More PipeLIES exposed

As we know, there have been a multitude of lies that are spread by the people supporting the building on the Keystone Pipeline XL. One of the reasons that people supporting the pipeline is that they think it will allow for more oil to be spread out which will lower gas prices. However, the spread of this gas through the pipeline would actually cause more problems, because of the accidents that will be caused by the pipeline.

Now you may ask, how do accidents happen on this pipeline? Leaks in the pipelines would ultimately cause a natural disaster anytime it was leaked. Tar-sands along with the actual oil would spill, causing harmful emissions that would hurt the people in the surrounding areas, and also just the amount of oil that a pipeline carries actually spilling would cause a major problem. according to wilder utopia, “A rupture in the planned Keystone XL pipeline could release up to 6.9m US gallons (http://www.wilderutopia.com/the-outpost-news/pipelines-bursting-climate-haywire-time-for-a-change/). ImageI’m sorry but what? 6.9 MILLION GALLONS? imagine 6,900,000 gallons of milk spilled. thats how much oil would be released. Above is picture of about 42,000 gallons of oil spilled. Imagine how much more there would be if the Keystone XL Pipeline does leak. That would be enough to cover any modern city, and its suburbs, and the suburbs of the suburbs. Millions of people would be effected. That is not even mentioning what would happen if it leaked into any water source. If there were leaks in to water sources people would have no resources, especially in the midwest, to continue to have water, which obviously is a biological need of humans. 

Nebraska has put up the largest fight, because of the proximity to the sand hills. Should the toxic brew leak, it could pollute not only the water there, but could seep into portions of the Ogallala Aquifer, the 174,000-square-mile underground reservoir, fed in part by water from the Sand Hills (http://www.wilderutopia.com/the-outpost-news/pipelines-bursting-climate-haywire-time-for-a-change/). The Sand Hills are an area of Nebraska that houses a lot of historical and cultural significance, as well as a major habitat for animals. This is a major tourist destination. If this was to be ruined, this would harm more then just the land of Nebraska. It would harm the people, the economy, and pretty much everything. (http://www.sandhillsjourney.com/index.php)

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So as you can see, Pipeline accidents will cause major problems. Not only for the people, but for the environment and the economy. We brought up the point, would you accept this if it was in your neighborhood? Now i raise another point, Could you imagine having your home and entire life destroyed right before your eyes? Because if the Keystone Pipeline XL is passed, that could be a reality for any person living near the Pipeline. If you cannot accept that, are you willing to give that fate to someone else?

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Are water sources at risk with the Keystone Pipeline XL?

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One issue that seems to take the back burner to the emissions cause by the pipeline is the threat to water quality along the conduits route.The pipeline, which would transport the tar sands material to refineries near Houston, would cross one of America’s largest underground water reserves, the Ogallala Aquifer, which stretches across 174,000 square miles and underlies eight Great Plains states. To remove the thick black oil from the sand, they heat it using natural gas and wash it using huge amounts of freshwater. In this process, they create toxic lakes large enough to be visible from space. In order to produce one barrel of tar sands they contaminate two to four barrels of freshwater to separate the oil from the sand. 

The U.S. State Department said in an environmental review that the project would have “no significant impacts to most resources” during “normal operation.” But the big worry is what happens if those normal operations fail.

TransCanada, the company seeking to build the pipeline, already runs one pipeline. The Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups have argued that the pipelines are dangerous because they carry a watered-down version of the sticky tar sands deposits known as diluted bitumen, or “dilbit.” Dilbit bears hazardous chemicals including cancer .causing  benzene and toxic heavy metals such as arsenic. Because it also contains particles of sand, the environmental groups say, dilbit is much more corrosive than oil alone, making it more likely to cause leaks.

Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, a co-author of a recent report by the Defense Council, said that piping dilbit is “like sandblasting the inside of the pipe,” making pipes 16 times more likely to leak than when they are carrying regular crude oil.

Keystone XL would pass over the heart of the aquifer, cutting through the Sand Hills of Nebraska, a region of grass-covered dunes that contains one of the largest wetlands ecosystems in the United States. The regions ground acts as a thick sponge, allowing oil to soak into the aquifer more easily than it would if the soil were more solid.

If a spill were to occur it would happen fast, and given that the pipeline would be buried in trench, it would make it very difficult to spot leaks. 

The pipeline needs the approval of the U.S. State Department in order to more forward. “I am not opposed to pipelines in Nebraska,” U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, said in a statement. But he faults the environmental review and wants the U.S. government to explore other options. “We have only one Ogallala Aquifer,” he said, “and we must take seriously our obligation to protect it.”

 

 

Aside

Breaking down the claims made by pro-pipeline entities

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Without exception, all arguments in favor of the installment of the pipeline deal with economic benefit. Keystone XL has been labeled as a domestic solution that would curb our dependence on the Middle East and other oil-producing nations, bring thousands of jobs to low-income areas with high unemployment and rake in billions of dollars in revenue. Sounds like a miracle cure, right?

Before we answer that, let’s look at the facts. TransCanada is the major backing organization behind the project. They’ve made some huge claims about job creation, which if true, could have a substantially positive affect on US employment. What they’ve said:

  • “The project would support more than 42,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide.”
  • “The project is expected to create over seven million hours of labor.”

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Okay, so we’ve seen a few statements from them. But there are a lot of numbers floating around from a lot of different sources. To get what we hope is an objective breakdown of the facts, we turn to a study conducted by Cornell University and the Global Labor Institute. Together, the two entities looked into TransCanada and other pro-Keystone corporations and organizations’ claims about job creation. What they found:

  • The jobs counted are not all new jobs. They include existing Keystone employees and contractors.
  • Only 10-15% of the workforce would be hired locally.”
  • “Estimates do not consider the jobs that might be destroyed as a result of the pipeline and the expanded use of Tar Sands oil.” There have already been 14 oil spills during Phase 1 of construction. Spills threaten water sources that are vital to the livelihoods of farmers, ranchers and some tourism industries.

It never hurts to pull from multiple sources. The US State Department conducted a comprehensive investigation into the pipeline project. What they determined:

  • Construction supports about 42,100 jobs for the 2-year construction period. Per their definition, “A job consists of one position that is filled for one year.” Also important, “the termsupport means jobs ranging from new jobs to the continuity of existing jobs in current or new locations” (Sec. 4.3.3) Jobs would be temporary.
  • “Once the proposed Project enters service, operations would require approximately 50 total employees in the United States: 35 permanent employees and 15 temporary contractors.” (Sec. 4.3.4)Only about 50 persons would remain employed after the two-year construction period is complete.
  • Building off the above finding, “This small number would result in negligible impacts on population, housing, and public services in the proposed Project area” (Sec. 4.3.4) The people who would migrate to the site to work on the pipeline would be left jobless, creating burdens for the project area after the pipeline is completed.

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When you hold up TransCanada’s claims next to actual findings, the discrepancies are apparent. The numbers that do match up, like the 42,000 related jobs claim aren’t put into the context or applied to the timeline of the actual project. Bottom line is, the claims made by TransCanada and other pro-pipeline entities don’t consider a realistic application of these claims. Keystone XL’s construction, as planned, would last only 2 years. With the end of the construction would come the end of nearly all the jobs it put in place. It’s a temporary fix, a band-aid to cover a wound that really needs stitching, not to mention some serious care post-trauma.

Get acquainted with the Keystone XL Pipeline

The Keystone XL Pipeline should not be a partisan issue. It should not even be in contention. Behind the propaganda is the realization of perhaps the worst insult to our environment and to our communities in a time where we are entirely capable of assessing its potential harm. Areas immediately surrounding the pipeline will be subject to toxic emissions and contamination that can lead to illness, aggravate asthma and even heighten the risk of cancerous cell development. It is so far from being a solution. This video is worth watching; it breaks down propaganda and lays out some basic facts. Get informed!