The Great Keystone Pipeline Debate Critical Thinkings Examples
TransCanada, the Canadian oil company bent on pursuing the Keystone pipeline to completion is turning the debate wheels on whether it is something that would prove beneficial to the American economy with less environmental impact on an already climate and weather-torn U.S. states. At present the pipeline project has already built half of the system running from Alberta, Canada to North and South Dakota and Nebraska. Considering the possible income and cemented relationship with ally Canada when this project reaches its completion, the question remains whether this should be approved or not. Regardless of the economic benefits this could bring to the United States, the repercussions are still greater than the advantages (McElroy). Therefore, despite the legitimacy of the issue, the Keystone pipeline system should not be approved.
Proponents of the project insist that there are many benefits to the Keystone pipeline system project such as creation of thousands of jobs, increase in energy security and supply in the Gulf area, and economic benefits for both Canada and the U.S., the fact still remains that the project poses a threat not only to the economy, but also to the environment, which could result to additional costs to the economy. With weather disturbances proving to be another factor that affects the economy, allowing this project to push through, aside from the smaller other oil trade partnerships existing between the U.S. and Canada, would result to bigger problems environmentally and economically.
Traversing between the United States and Canada are oil and gas pipelines that run by the thousands of miles. Environmentalists strongly contest this project because the source is not a regular energy source, thus, would require more “fuel, water, and carbon emissions to extract than conventional oil and gas” (Davenport, 2014). Additionally, tar sands from Canada are said to be the dirtiest oil worldwide. If the government allows this to push through, what message is it trying to convey to the people? That we should condone environmental degradation just so we get the chance to increase economic growth for the United States? Americans should not be mislead in thinking that the project is a new source for oil because the United States has been importing oil from Canada and is in fact, America’s number one source of imported oil. Therefore, this pipeline does not change the current economic or political situation in the U.S. In terms of the number of jobs the project is supposed to generate, the reality is that the numbers are all blown out of proportion. 10-20 thousand jobs is way too high a projection compared with Cornell University’s independent assessment that placed the numbers between 2,500 up to below 5,000 only (DeHaan).
Generating jobs for Americans is a welcome development; however, this is only a temporary fix for unemployment. TransCanada admits that when the project is completed, permanent jobs will only run in the hundreds and where does that leave the thousands of workers that will be displaced? They will be back to the same situation when they started – unemployed. As for the oil itself, currently, Canadian oil, also called Canadian sour, is one of the cheapest oils produced worldwide because it is harder to refine unlike other sources. Additionally, considering that the oil is only limited within Canada and the U.S., the oil remains cheaper than others because the demand for it is also low. Making it available in the Gulf area could make the oil more expensive than it really is. Knowing this for a fact, the question now is how this helps the U.S. economy. Does it really or will it help the American economy? The answer is no because if ever, the U.S. will be importing and buying oil at a much higher price than it was paying in the past.
Davenport, C. “Keystone Pipeline Pros, Cons and Steps to a Final Decision.” The New York Times. 2014. Web. 9 February 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/us/politics/what-does-the-proposed-keystone-xl-pipeline-entail.html?_r=2>.
DeHaan, P. “The Benefits and Drawbacks of the Keystone XL Pipeline.” U.S. News. 2011. Web. 9 February 2015. <http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/on-energy/2011/12/16/the-benefits-and-drawbacks-of-the-keystone-xl-pipeline>.
McElroy, M.B. “The Keystone XL Pipeline.” Harvard Magazine. 2013. Web. 8 February 2015. <http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/11/the-keystone-xl-pipeline>.