The controversial Keystone Pipeline project, is now in its fourth phase where the pipe is connected to North Dakota. It is said to provide major improvement in energy production and to secure the necessary energy resource that is needed all over the country.
However, there have been many issues regarding the project which has led to many protests. What is this pipeline all about and how does it impact the environment?
What is Keystone Pipeline?
Keystone Pipeline is an oil pipeline system that starts from Canada and runs to the United States. It provides shorter access of distributing fuel to most places in the US. The project has been funded since 2010, and now the production is in its fourth phase, “Keystone Pipeline XL”.
What The Keystone Pipeline Can Mean For Energy Production
The Keystone Pipeline is said to secure a stable, long-term, and abundant supply of energy using oil to fuel the energy security of the country. This is what the Keystone Pipeline project has been promoting, aside from the hundred thousand jobs they can provide in the US.
However, does the energy production that the project provides really suffice the energy needs without having a major negative impact?
Because of the Keystone Pipeline protest regarding fossil fuels, climate change, and other environmental concerns, it was rejected by the Obama administration in 2015. Subsequently, the project was shut down.
However, in January 2017, President Trump made a decision to permit and continue the installation of the pipeline and to complete the project.
Keystone Pipeline Environmental Impact
Contradictory to the claim that the Keystone Pipeline provides a climate-friendly opportunity in many ways, the production will promote a negative impact to the environment. Here are some of the ways how the Keystone Pipeline can and will cause damage to the environment:
1. Burning Of Oil
Every day, tons and tons more of oil supplies will be distributed and burned to and for every part of the country. Considering the amount of fuel burned and the process being repeated each day, the pollution it gives off would surely contribute to our carbon footprint.
By having to build miles of large pipes, in the ground, the project also involves mining. The Canadian company is building huge mining sites for oil sands as the pipeline is ongoing.
This causes terrible destruction of the forests and other forms of land. The heavy equipment used in mining also causes pollution to the environment. To think that this is a large-scale mining project, it also contributes a major impact in harming the natural resources in both countries.
3. Oil Leaks
The company spearheading the project may have led the public to the assumption that there will be no oil leaks. However, in reality, we will never know when oil leaks may occur. With the added amount of water in the oil sands they will rust the pipes faster.
When the oil spills do occur, the soil in nearby areas will be contaminated and wildlife will absolutely be affected. Consequently, because the piping infrastructure is quite huge, larger areas will be affected by oil leaks.
Burning Fuel for Energy: Is it a Good Thing?
The Keystone KL Pipeline system may be able to suffice the needed energy for the entire country at the moment. But the burning of fuel will lead to destruction and deterioration of the environment. That is just science and it has finally been proven to be a fact and not just a theory.
The pros of the pipeline cannot make up for the cons once nature suffers detrimental side effects. It has also been proven that if the government invests in renewable energy sources such as that from the sun or wind, the entire Earth could be completely healed within the next 20 to 30 years.
What do you think about the pipeline project? When it comes to renewable energy sources, what should we as a society do to protect our Earth and improve safe and clean energy?