For our most recent unit of World History, we have been learning about and discussing the Keystone XL Pipeline. This pipeline will be an extension to the already build Keystone Pipeline. The Keystone XL Pipeline will carry Tar Sands oil from Canada to US refineries. Opinions on this pipeline being built vary. Many people believe that the pipeline is good, bringing more jobs and tax money to the cities where it crosses. On the other hand, many people believe the pipeline is bad because it takes a huge toll on the environment. There are concerns of the pipeline leaking and damaging one of the biggest safe drinking water reserves. The Tar Sands is also a big concern. It is one of the most hardest things to refine and when refined, it adds many pollutants into the air.
Key Facts About the Pipeline
1. The proposed extension currently awaiting approval by the Obama administration would also run from Alberta, traveling almost 1,700 miles directly through the United States to refineries in Texas, passing through Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.
2. One of the chief concerns of Keystone opponents centers on the nature of “tar sands” oil, which environmental groups argue is more corrosive than the crude oil the U.S. normally imports, increasing the chances that pipes might wear away more quickly and result in leaks or spills.
3. The Keystone debate has also become a personal issue for Midwest communities living far from the pipeline route.
4. TransCanada has argued that further delaying the Keystone project could result in the company losing approximately $1 million a day.
5. Because the pipeline crosses international borders and a Canadian company, TransCanada, owns the project, the U.S. Department of State has had the responsibility of approving or rejecting a permit to allow the proposed pipeline.
(Source for the above facts: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/five-things/the-keystone-xl-pipeline/12200/)
(Girl comes skipping in and sits down in the corner of her room with her favorite toy.)
No Mr. Snuffles! You just don’t understand! You don’t understand because you don’t have a mommy and daddy.
Yes, I know mommys and daddys fight sometimes but as soon as daddy gets home he starts yelling... Yeah... Mhm, loud yelling - the worse kind.
(Rolls her eyes)
No Mr. Snuffles, when I yell at you to get off my bed, it’s not loud yelling. So then mommy yells back at daddy. They yell about a thing called money and work... No, Mr. Snuffles. At first I thought money and work were ice cream flavors too, but they’re not, Mr. Snuffles. They are important to mommy and daddy.
They yell about a line, but not the types of lines I draw in school.
Yes, Mr. Snuffles, you should know by now that I am in first grade. Anyways, the line isn’t even straight! And daddy wants to build this line. Mommy knows it’s a bad idea to build this line, but then daddy yells... Mhm. Loud yelling about money.
Then, the weirdest thing is that daddy always, always yells. “Karen!” - that’s mommy’s name - “What about Lilly’s health?”
Mr. Snuffles! MY name is Lilly and your name is Mr. Snuffles! Get it right!
But then he talks about money and a thing. (Confused) Oh what’s that thing? Oh I forget!
Oh! Yes! Thank you Mr. Snuffles. He talks about college and that work will get him money for my college. I don’t know, it’s big-kid talk.
Anyways, he says that this not-straight line will make him lots-a, lots-a money, but Mommy says there’ll by lots-a, lots-a dirt in the air.
(Happy, claps hands)
Good job, Mr. Snuffles! Dirt in the air is a bad thing. Mommy says this line will make lots-a dirty air. Mommy says it’ll make me sick and I don’t wanna be sick, Mr. Snuffles. Mommy also said what the line is gonna carry is icky. She calls it Tar Sands and she says it could go into the water and we’ll have dirty water that’ll make us sick.
I just hope Mommy and Daddy stop yelling and I hope daddy gets his money and mommy gets her clean air -
(Cut off by a distant yelling)
Oh! Mr. Snuffles, you heard that! Dinnertime! Meatloaf! I’ll talk later Mr. Snuffles!
(She runs off)
Only the Good News
(A woman who is dressed in her Sunday best carries a basket with store-bought cookies in it and a book on top.)
(She rings the doorbell of her friends house, fixes a piece of loose hair that fell from her neatly styled head, and tidies her pearl necklace.)
(The door opens)
Oh, hello Maura! Yes, I know. It has been a long time since our last book club meeting... Oh yes, please - I would like to come in. I brought some cookies. Of course, I just freshly baked them this morning!
(The two ladies walk into a very posh living room where the cushions are covered in plastic)
You have such a lovely house Maura, dear... Are the other ladies here yet? Oh that’s great.
(Other women join the pair in the living room)
...Well, Maura, if I may suggest, how about we discuss that fancy pipeline project from the news?
(Long pause while the other women chatter)
Haven’t you heard? It’ll be huge. It’ll cover 1,179 miles! ... Oh, it’ll carry a thing called Tar Sands oil.
(Nods her head towards other comments)
Yep, then the United States will have their own oil instead of obtaining it from other... (nasty tone of voice) other places... Right Janice, we don’t want to help the enemy, we want our own oil independence... Oh yes! It’ll even open up jobs for all the unfortunate families who don’t have jobs... The jobs will be building the pipeline.
(With a twinkle in her eyes)
Doesn’t sound amazing! Oh! We’ll earn so much more money for our state, isn’t it spectacular!
(She gets serious again)
It’s not all going to be brand new. There’s already a Keystone Pipeline, but this Keystone XL Pipeline is going to be bigger and better... Yes, it’ll carry Tar Sands from Canada to our American Refineries.
Miranda! No! They would never transport oil that could harm the environment... Now where did you hear that Jeanne? Their pipelines are the safest! There is barely a chance of spilling. Darn gosh! You ladies need to watch the news more, this is the safest, most beneficial thing ever!
(Glances at watch)
Well, ladies, my husband will be home soon, I have to prepare dinner. Have a lovely afternoon, it was nice chatting.
(She stands up, smooths her skirt, and exits the house.)
There’s not a day that passes when I don’t wonder why.
I wonder why the ground is shredded like old office papers are. I wonder why trees are plucked as often as a little girl plucks flowers. I wonder, I wonder why.
Why does all this need to happen? Well, I guess, it doesn’t need to happen - they want it to happen.
The need to want things is so strong. They grab and grab and endlessly, tiredly grab for things they cannot grasp. They cannot even grasp it with their imaginations.
They need to do this to make America better... Or is it that they want to do this to make America more powerful?
Is there a thirst for power or a thirst to ruin Mother Nature? Does their throat dry up so much that they need to quench it with horrible, sickly deeds? They chug and chug power while they drown Mother Nature in toxins and pollutants to make life “better”.
Mother Nature has natural veins. Her veins are made of beautiful things. These things of beauty are natural. However, they like to add to her veins, and, in most cases, take from them. They exploit her blood and use it to power cars, which in return rises to the atmosphere, adding more crap into her fragile lungs.
They invade with their bulldozers and huge machinery. They see nature, helpless and serene, and think nothing of it. Their sticky hands grab pieces of harsh metal and stick them in a line, a pipeline, stripping Mother Nature of her beauty.
The Tar Sands will turn their hands black with greed. They will be caught black-handed because they are making the world a better place by making the environment and the air they breathe and the ground they walk on a worse place.
I wonder why they don’t take a step back to see what wrong they’re doing.
Remember, we don’t just use the earth for it’s resources - we live here too. Keep mother nature healthy.