When it comes to the Keystone XL project, to whom do you listen? The politicians who stand to lose millions or the scientists who put their reputations on the line.
?The House of Representatives is not allowing the President to do his job. For the fifth time this political body is attempting to usurp the President’s decision to reject the Keystone expansion. This gives the impression that they want people to believe their authority supersedes that of the Presidency. The strategy is to threaten the President with taking away necessary funding for items like national transportation, which has nothing to do with the expansion project as all the product that would pump through the nation is set for China, not America.
The House leadership seems to be under the impression that there was a singular issue with the Keystone project running through Nebraska’s aquifer. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, stated, “With this new route submitted and the state of Nebraska acting to move forward, the president is running out of excuses for blocking the Keystone pipeline any longer.” Mr. Boehner is clearly experiencing confusion. While the aquifer certainly was an issue, it was not the only one.
The Keystone Pipeline plan is estimated to cost taxpayers 8 billion dollars, just to lay the pipe. This cost is a direct expense to the American people, not Canada and not China. Yet, citizens will not profit from their investment. Besides seeing no gains on their investment, every piece of land from the Canadian border to the Gulf Coast in the pipeline’s path is being taken away from American landowners. The United States is allowing Canada to steal land under the guise of eminent domain, even though the rules of eminent domain do not apply to this scheme. Without this unlawful use of eminent domain, TransCanada would have to reach a fair market value with every landowner making the project nothing more than a pipe dream.
United States politicians in favor of the scheme state that the Keystone XL is a shovel ready opportunity for the job market. It’s interesting that they would make this claim as TransCanada has gone on record stating the opposite. From a political standpoint, more jobs are created for Canada in oil extraction, refinery, construction, and general labor fields. India would also benefit, as the country has been given the contract for producing metal supplies necessary to get the job done. However, the pipeline does not create permanent jobs for Americans. This further stagnates the economy while upping the ante to include contaminating water, air, plant, and animal resources, placing Americans and the country in an increasingly vulnerable position.
This legislation is actively violating the United States Pelly Amendment, the Endangered Species Act, the International Convention on Nature Protection and Wildlife Preservation, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act with this pipeline proposal. Congress has even expressly stated to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that the National Environmental Policy Act is irrelevant and need not be considered for the expansion’s permit approval.
Government scientists, NASA scientists, Nobel Laureates, and countless research institutes have provided congress with endless results demonstrating how the continued use of Tar Sands negatively affects North America. Within the first year of the existing Keystone Pipeline, there were 14 logged leaks. At the present rate of Tar Sands extraction, water resources like the Athabasca River are experiencing contamination seepage rates of 17.7 gallons per second from tailing ponds and spreading. The river is a popular swimming area for children and family recreation. Anglers who traditionally enjoyed the bounty of the river are now catching and consuming carcinogenic fish. In 2009, medical researchers attributed Tar Sands extraction as responsible for generating new forms of untreatable cancer.
These problems will continue to escalate as congress is allowing Canada to contravene minimal governmental safety regulations. This waiver allows for piping that is thinner than minimum regulatory standards and authorizes pressures higher than maximum allowable limits. It is hard to fathom how the government perceives this action in the best interest of its constituency when these pipelines are set to run through the agricultural heart of the country.
Tar sands oil is made up of bitumen. This thick toxic sludge is 20 times more acidic than standard crude and eats through metal. To move this byproduct it is mixed with other petroleum-based chemicals and has to retain a constant temperature of 158Â° F throughout transport. Because of the distance involved, this chemical mixture becomes unstable causing gaseous pressure buildups that are prone to explosions.
Politicians are not authoritative bodies on matters of planetary sciences. Unless taxpayers speak out, they are putting the care of their loved ones into the hands of politicians who view the world as nothing more than an industrial conglomeration. What congress presents to the American people is far from an unbiased perspective and is based entirely on securing their monetary contributions from big oil companies over impartial scientific data that clearly defines the needs for survival. The United States political body is obligated to listen to empirical evidence and act in accordance to lawful responsibilities, which includes providing a stable planetary environment over their personal financial and political gains.
For those interested, sign the Keystone Pipeline “No Means No” Initiative.