Time to kick Keystone to the curb?

President Obama Golfing

So, President Obama vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline, and then the veto override failed.

Republicans will still shout that the economy depends on it! Democrats will shout that environment will be destroyed by it! The answer, as most things do, tends to lie somewhere in the middle.

Well, it is easier to start with lefty side. The environmental argument is false. In fact, President Obama’s own State Department determined as such, after five years of study. The State Departments released its findings in 2013, according to ABC News.

“The approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including this proposed project, really remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of development of the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil in the U.S.”

The EPA, a group that never has an unbiased report or thing to say, determined that there would be increases in greenhouse gases. The key to the whole report is the fact that they said the Keystone XL Pipeline’s construction wouldn’t make a difference, as reported by Reason. 

“The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement concluded that although development of oil sands would lead to significant additional releases of greenhouse gases, a decision not to grant the requested permit would likely not change that outcome, i.e., those significant greenhouse gas emissions would likely happen regardless of the decision on the proposed Project.”

The gases that allegedly would be released due to these evil tar sands? It would amount to one-half of 1 percent. So then, we should probably build it? Well, not necessarily. Several issues exist that make it questionable of whether it would be worth the time.

A certain segment of the propose Keystone XL pipelines that is in Minnesota, runs through American Indian reservations, according to The Daily Beast. The area the pipeline runs through is partly a trail. The Trail of Tears to be exact. So, it would certainly seem a bit disturbed to step on a particular part of history when a particular parties’ president exiled Native Americans from their land that the U.S. originally agreed to not infringe upon.

That does seem like a reason you might want to rethink the pipeline, but what about the jobs and the economy? Well, the numbers given are a little misleading. According to BuildKXLNow.org, there are 42,000 new jobs. They detail only half of that amount.


Credit: Buildkxlnow.org

The problem? Those jobs are for the construction of the pipeline. Where do those jobs go when the it is complete? To be fair, the U.S. government reports conflated numbers in the same way.

So, touche, but what about all that oil we can benefit from? Well, there is a difference between crude oil and oils sands. According to Discovery, it would be a far more intrusive process. Oil sands, or what the pipeline would be funneling, is 90 percent sand, clay, and water.

Only 10 percent of it is “bitumen”, which is what is refined into synthetic oil. It takes 2 – 4 tons of tar sand, and two to four barrels of water, to produce just one barrel of oil. It requires shovels and pits to extract it, so kind-of like a big sandbox will an oil-like substance underneath.

When you consider that President Obama could have released ANWR for oil exploration, or even just left the coastal areas that President Bush opened for exploration alone, it is kind-of a moot point. With an economy that has been foundering since irresponsible, unpatriotic stimulus packages, not my words, the Keystone XL pipeline is little more than a ploy to make it seem like our elected officials are doing something.


[Reason] [Daily Beast] [Discovery]