The Keystone Pipeline Is The Most Controversial Environmental Issue Essay

The Keystone Pipeline Is The Most Controversial Environmental Issue Essay

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In recent years, we have seen Congress become more and more polarized on a variety of different issues, especially environmental issues. The Keystone Pipeline was arguably the most controversial environmental issue this calendar year due to the massive amount of money spent and the divide between Congress and the President. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on not only physical pipeline building but also on lobbyist movements to either approve or vote down the proposed pipeline. With potentially massive environmental effects looming, the battle between an environmentally conscious president and an opposing Congress has grown into an international dispute.
The Keystone XL Pipeline affects much more than just the oil industry. Many groups fear that the pipeline would cause the United States to increase its dependence on foreign oil. In addition to the numerous environmental concerns, such as oil spills and water contamination, there is concern about the “current eminent domain laws and federal and state regulations will manage the pipeline’s construction” (O’Rourke). In January of 2014, the United States Department of the State issued an executive summary of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Within the summary, the State Department listed off various concerns that may arise with the construction of the pipeline. The environmental issue listed included “Climate change, including lifecycle GHG emissions associated with oil sands, potential for releases or spills of oil, wetlands, water resources, including effects on groundwater aquifers” (Walker). While it appears the State Department acknowledges the environmental issues that come with the pipeline, many environmentalist groups were not pleased with their findings. ...


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...nclude, Friends of the Earth, The Sierra Club, and National Resources Defense Council. Both sides of the aisle have “given over $230 million to lawmakers last year alone…and that doesn’t include the $154.4 million spent on lobbying” (Neuhauser).
As of today, the Keystone XL will not be constructed. The first legislation for this bill was introduced in 2008, asking for permission to build along the Canadian-American border. Once there was legislation to expand the pipeline into the continental U.S., President Obama became increasingly hesitant. In 2015 the bill will not pass unless the Senate can swing five votes in favor of overturning President Obama’s veto. However, many republican congressmen and women are determined to pass this legislation through. There may be life for the pipeline with a new administration in both congress and the White House in 2016.

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