Pipeline Sense

Why the Keystone XL pipeline makes sense



Karl Moeglein

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Rogue News staff or of Ashland High School.

There are 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipelines currently in the United States. The 1,200 miles the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would be is an increase of less than five one hundredths of a percent. Somehow this pipeline has been chosen as the bill where people will take a stand against the issues in the world. But why?

The Keystone XL pipeline would pump crude oil from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska where it would connect to the already built section of the pipeline. From there it would make its way south to go to US refineries and the Gulf Coast to be exported.

So what are the arguments against this bill? The largest argument is the environment. However, a state department review showed that the pipeline would likely have no environmental impacts due to the fact that this oil will be drilled either way. Not constructing this pipeline could actually hurt the environment as the the oil would instead be either transported by truck or train which each have a higher likelihood of disaster. This means that all the members of congress who oppose this bill based on environmental concerns should change their perspective. We have no authority on if TransCanada pumps oil. We can however decrease potential disaster.

Another argument that is often used is that we are just exporting Canada’s oil with no gain for the US. This is clearly false as the oil will be refined in the America therefor showing clear benefit to the US. Similar to this argument is that this pipeline will create few jobs in the long term. The state department says that the pipeline will create 42,000 jobs combined directly and indirectly will add $2 billion to the US economy. Yes it will only directly create 50 jobs, but are those jobs currently here? No. One should not oppose this bill due only to minimal impact. It may not strengthen the US economy on a large scale but this is not what’s important. What is important is that we can help 50 Americans without harming any.

In such a polarized political environment we must look to opportunities to come together across the aisle and create change instead of staying separated by one’s political party. This is that opportunity. The benefits outweigh the harms because there are no real harms. As we look at this issue we must eliminate previous biases and look on the facts. The increased environmental harm is slim to none and the economic benefits are legitimate.