Keystone XL Pipeline

March 7, 2017
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Population is rising quickly from immigration and reproducing. With more people running around in the United States, that means more products that have to be made to keep up with the demand of the population. Many products that people don’t know about use crude oil. Petroleum products include transportation fuels, fuel oils for heating and electricity generation, asphalt and road oil, and feedstocks for making the chemicals, plastics, and synthetic materials that are in nearly everything we use today. (“U.S. Energy Information Administration”). One of the biggest consumers of oil are vehicles and equipment. It is necessary, having a more efficient way to transport oil would make it easier and cheaper to run the vehicles and equipment.


There are many ways to transport crude oil. All have their pros and cons. Oil can be transported by boats, trucks, trains and pipeline. Pipelining in the controversial method since it involves tearing up the ground and putting steel pipe into the ground. Environmentalists don’t like that. In this essay, I’m going to explain the cause and effects of the Keystone Pipeline (Levin) and how it can benefit our economy with tax revenue, jobs, and more efficient oil production, while not having an effect on climate change.

The first cause for the Keystone Pipeline is for job creation. “"Every time we have a show, somebody says something ... about Keystone, and somehow Keystone is going to create all these jobs," Jones said in the Feb. 3 episode of Crossfire.” (“CNN's Van Jones Says Keystone Pipeline Only Creates 35 Permanent Jobs”). Democrats complain that the pipeline will create mostly temporary jobs, but working for a little bit and putting some money in your pocket is better than leeching off the government your whole life. The Keystone Pipeline is not going to create that many temporary jobs. That can be a good thing though. Only needing a minimal amount of people to work the pipeline shows how efficient the pipeline is. There are pipelines in the ground right now. So what's stopping us from putting this one in? The pipeline will also create a considerable amount of money for the states it passes through with property tax. The southern leg of the Keystone Pipeline generated 2.1 billion dollars for Oklahoma and 3.6 billion dollars for Texas (Loris).

According to Financial Post transporting from train to pipeline gives off more greenhouse emissions than moving it just through pipelines. The pipeline is environmentally responsible. “When it comes to accidents, injuries, and fatalities, pipelines are the safest mode of transporting oil and gas. After four exhaustive environmental reviews, the Department of State determined that Keystone XL poses minimal environmental risk to soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish, and wildlife.”

There is always a risk with transporting crude oil. It has been tested that the Keystone Pipeline would be way safer, more efficient, and faster to Pipeline it from Canada to the United States (Loris). “One of the most particular concerns of environmentalists has been the point where the pipeline crosses the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska, despite the fact that thousands of miles of pipeline already cross the aquifer. Both the State Department and external geologists conclude that the aquifer is at extremely minimal risk of contamination because of the slope of the aquifer and the geologic makeup of the soil” (Loris). “A recent argument against Keystone is that in the recent era of cheap oil, Keystone XL is not a worthwhile financial investment. If a restaurant owner wanted to take the chance of building a new eatery on the same block where cheap food was readily available, should the federal government step in and tell the owner the economics do not look good? The government’s current role is to make a national interest determination, but even that is too expansive. The only role the federal government should have in the process is to determine if the pipeline poses any national security threat. The fact of the matter is that the pipeline has been evaluated as environmentally safe, and provides a valuable resource from a friendly, secure, and reliable trading partner and ally. It should be a private-sector decision whether TransCanada builds it.”(Loris)“With a vote on Keystone XL likely coming in the near future, several Senators have floated amendment ideas to prohibit the exportation of refined petroleum products coming from crude oil that moves through Keystone XL. Another amendment that some Senators have proposed is to force TransCanada to use only American-made steel, iron, and other manufactured goods when constructing Keystone XL.” (Loris).  The southern leg of the Keystone Pipeline has been running since 2010. It did not take a president's signature to get put in. In July 2015, the southern leg of the Keystone Pipeline pumped its 1 billionth barrel of oil. “To put this achievement in perspective, it would take approximately 1.7 million train cars or 3.3 million trucks to transport one billion barrels of crude oil.” These facts show how much faster it is to pipeline crude oil instead of moving with trucks or train cars. You might think that trains, trucks  and boats are better than pipelines because they aren’t getting put into the ground for life. But trains, trucks and boats can get into really bad accidents. Boats can spill all their oil into the ocean and infect marine life. Trains and trucks can be devastating too. They can spill oil and it could possibly get into a water source. How are boats, trains and trucks powered by? They all use diesel fuel which puts greenhouse emissions into the air. Pipelines do not put off anywhere close of greenhouse emissions as vehicles powered by diesel fuel. The pipeline is extremely efficient. If there is some sort of a leak it stops and they can take care of it. That is the beauty of it only needing about 50 people to run it full time (Blakeman).

Using our own product for producing the Keystone Pipeline would benefit our economy immensely. The Keystone Pipeline would create jobs indirectly as well. They would need to produce more steel for the pipeline so it adds temporary jobs there as well. Purchasing the steel and tools would send more money to the government through sales tax and property tax on the pipeline would give the states extra tax money too.

One of the many reasons why I was excited for Mr. Obama to get out of office was because I figured Mr. Donald Trump was going to let the pipeline finally go through. I think the Keystone Pipeline is a good idea. It’s been proven that it isn’t going to harm the environment like everybody thinks it will. It has economic benefits like creating not only temporary jobs but also permanents. It also creates a tremendous amount of money for the local governments. It has been proven to be way safer than transporting oil through train, boat, or truck. It's has also been proven to be the fastest and most efficient way to transport crude oil. The government should not be able to tell a private party that they can’t build a pipeline if they have all the paperwork and permission to put it in. With the information that I have put into this paper I hope you got a better view of the pipeline and how there are way more pros than cons with it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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