Christopher Rupley The Signal
President Obama will soon decide whether remaining portions of the Keystone XL Pipeline can push forward with construction, bringing Canadian crude directly to gulf coast refineries.
TransCanada, a major energy company in North America, is building the 1,179-mile Keystone XL Pipeline. This pipeline stretches from Hardisty, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, accompanied by smaller pipeline projects that will fully connect the pipeline to gulf coast refineries.
TransCanada is building this pipeline to help secure U.S. energy resources. This pipeline also gives greater access to states that have increased oil production in recent years and have no way of getting their oil to market.
TransCanada applied for a Presidential Permit in order to begin construction because part of the pipeline crosses an international border between the U.S. and Canada. The smaller pipeline projects bringing the Keystone XL Pipeline to completion – like the Houston Lateral Project and the Gulf Coast Project – need no presidential approval because their construction does not cross international borders.
The Houston Lateral Project has been underway since Aug. 2012. This portion of the pipeline is purported to create 4,000 jobs in construction and ancillary positions.
Environmentalists and opponents to the Keystone XL Pipeline are concerned about possible negative effects the pipeline could have on wetlands, rivers and endangered and protected species. Environmentalists are also concerned that the risks associated with the type of oil being transported through the pipeline are unprecedented, and may cause increased levels of damage to the environment.
If the president does not approve the Keystone XL Pipeline construction, he could endanger the future of energy independence in the U.S., and risk alienating an important ally to the U.S. – Canada. There are also concerns that the oil will be imported to China and other Asian countries if the U.S. does not approve construction.
What do you think about the Keystone XL Pipeline construction in our nation?