The recent leak of an Exxon oil pipeline under the Yellowstone River is just one reason we need to thoroughly examine the risks that the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline will pose if approved by the U.S. State Dept.
Because the proposed pipeline will cross international borders, it must be approved by the State Dept. But the EPA is not looking kindly on the their review of the risks posed by groundwater contamination from oil spills, or emissions from refineries where the tar sand oil will be processed.
A big issue that many concerned people have is the destructive and inefficient method of extraction of the oil, which originates in the boreal forest of Alberta, Canada. The destruction to the forest is shocking. The damage to the environment is saddening. The cost of extracting this dirty crude defies logic.
Yet, some in the Obama administration, including the House Energy and Commerce Committee are pushing for a decision by November. Hillary Clinton has expressed her preference for buying dirty oil from Canada over dirty oil from the Persian Gulf. But the risks to our environment must be considered.
Over and over, oil companies like BP and Exxon, and pipeline companies like Enbridge and TransCanada have proven that their operations are not safe. The oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, the Kalamazoo River, and the Yellowstone River are just three examples. There are many smaller spills that don’t get major news coverage.
It’s good to see that the media is speaking out on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project. This pipeline would go through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
This project is simply too risky. The oil is dirty, too costly to extract, and too damaging to the environment.
This project should never be approved.