Keystone XL In A Nutshell
The Keystone XL Pipeline (“XL”) is the 4th phase of the original Keystone project. What the press rarely seems to mention, is that phases 1-3 are already complete and transporting Alberta tar sands bitumen oil to Illinois and Texas refineries. The XL portion is essentially a 2nd wider pipe from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska, only this new pipe will take a more direct route across Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. The XL route to Steele City will be shorter than Phase-1, provide for larger volumes, and enable Montana and South Dakota to literally add to the mix.
The Governor of Nebraska has approved the latest proposed XL route. However, the Nebraska Supreme Court is reviewing a challenge that claims the legislation that transferred pipeline-route approval—from a State Agency to the Governor—was unconstitutional. President Obama has delayed his decision on XL until the Nebraska Supreme Court issues their ruling.
Sadly, the mass media fails to present a clear set of substantive issues that the Public needs to understand XL and form opinions. All we hear are talking points, soundbites, and widely disparate claims of the XL impact. A clear, correct, and concise set of answers to the following questions would greatly assist the Public. The question is, will anyone answer them simply, clearly and concisely? Unfortunately there are many in the U.S. that prefer to hide the facts and manipulate the electorate through propaganda and misinformation.
Why do we accept that we must continually make decisions with unsubstantiated and inaccurate information? Will the mass media ever again truly present unbiased, objective, and accurate reporting? For the record, here are the XL questions that really matter.
GravitySailor Keystone XL Questions:
- Do we need the capacity provided by XL?
- Will XL reduce gas prices within the U.S.?
- What is the impact of not building XL?
- Will XL diminish demand for Middle East oil, or as some claim, simply provide a cheaper alternative to Venezuelan crude for distribution throughout Latin America, China, and Europe?
- Many buyers of Tar Sands oil have become frustrated with XL delays, so more oil is now being shipped to the U.S. refineries over rail. Is rail safe? If rail can handle the flow, do we need XL at all? Perhaps, but we need to see some concise comparisons between XL and rail.
- How many jobs will XL create, and for how long? There are grossly inconsistent claims on this issue, but there is only one correct answer! Are there no independent objective organizations that can provide a realistic and accurate estimate?
- Is the Great Plains ground-water supply at risk of contamination from a pipeline spill? What is the likelihood of such a leak and an honest projection of the impact?
- What is the projected long-term carbon impact on the environment, including the energy to extract in addition to use?
I hope that someone can develop or identify a simple, clear, and concise evaluation of the benefits and risks of XL, as We The People are desperate for accurate information! In the mean time, the following videos explain much.
Mark G Capolupo
Sources for this article:
- NY Times 2014/11/19: XL Keystone Pipeline
- Bloomberg BusinessWeek 2014-11-19: The Real Legacy Keystone Already Settled
- Fox News: 2014-11-18 Keystone Fails Pass Senate
- CBC News 2014-11-18: Premier Jim Prentice disappointed U.S. Senate Vote
- Wikipedia: Keystone Pipeline
- NPR 2014-09-05: Nebraska Supreme Court to Hear Keystone Pipeline Case
- PBS NovaNext: Earth Climate Change Acceptance
- Desmog Canada 2013-09-30: Oil for Export, Tar Sands Bitumen Cannot be Refined in Eastern Canada
- Salon.com 2014-02-18: The tar sands story you weren’t supposed to hear
- U.S. Dept of Interior (Bureau of Land Mangement): Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)