To the Editor:
Some environmentalists hope President Obama will veto Keystone XL. However, the U.S. Department of State concluded that, “There are no environmental impacts that bar the construction of Keystone XL.”
Opponents cite a risk of spills, a threat to the Nebraskan aquifer and the Whooping Crane and greenhouse gas emissions from heavy Canadian crude.
Let’s consider these issues. First, Keystone XL pipeline remains the thickest pipeline ever made and features state of the art remote controlled shut off valves placed closer together than any pipeline in the world. Additionally, Keystone will be buried deeper than other lines and features additional reinforcement at river crossings.
Secondly, critics noted Keystone’s route posed a threat to a Midwestern aquifer. Builders wisely changed the route to avoid this aquifer.
Thirdly, the U.S. Department of State studied wildlife threats and concluded: ”the majority of potential effects to wildlife resources are indirect, short term, or negligible, limited in geographical extent, and associated with the construction phase of the proposed project only.” Builders will protect the Whooping Crane by placing avian markers on the power lines in the cranes’ fly route.
Lastly, concerning greenhouse gas emissions, the State Department concluded Canadian crude ‘is within the range of greenhouse gas intensity of half the oil which is refined in the U.S. …. and has lower GHG intensity than Venezuelan and California oil used in the U.S.
Keystone’s safety measures are unequaled in world history. Is building Keystone XL in the US national interest?
Philip W. Chapman