The Keystone XL Pipeline

The Keystone XL Pipeline is an extension first proposed in 2008 to the Keystone Pipeline System which transports synthetic crude oil and diluted bitumen from the Athabasca Oil Sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada to multiple destinations in the United States.

This would basically promote the atrocities being undertaken in the Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada's greatest environmental disaster.

Despite lawsuits, claims of protest from Members of Congress and protests from the environmental groups, the Keystone XL Pipeline has been built.

The pipeline became operational in 2010. It seems that big business has won once again with the almighty dollar, and the Earth is forgotten.

Unsuccessful First Attempts

In 2010, the Natural Resources Defense Council spoke out strongly against the pipeline, claiming that it would "undermine the U.S commitment to a clean energy economy."

Their claims fell on deaf ears. Again, in 2010, 50 Members of Congress avidly opposed the pipeline and even wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton mentioning the same thing that the Natural Resources Defense Council did.

For the second time, not a single response could be heard unless it was the purchasing of stock in the Keystone XL Pipeline.

House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, Henry Waxman spoke up against the pipeline, demanding that it not be built for the fact that it simply perpetuates our reliance on dirty, toxic fuels.

The Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency even produced a report stating that the pipeline was not suitable for construction.

There were safety issues, greenhouse gas concerns and oil spill precautions that had not been taken into consideration.

Recently, the report has changed to reflect a different sentiment, that the pipeline is now suitable for construction because these arrangements have been made to conduct the pipeline safely.

A final report and decision is to be made by the end of 2011.

Lawsuit in 2009

Earlier, in 2009, the Natural Resources Defense Council brought a lawsuit to the courts stating that the pipeline was not suitable to be built under the grounds that the permit was produced with deficient environmental impact statements.

The court told them they had no business bringing this to court, it was not their job to do so and the case was thrown out.

Environmental Groups

There are many environmental groups, individuals and politicians that are working extremely hard to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.

This pipeline has the potential to ruin the water that we drink from leakage, could pollute the air, and harm migratory species.

Leaks could devastate farmers across the mid-west and we have already upset the balance of the animal food chain enough already.

What Do We Make of All This?

Some sectors of government tried to stop the Keystone Pipeline from being built, including the EPA, the NRDC and a whopping 50 Members of Congress. Environmental groups continue to challenge the decisions that are being made on the pipeline.

Not all is lost. In fact, there has been a major victory for environmentalists as the Obama Administration stopped the Keystone XL Pipeline in its tracks.

Finally, feel free to learn more about the Tar Sands in Alberta or to support Tar Sands Action.


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