussed time and time again, yet never seems to make progress.

Recently, the path of the pipeline through Nebraska’s environmentally sensitive area, Sandhills, was detoured in order to increase public support. Yet, there are still a lot of environmental problems with the project. One of the main and forefront issues is oil spills. As seen through past historical events, the process to obtain oil is not always the safest or cleanest. These types of events do happen. Yet, there is a fear that if there are spills, it could be detrimental to the ecosystem, wildlife, and humans around it. Water, air, and land pollution is not something to be taken lightly as it would be counterproductive to economic growth and future human survival.

The date of the final decision from President Obama is still unknown. Yet, according to 350 and journalists on, the situation is going to be reevaluated after the 45 day comment period after the supplemental environmental impact statement on the pipeline came out on March 1st.

Sara Boukdad

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