Keystone XL – is a proposed pipeline of approx 1,179 miles that would join the existing channel to improve oil flow and save on transportation costs. This pipeline project is supposed to connect oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to different cities, including Nebraska, Steele, and Gulf Coast. An astonishing number of people in America are unaware of different keystone pipeline facts and myths. However, this project is seeing protests by environmentalists and American due to its severe consequences on environmental safety, public health, jobs, and energy security.
Initially, President Obama put this project on hold, but Donald Trump turned it and gave it a green flag. However, current US president Joe Biden has now opposed the project by canceling permits of this project. As the debates go on about this Keystone XL project being the biggest threat to the US, here are some common myths and facts you need to know about this project.
MYTH #1: Keystone XL Project Will Provide Half Million Jobs To Americans
Fact: While American Petroleum Institute has stated that this project will create jobs for over half a million American people, the truth is these are all false claims. As per the analysis report conducted by Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute, these job claims are nothing but mere fabrications. Furthermore, the project cannot create such a high number of jobs for Native Americans.
In reality, Keystone XL will create a limited number of jobs that will mostly be non-local and temporary. It is also predicted that this project will create only a few full-time jobs for steel workers during its construction period. The other jobs will be temporary and limited to the project’s duration. What’s more surprising is that these jobs will be non-local and of temporary nature.
Let’s move forward to the second myth…
MYTH #2: Organized Labor Supports The Pipeline Project
Fact: For those of you who have heard this claim that organized labor is in support of this pipeline, here’s the shocking truth. The TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline is considered one of the toughest projects for organized labor. The truth behind this keystone pipeline facts and myths about supporting organized labor is that labor and workers have opposed this project from the start.
While the project may produce some temporary jobs for unemployed people, this project will not be able to create clean energy jobs. Additionally, it will cause havoc on labor organizations and environmentalists looking to address global climate change. When President Obama rejected and canceled the permits for Keystone XL, many labor/workers associations and organizations came forward in support of this decision.
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MYTH #3: Keystone XL will boost Energy Security in America
Fact: This Keystone XL project will bring oil from Canada’s oil sands to Gulf Coast in Texas. From here, it will be sent to different overseas markets. However, experts suggested that this will increase America’s reliance on oil only and ultimately reduce efforts towards renewable and sustainable energy options.
In turn, it will impact America’s energy security and its economy by lowering energy prices. Additionally, it should be noted here that Canadian oil sands have been labeled as the dirtiest form of crude oil because of their high carbon content and linked to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
MYTH #4: Keystone XL is safe
Fact: Even though the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline will be buried nearly 20 feet underground, the risk of a spill is still there. Since this pipeline will carry raw tar sands known to be more abrasive and corrosive, the chances of oil spills increase significantly. In addition, the bitumen that will be flowing through this pipeline has a unique composition, and traditional cleaning methods do not work for it.
This means in case of a spill; there is no proper method for cleaning this bitumen. Other than this, problems also exist on the ground where people are busy fighting against deforestation and water pollution caused by this project.
MYTH #5: Keystone XL Pipeline Will Cut Down on Energy Prices
Fact: TransCanada is interested in this project for one reason: to explore global markets through this pipeline. The Keystone XL will transport oil from Canada to the Gulf coast, making it easier to trade with the overseas market. However, once the oil starts reaching the international market, it will ultimately cause a price hike in fuel rates in America.
In addition, TransCanada has submitted a secret document to the Canadian government that states that the KXL pipeline will cause a hike in gas prices in the Midwest. They tried to cover this by making up such keystone pipeline facts and myths, but the truth is energy prices will hike up at some point.
MYTH #6: The Major Opponent of Pipeline In Nebraska and other routes were people of “Special Interest” and a few “Environmental Extremists.”
Fact: TransCanada and its supporters in Washington are the real special interest and extremists in this pipeline project as they only care about making money from it. Over the years, they have invested more money in promoting this project than any other state or environmental organization. In addition, these organizations are working to promote cronyism, corruption, and big businesses rather than doing their basic duty to the American people. Thousands of landowners testified against the development of this pipeline project on their land.
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MYTH #7: Keystone XL will Pose no threat to the environment as the Canadian tar sands will continue to exploit even in the absence of a pipeline
Fact: The main reason why TransCanada is pulling out every single card on this project is that it’s the only way for this company to explore overseas markets. However, people, environmental activities, and organizations working on climate change strongly oppose this project. In addition, due to its vulnerability to spill accidents, there have been many keystone pipeline facts and myths speculating this pipeline project.
On the contrary, green and renewable energy could be the best way to go about it and can put a hold on global climate change to some extent. But unfortunately, once this project finds its way, a few on-the-line projects like ‘Cushing Extension” and “Seaway reversal” will also come under development leading to a bigger disaster for America.
MYTH #8: There are pipelines already crisscrossing the Midwest, and they do not pose any threats
Fact: The Midwest has become the center of the debate over pipelines and pipeline politics, but are these concerns justified? Looking at the spills incidents that happened in the past few years, the answer is a resounding yes. There have been nearly 12 to 15 spills accidents in the Midwest pipeline, which has led to the wastage of thousands of gallons of oil in these spills. Since this Keystone XL project will pass through the Sandhills region, a spill accident on a large scale in the future could cause severe damage to this environmentally sensitive region.
MYTH #9: The Government’s process of reviewing Keystone XL has been careful and complete
Fact: It appears that the government review process for Keystone XL has been completely fair. However, the reports conducted by the authorities were a complete sham, and there was nothing reasonable in them. To clear this keystone pipeline facts and myths, the government has inclined towards supporting this project.
Throughout the process, the US government and officials from the department of energy are seen favoring the project and a special group of people. This is why the government has failed to consider some important frontiers of public safety, climate change, and job security for Americans with this project.
Additionally, the review process for the KXL pipeline project was outsourced by the US government to a company that has close ties with TransCanada. This project will certainly increase the possibility of spills through the periodic need for maintenance in the future. Finally, there are hardly any requirements on how these pipelines should be constructed and maintained to ensure safety.
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MYTH #10: KXL project will create new tax revenues in hundreds of millions for states in the path of the pipeline project
Fact: In various independent studies based on the future economics of the KXL project, it has been found that these claims of generating millions of dollars by TransCanada are a plot to get support for this project. There is thorough research or proper facts to back the claims made by the company. The statement of creating half a million jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue for states is a diplomatic strategy to build support and turn opposition into their favor.
The truth is Keystone 1 project has failed to achieve its targets and is, in fact, nowhere around what the company promised during its initial stage. Instead, TransCanada has invested a lot in misleading the American public by using fake science and faked numbers to promote the viability of the KXL pipeline project.