The Keystone XL Pipeline

Topics: Petroleum, Oil sands, Oil shale Pages: 2 (994 words) Published: November 3, 2014

The Keystone XL Pipeline
Mary M. OgdenPSY460 - Environmental PsychologyOctober 22, 2014 Dr. Bianca Booker
Keystone XL Pipeline
The Keystone pipeline is a pipeline that will carry 900,000 barrels of a mixture of synthetic crude oil and a combination of bitumen and diluents. This pipeline already goes from Canada to Missouri, but plans are in place to extend this pipeline down to refineries in Texas and then out to the Gulf Coast. There are several debates and articles supporting and opposing this project (Palliser, 2012). Opposing

TransCanada is the company that is building the Keystone pipeline. The pipeline pumps tar sands oil out of Canada. According to (2014): Tar sands are found underneath Canada’s great boreal forest and consist of heavy crude oil trapped in a mixture of sand and clay. To extract oil from tar sands, companies must destroy fragile forest ecosystems and then use a very energy-intensive upgrading and refining process to turn that sludge into transportation fuel. Tar sands oil extraction and production emits three times more carbon dioxide than does the extraction and production of conventional oil. Tar sands contain more pollutants than regular crude oil. They contain sulfur, lead, nickel, arsenic, mercury, and nitrogen. These pollutants may cause a higher rate of lung disease and cancer. The issue with this is if there are any spills, if they have a leak that lasts even 15 minutes it will spill thousands of gallons of tar sand oil. One of the areas that this pipeline goes over is the Ogallala Aquifer. The Ogallala is the largest aquifer in the United States and our major aquifer that provides over 30% of the water for our “bread basket” area, where the majority of our crops are grown. It also provides drinking water for over two million people. A leak in this aquifer takes away a lot of the water we need to produce these crops. The nature of aquifers also means that it would take over a thousand years for the oil...

References: Palliser, J. (2012). The keystone XL pipeline. Science Scope, 35(9), 8-11, 13. Retrieved from
Tar Sands. (n.d.). Retrieved from
'Bill 'Blake, W.,G. (2014). TransCanada keystone XL pipeline: Eminent domain and
transportation of energy: Understanding what is happening in nebraska. Real Estate Issues,
39(2), 8-14. Retrieved from
TransCanada. (2014). Retrieved from
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