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Reviewing the Keystone XL Pipeline: Part 6

This week continues with arguments over the environmental and social impacts of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The president and Congress are expected to reach a decision on the pipeline by the end of this year and the debate is heating up in comparing apples and oranges: job creation and the endangerment of the Ogallala Aquifer. Many people view this now as a fight between the labor unions and the environmentalists, two groups that are normally on the same page regarding political issues. The greed of the American political system and society will inevitably overrule the environmental concerns because of the short term memory span of our whole system. There is no point in worrying about how much oil we have if we can’t survive because we don’t have enough water to survive because it has been contaminated in our haste. It is a very tough decision to choose between the well being of the environment and the needs of a growing economy and society. Both sides have valid points but in the end, how will the economy matter if society is collapsing from a lack of clean water?

The main difference between the USA Today article and the article from the Journal Star is the amount of scientific reference. Surprisingly, the blog post was more based in statistics, probably because it was written by a college professor. He brought up some intriguing points about how soon-to-come carbon regulations would make the pipeline obsolete because of the pressure on the use of fossil fuels. This pipeline could lower gas prices, setting the green movement further back by creating the impression that there is not an impending shortage of oil. The blog post was obviously not in favor of the pipeline and gave many reasons not to build it. The USA Today article provided a more ambiguous overview of the issues regarding the aquifer and the job creation, merely stating that Obama must make a wise decision at the end of the article. It also said that it was an in-depth article, but failed to go past the basic details that every other newspaper has discussed into oblivion. The major issue with the news coverage on the pipeline is how they just beat around the bush to stir up more controversy instead of offering statistical evidence for either stance on the issue. There was no significant progress this week in terms of reaching a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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