Built in 2010, Keystone XL Pipeline System is a oil pipeline joining Canada and United States, currently owned by Trans-Canada Corporation. There are at this time three phases that are currently in operation, they are as follows:
The Keystone Pipeline (Phase I), delivering oil from Hardisty, Alberta, and on to Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Illinois, and Patoka Oil Terminal Hub (tank farm) north of Patoka, Illinois, completed in June of 2010.
The Keystone-Cushing extension (Phase II), running from Steele City to storage and distribution facilities (tank farm) at Cushing, Oklahoma, completed in February 2011.
The Gulf Coast Extension (Phase III), running from Cushing to refineries at Port Arthur, Texas was completed in January 2014.
A fourth phase was to be built in 2015; however, this phase sparked serious environmental concerns like climate change and fossil fuels, and thus was delayed by the former President, Barrack Obama.
President Donald Trump plans to begin the fourth operation started in late 2017.
With a capacity of carrying 830,000 barrels per day, this Keystone Pipeline Project will drain the growing ocean of western oil.
With new operations coming on line, production is set to rise to 2.3 million barrels a day starting this year, 2018 – and soar to 5.2 million barrels a day by 2030, according to a forecast from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
The current pipeline is capable of sending 550,000 barrels of oil to the United States. However, the extension will help the oil be imported from Middle Eastern countries at a lower cost, thereby lowering the oil prices in the country and creating 28,000 construction jobs. “That remains to be seen”, say Canadian resident.
The project was initially not approved by X President Barack Obama, stating that “it would not lower oil prices, or create long term jobs and affect energy dependence”.
The project faced severe criticisms because the Keystone XL Pipeline will inevitably develop the oil sands region in Canada, which means that “fossil fuels will be available in larger quantities, leading to greater global warming”. Say Canadians and some local level politicians.
Furthermore, it will also affect the local communities nearby.
Environment Canada says “it has found industry chemicals seeping into the ground water and the Athabasca River”. In addition, the construction of Keystone XL will “contribute to Carbon dioxide emission causing an increase in dirty Alberta tar sands, generating twenty percent more emissions than the conventional oil”.
The Keystone XL opposition began by an environmental writer and climate activist, Mill McKibben, who organised non-violent protests against this project, in order to increase awareness regarding the effect on tar sands production on climate. Furthermore, farmers and politicians in Nebraska gave emphasis to the “aquifer’s getting adversely affected”.
“Alberta’s tar sands are the continent’s biggest carbon bomb,” McKibben wrote at TomDispatch. “If you could burn all the oil in those tar sands, you’d run the atmosphere’s concentration of carbon dioxide from its current 390 parts per million to nearly 600 parts per million, which would mean if not hell, then at least a world with a similar temperature.”
With the new, United States president Donald Trump permitting it, controversies and environmental concerns still continue.