The Keystone XL pipeline project is a project that aims to reduce the American dependence on oil from Venezuela and the Middle East by forty percent. The construction of this pipeline is vital to the security and economic growth of the United States. The pipeline project is aiming to be a 1,179 mile, 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline. This project is a combined effort of the Canadian and American governments. The pipeline is proposed to run from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, USA. In addition to the transportation of crude oil from Canada, the Keystone XL pipeline project is projected to support an increase in crude oil production in the Bakken region of Montana and North Dakota. Lastly, this pipeline will allow more Canadian and American oil producers more access to large markets located in the American Midwest and Gulf Coast (“About the Project”).
There will be many benefits, both negative and positive, of this project. Many environmental workers could be affected including farmers, landowners, environmental groups, political interest groups, and players in the energy sector. Some of these benefits could include more American ready jobs, environmental impacts, economic impacts, and ecological impacts. Much of the controversy over expanding this pipeline comes into play when we begin analyzing the concerns of these environmental workers affected. To begin looking at some of the effects of the Keystone XL pipeline project, it is important to address the concerns of those affected directly. One of the biggest groups of people who will be affected directly would be the farmers and land owners in which the pipeline will be constructed. The TransCanada environmentalist specialists like to ensure their commitment to the land owners. The commitment to landowners is as follows: “We will:
Be fair, honest and earn your trust.
Maintain open lines of communication and keep you informed.
Understand the unique issues and intricacies of your land.
Pay you fair value for the land rights required.
Ensure your property is returned to its pre-construction productivity level. Respect you, your community and the environment (A Landowner’s Guide).”
The next group of environmental workers that should be considered would be environmental groups. Environmental groups focus on the effects of different environmental projects on the environment and community surrounding the project. Many environmental concerns are address in the Keystone XL Pipeline including dirty tar sands oil, water and waste pollution, forest destruction, pipeline spills, and more (“Keystone XL Pipeline”). The final group of citizens who raise concerns towards the Keystone XL pipeline are the political interests groups and the players in the energy sector. These people focus on the economic concerns of the project. These are the people who like to analyze how this affects American jobs, labor, tax money, and income. TransCanada projected that there will be roughly around 20,000 jobs created by this pipeline. The state department reevaluated the amount of jobs and projected that there will be 42,000 jobs directly and indirectly from the pipeline.
Obama states, “the most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline, which might take a year or two, and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in an economy of 150 million working people (“What is Keystone”).” There have been many recent updates and improvements on the Keystone XL pipeline. In May 2012, TransCanada filed a new application for a Presidential Permit with the U.S. Department of State. This is a requirement for building cross-border pipelines. Also, in 2012, TransCanada decided to continue its efforts with the Gulf Coast Pipeline project. In January 2013, Governor Dave Heinman approved TransCanada’s projected route in Nebraska.
This route would decrease the disturbance of land, water resources, and special areas in the state. March 2013, the U.S. Department of State released a Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SEIS) on Keystone XL that reaffirmed that there will be no serious impacts to the resources along the projected project site. The projected in-service date for the Keystone XL Pipeline is about two years after the issuance of the Presidential Permit (About the Project).
Since 2015 has begun there have been a few advances and one huge disadvantage to the Keystone Pipeline project. January 9, 2015 the House of Representatives approved the H.R. 3, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, written by Representative Kevin Cramer (R-ND), which authorizes construction of the project. Then January 29, 2015, Senate approved S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act. Finally on February 11, 2015 the House approved S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act, which sends the bill approving the pipeline to the president’s desk. After careful consideration, on February 24, 2015, President Obama vetoes S.1, the Keystone Approval Act (Keystone XL: #TimeToBuild). On March 4, 2015, the Senate defeated a Republican-led effort to override President Obama’s decision to veto the legislation approving the Keystone XL Pipeline.
This project has been under review of President Obama’s administration for more than six years. The Senate had a close vote of 62-37, but did not achieve the required 67 votes to override President Obama’s decision to veto of the bill. Had the Senate been successful at overriding President Obama’s vote, TransCanada would have been able to begin construction of the pipeline. In a message to congress the week prior, President Obama quoted the U.S. State Department as his reasoning to veto the bill and stated that the legislation “conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest—including our security, safety and environment.” In response, before the Senate vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) stated, “Construction of the Keystone pipeline would pump billions into our economy. It would support thousands of jobs. And a bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate voted to support it.”
Also before the vote, a democratic leader, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.), who opposed overriding President Obama’s decision, stated that, “As we vote, the pipeline’s route through Nebraska is still in doubt. Even if the bill becomes law, the Keystone XL pipeline will not get built anytime soon (“Override of Obama’s”).” Many concerns can be addressed with the Keystone XL Pipeline project, and everyone will have their own views and opinions about the long term effects. The Keystone XL Pipeline project can have personal effects, environmental effects, and economical effects. The concerns of those people who are farmers and land owners should be the concerns that are addressed before the approval and construction of the pipeline because these are the people directly affected. Those of us who are indirectly affected should be more concerned about the environmental and economic effects of this project. This project is a great idea economically because it does bring new jobs and more revenue to America.
On the other hand the project has its downsides because the environmental effects of this project can be detrimental to our ecosystem. Observing and analyzing photos of the areas affected show that this will remove land that could be used for agriculture, it could cause more environmental pollution due to construction, and many more environmental effects. If I were Obama, I would have chosen to veto the bill until we could find out the long-term and short-term effects of the project as well as the personal, environmental, and economic effects of the project. This project is something that has had many revisions and could possibly have more to come. The short-term effects of this project are looking good for our economy but not for our environment, which plays a huge role in our existence.
If there are possible ways to revise and reroute the project then maybe then it can be reconsidered but the environment should be a strong factor in the decision of whether this bill should be passed again. The Keystone XL Pipeline Project will be a project of last impressions. It will have a great impact on the economic growth of America because it can offer many jobs as well as more revenue for the economy. Also, this project will allow decrease the dependence of America on Middle Eastern countries and Venezuela for oil. There are also many concerns that come with the project including the concerns of land owners, environmental groups, and political interest groups. This project can affect many people directly and indirectly.
“A Landowner’s Guide.” Keystone Projects. 2014. Print.
“About The Project: A proposed oil pipeline from Alberta to Nebraska” Keystone XL Pipeline. Web. 5 Feb. 2015. . “Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Executive Summary.” Keystone XL Project. 2014. Print. “Keystone XL Pipeline.” Friends of the Earth. Web. 5 Feb. 2015. . “Keystone XL: #TimeToBuild.” Energy and Commerce Committee. Web. 5 Feb. 2015. . “Override of