WILL THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE BECOME A REALTY? – Debate over the Keystone XL Pipeline continues, but it was encouraging for its supporters to hear that 70% of American voters are now in favor of the proposed project. The pipeline would begin with our neighbors to the North in Alberta, Canada and end in the American refineries of Texas. In essence this would divide our country along a route of approximately 2673 kilometers at a cost of $7 billion. The fact that Canada is US friendly, economically and politically stable, and has an excess of crude oil that we are hungry for makes this a perfect relationship.
Sending 100% of its natural gas and 98% of its crude already to the US makes Canada the largest supplier of energy to the United States. The Pipeline would provide jobs in both countries, give Canada an added income and free the US from its dependency on oil outside of North America. It is expected to bring over 830,000 barrels of crude daily and this will stabilize our own market considerably since we are currently importing over 50% of our oil from turbulent countries like Iraq, Iran and Venezuela.
There has of course been a great deal of talk concerning the Pipeline’s affect on the environment. With that many miles of construction, a leak anywhere could become a major event. Those opposed in Canada cite concern over greenhouse emissions and the effect it will have on the oil sands given the fact that the Pipeline is being pushed through before any environmental regulations have been put into place: and in the US the Pipeline crosses the Ogallala aquifer, an area that feeds drinking water to 8 states, creating concern around the possible affects a leak would have on the water supply.
We’ve all seen what an oil spill looks like in the ocean, and when you consider the vast amount of land a leak could contaminate, the concern is legitimate and requires answers. For now, TransCanada is reassuring the public that there will be regular inspections and maintenance done on the pipeline to head off any type of major tragedy.
From where I sit, I am in total agreement and favor of the Pipeline. We have 149 refineries in the US with less than half of them being able to handle crude conversion and none of them are operating at capacity. A supply of crude is the main reason operations are low and as environmentalists have shackled our country from being independent with both good and bad regulations we no longer have the option of using our own resources. With the influx of crude from Canada, our refineries will now be able to run full steam. Thankfully Canada finds itself with excess in an area that they too have been trying to develop.
Keystone Pipeline – Image
I do have concerns for the population and the environment should a break in the pipeline occur and having regular inspections and routine maintenance is not a complete answer. They are support actions and it would put many minds at ease knowing that there were regulations for the actual laying of the pipe, and a clean-up protocol should a leak occur.
Building of the Pipeline has already begun in Canada and in the Southern portion of the United States, with officials expecting the government to make a final decision on the northern leg of the pipeline by the middle of the year. Canada’s Conservative government, which wants Washington to approve Keystone XL, also backs industry proposals for pipelines running from the oil sands to the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.
One thing is for certain; whether you are in favor or opposed to the pipeline, receiving our crude from a friendly neighbor is a positive event. Both countries will benefit as well as be taking some environmental risks for monetary gain. We have only one Earth and she is dependent on us to take care of her. The Pipeline can be good for everyone if it is thought out, done well and maintained over the years.