There has been much debate recently about the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. If you don’t know, the Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed plan to extend the already existing Keystone oil pipeline that goes from Canada to Oklahoma. This extension would take the current pipeline and extend it all the way through to the Gulf Coast of Texas. The Keystone XL Pipeline plan would also create another branch of oil pipeline that would start in Alberta and end in Kansas. This pipeline would also pass through the oil rich fields in Montana and North Dakota. It has not been approved yet by the Obama administration, but it is believed to soon be passed. There are many positives and negatives associated with the Keystone Pipeline expansion.
There are many benefits to the Keystone XL Pipeline. It would create many short term construction jobs and would help to lower the cost of oil in the United States. Many jobs would also be created to help maintain and repair the pipeline. It would also lower the United States dependance on foreign oil. Economically, this plan is feasible and it makes sense. It will help to boost the economy by lowering gas prices and decreasing unemployment. Environmentally, we would be getting less oil from overseas, so less fossil fuels would be emitted into the atmosphere during their production.
However, there are many negative towards expanding the Keystone Pipeline. Approving the expansion would solidify the United States dependance on fossil fuels that will one day run out. The plan is putting money into something unsustainable when the money could be put into researching sustainable energies. This hurts the United States both environmentally and economically. Supporting the plan does help the economy in the short term. It creates the jobs to create and maintain the pipeline. However, in the long term, all of the economic growth will be wasted because the Keystone Pipeline will no longer be feasible. The construction jobs to create the pipeline are gone the second construction is completed. Once the oil becomes too expensive to drill, the pipeline will no longer be needed, and those jobs will be lost. Economically, in the long term, it does not make sense. Supporting the Pipeline also hurts the environment. By supporting the pipeline, the government is encouraging the use of fossil fuels. This will increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, worsening the effects of global warming. The drilling of oil is very damaging to the environment because many greenhouse gases are released into the environment. Point source pollution is a major problem at oil drilling sites and along the pipeline. There are also many other issues with oil drilling, however I would go on forever listing them.
The Keystone Pipeline XL decision is more than just an environmental and economical decision. It has ramifications that will last for years longer than any politician’s term and will determine what direction the United States will head in the coming years. Approving the plan means the United States is committing itself to the use and abuse of nonrenewable fossil fuels. Declining the plan shows the world that the United States is willing to invest and look for greener technologies and energies. There are many short term benefits to approving the plan, but it hurts the United States in the long term. Decisions like these have plagued the United States in recent years. Politicians are more likely to do what gets them reelected (meaning creates much more benefit in the short term) than look to what effects these things will have in the long run. In order for us to advance as a country, we have to stop looking at the short term benefits of certain things. We, as citizens, influence politicians to do what is best in the short term because we like to see results. If we don’t see results, we get rid of the politicians who failed to give us results. If we as a country, start to look at the long term results of political actions, politicians can stop looking at what is best in the short term and focus on the long term. They would be less worried about getting the short term results in order to get themselves reelected. Many people argue that it is the politicians at fault. To an extent, it is. However, a lot of the fault lies in us as citizens, and we need to look in a mirror before anything can change.