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Reviewing the Keystone XL Pipeline: Part 1

Tar sands, also known as oil sands, contain bitumen, a type of thick, black oil. However, extraction of such oils proves more difficult than natural gas because it must be mined from tar sand deposits. Strip mining and open pit mining are the most popular options for removing the bitumen, both of which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, displacement of wildlife, and air/water degradation. Tar sands are especially harmful to the environment because it takes two tons of tar sands to generate a single barrel of oil, as well as many barrels of water to extract the oil. The US’s dependence on oil contributes greatly to environmental problems; this new proposition to recover oil from tar sands in Canada is stirring up great controversy across Canada and the US.

These two sources present the material quite differently in regards to style and content. The LA Times provides a more expository outlook, presenting the issue with little (although some) bias. Their article was very short and only glossed over the issues, mostly focusing on the political issues facing Obama instead of the environmental concerns at hand. The blog, the Calgary Herald, on the other hand, was very much opinionated and against the pipeline’s construction. It brought up some valid point, such as this environmental problem is only a drop in the bucket in the US’s overall impact on the environment. However, it was very negative and blunt about the problems with American society and politics regarding environmental issues.,0,1613183.story

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