Keystone XL PiPeline: The Debate​ Stretches​ On

Keystone XL PiPeline: The Debate​ Stretches​ On

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Friday, May 2, 2014 - 10:30am



Recently the U.S. Department announced it would allow time for eight federal agencies to submit their views on the ​controversial Keystone XL pipeline to carry crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico​, cast​ing ​a shadow of uncertainty over the ​project’s route. The proposed pipeline ​passes through Nebraska and other states along the way.

According to a report in the National Geographic, the Keystone XL project has become a prominent topic in a larger debate on the two energy alternatives the U.S. has to pursue, that is, non-fossil renewables or oil and gas that can be reached with new, more powerful drilling methods.

One of the main stumbling blocks for the pipeline is that it goes through environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska, such as the North Valley Grasslands, an officially designated Important Bird Area, and several waterways, including the Yellowstone, Missouri, and Niobara Rivers. It puts at risk endangered or threatened species that includes the whooping crane, swift fox, and American burying beetle.

As expected, the industry received the news with disappointment while environmentalists welcomed the time gained with the decision.

“The State Department is taking the most prudent course of action possible. It is already clear that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline fails the climate test and will damage our climate, our lands and our waters. Getting this decision right includes being able to evaluate the yet-to-be determined route through Nebraska and continuing to listen to the many voices that have raised concerns about Keystone XL,” said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of the International Program at Council.

Image credit: NatGeo

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Antonio Pasolini, Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He edits, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy, and contributes articles on emerging technology to Gizmag. He is also a happy herbivore.