The Story Behind Keystone’s Veto

By Noah Johnson
Staff Reporter


Since it’s initial proposition in early 2010, the Keystone XL pipeline has been on every American politician’s mind. On either side of the isle, politicians have different opinions on the pipeline’s construction, ranging from violently opposed to zealously in favor.

The bill that was proposed to the newly Republican-controlled Congress was for the construction of an oil pipeline starting in Canada and would cross the border in Montana and cut across the United States, ending in Texas. The bill to approve construction was passed through Congress, but was vetoed via executive command by President Barack Obama.

After the veto was announced, several Republican Party members made statements on Capitol Hill saying that the battle was not over. The Republican opposition said that even if they could not override the veto in Senate, they would continue to try to tack the pipeline onto other bills.

Despite any one person’s take on the issue, there are positives and negatives to this bill. The liberal side of the issue is one mostly driven by the pipeline’s environmental impacts. The pipeline’s origin in Hardisty, Alberta uses a controversial drilling method that is prone to polluting the surrounding surface environment as well as any nearby ground water. This drilling method uses dangerous chemicals and a special type of sand only found in the Midwest region of the United States.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been working closely with the construction of the pipeline, allowing destructive mining operations to ignore certain guidelines normally preventing mining companies from doing excessive damage to surrounding ecosystems. On top of that, the pipeline would encourage our already substantial reliance on fossil fuel, instead of shifting focus to renewable, alternative energy research.

On the conservative side of the issue, the pipeline is seen as the economic messiah this country desperately needs. The pipeline construction alone would create thousands of jobs for Americans across nine states.

One of the Republican Party’s main focuses is job creation and domestic energy production. This pipeline would kill two birds with one stone, effectively creating a job boom as well as reducing our dependence on oversea oil. Our current oil supply that fills the reservoirs surrounding the Gulf of Mexico come from the Middle East and Venezuela, two less stable areas of the world. The pipeline would establish a new market with one of our more stable global partners in trade, Canada.

On top of this, the introduction of so much domestic oil would drop gas prices and promote major economic stimulation. The pipeline’s construction could possibly send America into a golden age of economic growth.

Each of these sides has a counterpoint, making this debate a hot topic in today’s social and political landscape. Politicians wage a daily war on their opposition by trying to turn any weaker members of the opposition, turn any on-the-fence politicians, and prey on the ignorant masses to win their support in their respective field of political battle.

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