Keystone XL pipeline merits not worth environmental harm

Thousands rallied on the National Mall on Sunday and a small group rallied on campus Tuesday to demand President Barack Obama to act on his promise to curb global warming, urging him to reject the Keystone XL pipeline that would connect Canada to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico through the U.S.

The pipeline has amassed a bevy of speculation, misinformation, political rhetoric, environmental panic and overall hysteria regarding the impact it will have on Americas energy future. While the pipeline does offer some benefits, the environmental impact of the entire plan is far more serious than any advantages that America could see from it.

Building on the pipeline will only perpetuate the system that already revolves around a non-renewable resource that leads to further environmental ruin.

If it was created, then large oil companies will flourish and turn back any advances toward green energy that the U.S. has made.

The controversial pipeline would span 1,700 miles, connecting an already existing pipeline running from Canada to Cushing, Okla. to oil refineries in the Gulf region of Texas. The plan would then call for another pipeline that directly connects Alberta and Cushing through Montana and North and South Dakota, while increasing the diameter of the pipes in the transit system.

There is an unfortunate catch-22 with any type of domestic energy development.

The effects on the environment that procure tar sands, a mixture of sand, clay, water and oil, abundant in Western Canada, are devastating.

But the process of extracting it is far more dangerous than extracting oil through drilling and requires more resources to do so.

The only reason to take this gamble is because of the increasingly unpredictable situation in the Middle East largely the ramifications of U.S. involvement in the region.

Investing in a domestic energy source such as the pipeline thus allows the U.S. to slowly move away from an energy future in a region inflicted with war and unpredictability.

While rerouting the nations dependence on foreign oil, the answer is investing in processes that exploit clean and renewable resources such as wind, solar and tidal methods.

The problem is that the dependence on oil and all of the processes that it contributes to besides transportation allows for big oil to manipulate the geopolitical system to make sure any of its competitors are tarnished.

The oil industry makes about $350 billion a year not including government subsidies. According to, the industry spends more than $150 million of it on lobbying to ensure the status quo of projects like the Keystone Pipeline.

If we are not able to halt the revolving door of oil dependence and continue to allow projects such as the pipeline, then we can expect to see growing environmental disasters and global warming effects.