The Canadian Keystone XL pipeline is a bad deal for everyone involved. Crude oil of the type the XL pipeline will carry has been spilled in the Kalamazoo river in Michigan in 2010, still hasn’t been cleaned up, still poses a significant threat and will likely do so in the years to come. Tar sands oil has recently been spilled in Arkansas. TransCanada has proven it cannot safely transport the heavy crude oil through its pipelines. Whose land will be polluted next and who will pay for the cost of cleanup?
The oil produced by the XL pipeline will be sold overseas to the highest bidders, not to lower prices of gasoline in the U.S. Shell Oil, a backer for the XL pipeline, has already asked for permits to sell oil produced here in the U.S. to overseas markets. The State Department’s report was drafted by "experts" who had previously worked for TransCanada, the company looking to build the pipeline, and other energy companies poised to benefit from its construction. The U.S. will receive a few permanent jobs but will assume all of the risks that a pipeline thousands of miles long will produce.
The oil from the Keystone pipeline comes from bitumen, a tar-like substance produced by injecting massive amounts of superheated water into the earth, creating huge toxic lakes, elevating cancer rates for those who live near it, poisoning local wildlife, the birds that use the Pacific flyway migratory bird path, and make land unfit for any type of use. It will also take much more energy and produce significantly more carbon dioxide than other oil-producing facilities.
The tar sands mine when expanded in its full capacity will create a wasteland about the size of Florida but only if Canada can export it. It is unlikely that the Canadians will build a pipeline west that will cross a park like Banff National Park or through the pristine fishing grounds that line the coast west of Alberta. They will have to go thousands of miles east or truck it making is less viable economically.
Say no the Keystone XL pipeline. It will make a difference.