Have you been fooled into believing that the Keystone XL pipeline is safe? Do you believe it would be a ‘boon’ for our economy? If you answered yes, you have not done your research. This article is intended to inform and frighten readers. Here is the ultimate truth about the Keystone XL pipeline and ecological destruction by other and reportedly safer than this gigantic proposal.
First of all, if anyone believes that a break in a crude oil or natural gas pipeline is a rare event, they are mistaken; it is far from the truth. On March 29th of 2013 a beak in Arkansas forced the evacuation of an entire town. The damage continues to be addressed, and the soil in that area may prove to be unusable for many years.
There was a break in a diesel pipeline near Salt Lake City; irreparable damage was done to the surrounding wetlands. There was a spill into the Yellowstone River in Montana in 2011, and another in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. They happen; the public just isn’t informed about all of them.
This last weekend there was another break in a pipeline near Glendive, Montana. Once again crude flowed into the Yellowstone River. The residents of the small farming and ranching community found it unbelievable and unforgiveable that it happened again.
In July 2001 a pipeline burst into the Yellowstone River 200 miles north of the small community. 63,000 gallons of the sticky crude invaded the river. Downstream, every crop, water supply, and all animals which are sustained by the river were affected.
The break last Saturday dumped 50,000 gallons of crude in the river. Residents were warned not to drink the water or give it to their livestock; after testing it was revealed that benzene had contaminated the drinking water; benzene is a carcinogen.
Montana’s two Senators; freshman Steve Daines, a Republican, and Jon Tester, a Democrat are in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline. They claim it is perfectly safe and that it will create jobs. Spoken like true politicians, and both subjects half-truths.
Scientists and environmentalists claim that ‘tar-sands’ crude is far more dangerous than the ‘sweet crude presently flowing through Montana’s pipelines. This crude originates in Alberta and is far heavier. The Keystone pipeline will use higher temperatures than normal. Higher temperatures have been associated with pipeline corrosion. In addition, the pressure forcing the crude through the pipeline will be much greater, increasing the danger of a break.
Will the Keystone XL produce jobs? Yes and no. Hundreds of employees will be needed to construct the pipeline, but there will be no new permanent jobs.
The Keystone XL will carry 830,000 barrels of crude daily from Alberta to the Gulf Coast.
Trans-Canada’s Keystone I has been carrying the tar-sands crude from Alberta to the Midwest since 2010; it has already suffered 14 leaks.
Since 1986 breaks in pipelines are responsible for 550 deaths; 2,500 injuries; and more than 7.7 billion dollars in damages.
Supporters of the Keystone XL claim that this pipeline will virtually eliminate any dependence on foreign oil. Not true. It will have no effect. Tar-sands crude cannot be refined to make fuel for America’s vehicles. It will be sold and shipped to other nations. They also claim it will create jobs. Also untrue. Because the crude will not be refined in the United States, it will create only temporary jobs during its original construction.
Who will profit from the Keystone XL? The answer, sadly, is no one but the petroleum companies, and politicians who support the project; they will receive campaign contributions for their next election bid.
In November President Cyril Scott of the Rosebud Sioux was on Capitol Hill to protest the Keystone XL. The pipeline will travel through land sacred to the tribe. He calls construction of the pipeline a ‘declaration of war,’ and that his tribe is ‘willing to spill blood’ to stop it.
By James Turnage