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Reviewing the Keystone XL Pipeline: Part 13

The pipeline construction seems unlikely to continue in the US because of the decision by President Obama last week, even though further negotiations rerouted the potential route of the pipeline out of range of the Ogallala aquifer. TransCanada will most likely not continue construction of the pipeline through the US to Texas without the approval of the US government. This means that the pipeline is becoming less and less of a reality, at least in the near future, for the US. However, it does open the door for a pipeline bringing oil to other countries such as China from Canada. This raises concerns for environmentalists in Canada, as the pipeline dubbed “Northern Gateway” would travel across the country to the northwestern coast of British Columbia, raising the same concerns as the Keystone XL Pipeline. Due to the pipeline’s path through its habitat, the Kermode Bear, or “Spirit Bear”, has become the symbol of this environmental mission to stop the Northern Gateway. This rare species of bear is completely white and revered by the Gitga'at (a native tribe). Its habitat would be put in danger with the Northern Gateway pipeline bringing oil to Asia. It may not be a keystone species like the beetles in the Midwest (explained earlier), but it is a bear dear to the culture of Canada.

Both articles this week explained the inevitable delay and possible extinction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada to Texas. The Platts article is very informative, showing little bias and merely stating the actions that TransCanada will likely take as the US government takes another look at the pipeline’s existence. It is a dry account of the matter, but provides vital information regarding the future of the pipeline. On the other hand, the AlterNet article provides a completely different take on the issue, mainly because it is from the Canadian environmentalist viewpoint. It brings up the same issues that the US environmentalists are concerned with, except it focuses on the Northern Gateway pipeline, the Canadian equivalent of the Keystone XL Pipeline. This illustrates how a pipeline in general, no matter where it leads, is not the right decision for either Canada or the US in terms of the environment. Whether it is worth the money, the government and the industry will decide.

It has been a significant journey for the Keystone XL Pipeline in the past few months and hopefully the end result will prove successful for the environmentalist movement, pushing our nation towards a future of cleaner, sustainable energy.

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