Have you ever seen protestors on the news standing up for what they believe in and wishing you could do the same for your own beliefs? Have you ever gotten so frustrated over a modern day issue that you were dying to do something about it to provoke change?
Most people retain a mindset that they don’t hold enough power to make a significant difference. Well, think again. Getting involved is easy; protests near your hometown or even simply casting a vote supporting your point of view can make a difference. If it’s not you who takes action, then who? If not now, when?
One issue that is currently a widespread debate across the U.S. is whether or not to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline. In 2008, the North American energy company, Transcanda, proposed the construction of this pipeline. It is a 1,179 mile oil pipeline that would carry crude oil all across the U.S. for exportation to Asia. The final decision on whether or not to allow it to be constructed must be made by President Obama, who has been delaying its approval/denial due to how large of a controversy it is.
Environmentalists and businessmen both hold their arguments, but whom do you think have the factual scientists behind them? Environmentalists have been trying to make the public aware of the research that has consistently shown there are severe detrimental effects of oil pipelines, especially oil pipelines carrying crude oil: one of the dirtiest possible oils to extract from the ground. Despite these results, businessmen have used all different methods to try to deny these scientific facts. It is time for you, someone who can do something to help provoke change, to realize how important this current debate is and how much you can have an effect.
From Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, the pipeline would be able to carry about 830,000 barrels of oil per day. It is not a new pipeline, but a shortcut of the already constructed Keystone Pipeline: one that has leaked and contaminated the agricultural fields it runs through. Crude oil is one of the dirtiest types of oil, so why is the U.S. willing to risk the environmental impact?
The debate of constructing Keystone XL lies between favoring environmental issues or favoring the economy. A newscast done by CNN explains the split between environmentalists and businessmen:
Below is a map containing the locations of the pipelines Transcanada has already constructed, as well as the location of the proposed Keystone XL.
The routes of these pipelines don’t help to decrease the severity of environmental risk. All of the pipelines, especially the Keystone XL, run through the states that are huge on agriculture; risking the contamination of such a large proportion of our food sector is dangerous. Bernie Sanders, senator of Vermont, was interviewed on his point of view:
The amount of Americans who do not prioritize the environment is saddening. A recent U.S. environmental poll, conducted annually by Gallup, shows the statistics:
It is time to provoke change.