KeyStone Pipeline XL

by thomasg on February 27, 2013 - 5:22pm

On Saturday February 16, Diane Francis’ article was featured in the National Post. The article is entitled “Dirty oil cleaner than clean coal.” It talks about the future of the Albertan oil sands. The Canadian government is planning on increasing its exportation of crude; they want to make a pipe line (Keystone Xl) going from Alberta to Texas. The crude will be sent to refineries in Texas, where it will be turned into useable oil. Obama is not completely on board with the project, because many environmentalists are concerned with the environmental repercussions. The process in which the crude is refined (the term is called upgrading) produces large amounts of Carbon Dioxide, so they rather rely on other energy sources. I completely agree with this, personally I think the oil sands should be considered a last case scenario. (Francis, FP2)

So the government should be asking themselves, what’s more important the environment or the economy, because there are a vast number of economic benefits for Americans and Canadians. For example, it would create new jobs. People would be needed to build and maintain the pipeline; they would also need people to work in the refineries. Furthermore, the oil is coming from a reliable source and the money spend on the crude will help stimulate the Canadian economy, which in turn will cause us to spend more and America would see the money back in no time, because Canada is one of the US’ biggest consumers.

Don Martin also posted an article on his blog at the National Post which touches the same issues as the previous one, but focuses on the situation from a different angle. The Americans aren’t the only country interested in Albertan oil, the Chinese are to. The Chinese are ready to buy 5 billion barrels of oil, no matter the environmental consequences. Basically, it would create competition. The Canadian government would pretty much create a bidding war between two wealthy superpowers. Even though money is the only objective in mind, they are many aspects slowing the project down. Like geographical, if we were to sell the crude to the Chinese, we’d have to blow a hole through the Rockies to make way for the pipe line. Even the Aboriginals are trying to slow down the project by not allowing them to build the pipeline on their land. (Martin, Web)

Resource has been done that shows that the tar sands produce a lot of carbon emissions and that they are a “dirty” source of energy. The day will come when we will have to use it, but hopefully it won’t be soon. The academic discipline I would like to focus on is Environmental Science and I found two academic journals that I can relate to my news post. The academic journals that I want to relate these articles to put emphasis on the consequences of climate change. The first one is entitled “What is climate change? Engaging the public in a critical discussion,” written by Ian Spooner. The article talks about Ian Spooner going to different communities and clearing up the difference between weather and climate. Many people believe climate and weather are the same thing, but they’re different in their own ways. Weather focuses on the short variations of the atmosphere and climate change focuses on the long-term behavior of the atmosphere in a certain region. (Spooner, p.41) The other article is entitled “Point: Climate change is a proven fact” and it’s written by Melanie Lambrick and Richard Renneboog. The article talks about the fact that industrialised nations can’t afford to pretend like global warming isn’t a serious problem. It will almost come to the point that we will cause irreversible damage to our planet’s environment.  Mother Nature is telling us this, with an increase in hurricanes, floods, forest fires and droughts. (Lambrick,Renneboog. P2-2,1p) This subject can no longer be ignored and we much change before it’s too late. It shouldn’t be no longer an option but an obligation.



Works Citied

Francis, Diane. “Dirty Oil Cleaner than Clean Coal.” National Post 16 February 2013: FP2. PRINT.

Spooner, Ian. ”What is Climate Change? Engaging the Public in a Critical Discussion.” Atlantic Geology;2008, Vol. 44. (2008) : p41. Ebsco Host Web.

Lembrick, Melina. Renneboog, Richard.” Point: Climate Change is Proven Fact.” Canadian Points of View: Climate Change. (2009): p2-2, 1p. Ebsco Host Web.

Martin, Don. “China Dives into Oil Sands as US Balks.” National Post N.d: Web. February 23. 





You can rest assured the oil/petrolium lobby in Washington will cohese Obama into allowing the pipeline to pass. The only people benifiting from the construction of the pipeline are american corporations. Sure you might create a few "jobs" for the average American or Canadian down the line but ultimately it is not the most cost effective approach to using our natural resources would be to process them ourselves. Not only are economists predicting the US to be energy independant (thus no longer requiring our oil) by 2035 (economist, 2013), but we ultimately buy back our refined oil from American petrolium companies for an inflated price. This does not benifit Canadian interests and only puts money into the pockets or rich petrolium coglomerates that ultimately fund the incumbant Canadian government. Not to mention the environment concequences of such a deal the Keystone Pipeline doesn't make economic sense either!