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?

Keystone’s Communities: Underrepresented in Conversations About Implementation

For any pro-pipeliners out there, I have a question for you: if it was your town sitting on the path of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, would you still support it? 

Much of the discussion surrounding the pipeline’s implementation deals with the economics of the issue: job growth, revenue from exports, etc. What these discussions lack and honestly what almost every conversation about environmental issues lacks is humanity. It sounds kind of corny, but we’re dealing with real people here. Politicians and media alike are valuing macro issues like reduced dependency on Russia and the Middle East over micro issues like the potential of serious health risks to surrounding communities.

It’s hard, because this issue is of international scale. The ripples from this decision will reach markets in Russia and the Middle East. Canada, the supplier of land to extract the tar sands for the pipeline has obvious stake in the issue. But it is the communities that would surround the pipeline and the oil refineries that will feel the most devastating effects.

Increased risk of cancerous cell development (see previous post, Keystone Pipeline XL: Cancer Generator) and the potential of water contamination (Are Water Sources at Risk With The Keystone XL Pipeline?) are few among many of the effects that could be felt if the pipeline is passed.

Take it from someone who’s been there. Eriel Deranger, an activist and spokesperson for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is from an area in North Alberta, Canada, where tar sands are currently being extracted. She doesn’t live there anymore.

Aerial view of tar sands extraction in Alberta (via The Nation)

Aerial view of tar sands extraction in Alberta (via The Nation)

“I don’t live in my community because I have children,” The Nation quotes, “and I can’t bear the fact that if I lived in my community, I would be putting their lives at risk.”

So now that you’ve had some time to consider your position, let’s check in. Here’s another question: If faced by a member of one of these at-risk communities, do you feel that you could in good conscious, defend the pipeline?

Ed Shultz, host of MSNBC’s The Ed Show, couldn’t. A longtime ardent supporter of Keystone, Shultz flew out to Nebraska to speak with people who will be most directly affected by the pipeline. Soon after his trip, he renounced his support for the project and urged President Obama to make the same pilgrimage.

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He says, ““You won’t have all the information, Mr. President, unless you do what I did. It’s an eye opener. It’s a risk. It’s unnecessary. We don’t have to do this.” (click to watch the clip)

We don’t have all the information and that’s because the members of these communities are not being adequately represented. Until they are given a sufficient say in this issue in which we are all stakeholders, can we allow them to bear the burden of the pipeline? Is it worth it? Think about it: what if it was you, your family and your community at risk.

So I’ll ask you one more time: if it was your town sitting on the path of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, would you still support it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Other Keystone: Cove Point (right here in MD!)

Natural Gas Exports

Maryland’s ban on fracking is up in August. Energy companies are chomping at the bit, ready to profit off of our land. The Marcellus Shale region in Western MD has been the biggest target for natural gas extraction, but there’s another site, right on the Chesapeake Bay: Dominion Energy’s Cove Point. Check out this article that draws comparisons between Cove Point and Keystone: http://www.thenation.com/article/178922/other-keystone

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.”