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Reviewing the Keystone XL Pipeline: Part 4

This week is a week of continued debate over the merits of the XL Keystone pipeline as the two sides of the debate seem to just reiterate their points over and over again in hopes of convincing the public (and the president) of the merits of their cause. Two major issues are the environmental safety of such a pipeline as well as the number of jobs the pipeline would create. There is a large debate over whether the pipeline would create jobs or take them away, considering the construction and maintenance of this project as well as whether the jobs would be given to US workers. The other large debate is whether the pipeline will create a potential for disaster if safety measures were to fail, just as many similar projects in the US have done. A subset of this debate is whether this oil is “safer” than oil from other sources in other countries, whether by protesting this pipeline we are opening up avenues for even more dangerous operations in other countries. However there is definitely merit to the concern, as the groundwater is threatened with the construction of the trenches because leaks will be harder to find and therefore harder to stop/prevent.

The two selected sources this week feature an opinion article from in favor of the pipeline as well as a factual article from National Geographic outlining the dangers of the oil sands to groundwater (as part of a series on global water issues). The opinion article makes some good points regarding the need for jobs in the US and the inevitability of American use of oil; however, it makes generalizations about environmental safety and job security in order to prove its point. It is an opinion article with a conservative slant and is in favor of the XL Keystone pipeline. The National Geographic article, on the other hand, only provides historical reference for the environmental concerns that have been addressed in the news. It is expository and while it is obvious that it is not in favor of the pipeline, it does not make an effort to discount the other side of the argument, making it more convincing.

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