In 2005, TransCanada Corporation came forth with an ambitious project: the Keystone XL pipeline. What this project is supposed to be and what it will REALLY do to the environment are only some of the Keystone pipeline facts that we’re going to unveil over the course of this article.
The basic Keystone pipeline facts are that this is a project which, long story short, aims to ship enormous quantities of hard oil from Canada and the USA over to the Texas Gulf Coast. An ambition like this, however, doesn’t come without a price. And for TransCanada, the immediate toll was the controversy that popped up almost immediately after the announcement. Said controversies only escalated from the moment President Obama rejected the plan, stirring a lot of fuss within the Congress.
People are protesting, people are debating the environmental implications of such a move, and everyone feels the need to be either for or against it. There’s no between. Here are the Keystone pipeline facts that might help you form your OWN opinion.
#1 Keystone In Numbers
Nearly $7 billion are going to go into the materialization of this project. Spanning 1,179 miles, the Keystone pipeline would be able to transport over 800,000 barrels of crude oil every day. TransCanada intends to transport two types of crude oil from several key locations. These locations are Alberta, Canada and two other locations in North Dakota and Montana. During the transport of the crude oil, it would also pass through the country’s pipeline hub in Cushing, Okla.
#2 Jobs: Gained Or Lost?
One of TransCanada’s main arguments in sustenance of their initiative is that the Keystone pipeline is going to open new doors for employment. More precisely, the company estimated that even as much as half a million jobs could become available.
This is something that Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute really wanted to debunk, researching the likelihood of the KXL actually employing and sustaining all of these people. The piece of writing is called Pipe Dreams? Jobs Gained, Jobs Lost by the Construction of Keystone XL. In it, the writers make the claim that not only won’t the KXL make all of these job openings, but that it will actually “destroy more jobs than it makes.”
#3 What Opposition Stands For
In other words, let’s use these Keystone pipeline facts to understand both sides of this fence. What are these grave cons that everyone against this project pulls out? Well, it’s mostly the environmental damage. And it’s not something to be taken lightly either, unfortunately. Should we start extracting the oil from Alberta, then we’ll also start meddling with something known as oil sands.
These oil sands (sometimes also called tar sands) are permeated with something called bitumen. Bitumen is a breed of petroleum that can come either in solid or semi-solid form and that is molded into water, sand, or clay. In order to be able to extract these oils and deal with these delicate oil sands, the used method to achieve this goal would have to involve a much more carbon-intensive extraction method, one unlike the ones typically used for other crudes. By doing so, Keystone pipeline facts have it that approximately 1.2 billion metric tons of carbon could add newfound layers of pollution to our atmosphere.
#4 What Proponents Stand For
There has to be something GOOD about the KXL, right? After all, people wouldn’t be so torn over the materialization of the plan. For starters, there are the various claims surrounding the KXL, one of which is the myth that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be made available. But there’s more. The main goal of the Keystone pipeline seems to be a deep sense of nationalization and, in a sense, patriotism. The KXL aims to reduce the country’s dependence to foreign oils, especially from countries that do not have the interests of the USA at heart.
Two places that could, economically speaking, benefit from the realization of this project are North Dakota and Alberta. They are two locations that essentially lack pipeline infrastructure and, as such, their crude resources are stuck there with no means of transportation or profit. Creating this Keystone pipeline would open new doors for North Dakota and Alberta since it would transport the oil to the Gulf Coast, to be then added to market.
#5 Claims Of Energetic Benefits
Here’s another claim that has two different opinions. There’s really no way to go about these Keystone pipeline facts without invoking the two sides of this coin. After all, controversies and heated debates are part of the core of this matter. One of the topics of these debates revolves around energy and, more specifically, how it could help the USA evolve… or involve.
Supporters of the KXL claim that it will make the USA more energetically independent, but ex Brigadier General Steven M. Anderson begs to say otherwise. According to him, this kind of move would actually take the USA twenty years back in terms of energetic advancement. The reason is simple: it won’t help the country seek out the alternative means of energy that it requires. From here on, it’s all one giant domino effect which could damage everyone both from an economic and environmental stand point.
If you’re a Canadian or American, especially if you’re from Alberta or North Dakota, this is a very important matter that’s been in heavy debates for years. Although difficult, sometimes it’s for the best to find the strength to develop an opinion and pick a side. Hopefully, these brief Keystone pipeline facts helped in that regard, but we still recommend some further research if this issue really grabbed your attention.