The Keystone Pipeline Controversy Essay

1898 words - 8 pages

The Keystone Pipeline started construction in 2008 for the main purpose of connecting Canadian and American oil refineries to transport crude oil from the oil sands of Canada faster and more efficient. So far the first three phases of the pipeline have been completed but the proposed and most controversial is Phase IV. It connects Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Oklahoma which requires a presidential permit and it also connects the 485-mile southern leg known as the Gulf Coast Project between Steele City and Port Arthur, Texas, which is now operating (Eilperin). The benefits of the pipeline include an increase in jobs, contribute $3.4 billion to the U.S economy and also save time and money from transporting the oil by pipeline instead of tanks and rails. At the same time it would be a great harm to the environment, making the climate unstable, and could cause possible future oil spills. The articles covering the Keystone Pipeline generally list out the same points, covering the same benefits and consequences of building the pipeline. Sources like Fox News and CNS have more of an opposition towards the pipeline and narrow in on the risks and of the effects it would have on the people. Whereas news stations such as CNN and The Washington Post address both sides of the controversy but are subtle about being in favor of the pipeline. The international sources such as Al Jazeera and Reuters oppose the pipeline and are more open with supporting the environmentalists.
The opening stories on CNS and FOX on the topic of the pipeline are in support for Obama’s decision against the pipeline. The coverage over the controversy is very one sided and mainly talks about the negative effects of letting the pipeline pass through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. For example, FOX covered the Keystone contractor opposition where the environmentalists’ state that the State Department’s hiring of the ERM (Environmental Resources Management) is unfair due to his previous work at TransCanada which is the company proposing and building the pipeline. But instead of opposing the pipeline they targeted the Obama administration. Blaming Obama for not deciding soon enough and having to continue blocking the project since 2008 (Boehner) and choosing a contractor that favored passing of the pipeline. Along with FOX using politicians to support their opposition for the pipeline, FOX also narrows in on scandals made by supposed-to-be supporters of the pipeline. Further opposition included, “Democrats who oppose the Keystone XL pipeline have thousands of dollars invested in direct competitors to the company looking to build the pipeline” (Markay). Not only do some people, like environmentalist oppose the passing of the pipeline and questioning the legality of it but so do high up politicians. Senator Kaine also states that, “Building this pipeline would dramatically ramp up capacity for tar sands oil that moves us in the opposite direction of an...

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