The Keystone Pipeline System denotes an oil pipeline system located in Canada and was commissioned by the United States in 2010. However, the Keystone XL pipeline extension was proposed in 2008 has been controversial over the years (Steyer). Fears of environmental damage and global warming have surrounded the new fourth phase of the project – Keystone XL. Keystone XL project should not be approved on the grounds that it destroys the environment, poses a threat to the sensitive ecosystem, and also contributes to global warming.
According to the article, “Keystone is Pipeline to Future of Dirty Fuel” by Tom Steyer, Steyer argues that the Keystone Xl pipeline should not be approved. To begin, Steyer feels that climate change is an impending issue that cannot be ignored and approving Keystone would enhance problems of global warming. He claims that the heavy tar sands would introduce additional carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and quicken the problem of global warming that the world is at risk of facing at the moment (Steyer). The other reason that Steyer gives is that the “Final Environmental Impact Statement” advocated by the State Department is flawed. He believes that the report indicated that the tar fossils would not cause significant damage to the environment but that has been disapproved and so the Keystone XL should be denied. Lastly, Steyer claims that the companies involved in the development of the pipeline are only interested in investment, production, and profits. In this way, they do not consider the pollution that such a pipeline would create in the long-run (Steyer).

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However, from the article “Why the Keystone XL Pipeline Should be Approved Now” Christina Lavingia argues that Keystone XL should be approved. The first reason he gives in support of the pipeline is that the United States gets its oil from politically hostile nations in the Middle East. She feels that the political dynamic from these countries could change anytime creating problems such as high prices that would be unfavorable to the American economy. Secondly, she argues that pipeline is the safest way to transport crude oil to avoid and more reliable to reduce oil spillages. Finally, Lavingia believes that the Keystone XL pipeline offers some permanent jobs and many temporary jobs that are bound to equip many people with experience they need to succeed in the job market (Lavingia).

I feel the Keystone should not be approved because it increases the mining of crude or bitumen from the oils sands that harms the environment. Once the pipeline is built, the capacity for mining the bitumen would increase despite the fact that the mining process involves drilling huge holes and uprooting trees. This is clearly a destruction of the environment because, despite the reclamation of land, the damage is extensive.

Further, Keystone XL should not be approved because along the way, it is going to pass through environmentally sensitive and crucial agricultural lands (Steyer). For example, the pipeline was expected to pass through Sandhills and Ogallala Aquifer a region that serves over two million people with fresh drinking water. Despite the fact that the route has been changed, there is no way that the pipeline would avoid passing through agricultural sensitive regions and various wetlands that need to protected posing the risk of oil spills damage that are likely to occur several times in 50 years (Lavingia).

Finally, the Keystone XL poses a threat to climate change. Many of these crude oil extraction and processing creates a lot of greenhouse gasses like carbon monoxide that seeps through the atmosphere. Over the years, the environment is likely to suffer and global warming is likely to become a reality. It is a great risk to increase the production of these crude oil processes because the disadvantages of ruining the environment for future generations outweighs benefits such as increased oil and low prices for the economy (Lavingia).

  • Lavingia, Christina. “Why the Keystone XL Pipeline Should Be Approved Now.” Aol, 27 Aug. 2015. Web. 7 Oct. 2016. <>
  • Steyer, Tom. “Keystone Is Pipeline to Future of Dirty Fuel.” CNN, 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 7 Oct. 2016. <>