Folsom Lake College's Online Newspaper
by Robert Enyeart
In a much anticipated move, President Obama used his executive authority to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline bill—a bill that was one of the top Republican priorities this term.
The Keystone XL Pipeline bill has been in the news several times over the last six years since its introduction. The $8 billion project sat on the sidelines over the years awaiting the Federal Government to issue a permit for the project to proceed because it would cross an international boundary. The bill originally passed the House of Representatives in January by a vote of 270-152, largely due to the majority gain of the Republican Party during the mid-term elections this last November. The passage of the bill would have given the green light for the pipeline extension project to proceed
The proposed pipeline would create an extension of the Canadian Tar-Sand Oil Route, creating a shorter route than what is currently used; it would also extend the end of the pipeline to refineries in Texas and ports in the Gulf of Mexico.
There has been much controversy about the project and the potential environmental and economic impact it would have on the United States. The State Department estimates that during the construction phase of the project, as many as 42,000 jobs would be created for the approximately two years the pipeline would be under construction. But not all of these jobs would be new, as many of the jobs would be currently existing jobs, or continuing jobs at current and new locations. Many people fear the environmental impact that a spill along the 1,179 mile pipeline might have. Some critics claim that the United States would bear the brunt of the environmental risk as the tar sand oil travels its way from Canada down to the Gulf Coast for refinement, while getting little in return. The proposed extension of the project would take the pipeline through parts of the midwest that could endanger underground water sources for several Midwestern states. While the United States has a ban on exporting crude oil, much of the oil will be processed by American refineries and then can be sold to foreign buyers. The processing of these products would be an economic boost for local economies.
As reported by Josh Lederman of the Associated Press, The president has said he won't approve Keystone if it's found to significantly increase U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas blamed for global warming. A State Department analysis found that the tar sands would be developed one way or another, meaning construction of the pipeline wouldn't necessarily affect emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month called for that analysis to be revisited, arguing that a drop in oil prices may have altered the equation
Original Story via:: Associated Press
FLC Main: FR-108