The doom of the huge energy project known as the Keystone XL Pipeline is seemingly more and more imminent.
TransCanada, the energy company proposing the pipeline stretching across the border from the oil-laden tar sands of Canada to the American Midwest, asked the Obama administration to pause its review of the project on Monday, according to a Politico.com article.
The company seemingly hopes that through this hiatus, the pipeline’s fate could be delayed until after President Barack Obama leaves office on the chance that a more favorable-to-its-cause Republican President might be elected.
“(The blocking of Keystone) is another consequence of President Obama’s outrageous political decision to block the Keystone pipeline, which would create thousands of jobs and strengthen our national security,” Brooke Sammon, Sen. Marco Rubio’s press secretary, said in an email to Politico. “Marco has outlined a comprehensive, pro-growth energy plan, and as president, he’ll approve Keystone as soon as possible.”
While it would increase the U.S. supply of oil, is it truly such a great job-creating project?
The BBC article “Keystone XL pipeline: Why is it so disputed?” which said that “The infrastructure project would create 42,000 jobs over a two-year construction period, the U.S. State Department estimates – 35 of which would remain after the pipeline is built.”
With oil prices already relatively low right now, along with the chance that a Republican president would almost certainly approve the project (all three remaining Democratic candidates officially oppose), it looks like Obama wants to approve or reject the pipeline before he leaves office and as such will not grant the pause.
In Politico’s article, “Keystone’s hopes for White House lifeline dim,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest is quoted as telling reporters that “given how long it’s taken, it seems unusual to me to suggest that somehow it should be paused yet again.”
There is a lot of heated discussion from both sides of the proverbial aisle on this issue, but one of the most interesting parts is an interactive documentary-video game hybrid called “Fort McMoney.” According to The Globe and Mail, “players can dig through about eight hours of interviews and conversations with the real residents of Fort McMurray, a city which lies at the heart of Canada’s oil sands. The game asks players to choose whether the city should help crank oil production up to 11, or if it should essentially shut down the industry.”
The winds are blowing (perhaps from those jealous wind turbines) and it looks like the Keystone XL Pipeline is in its political death throes. This could be a win for environmentalists and, more importantly, a win for our planet.
Jonathan Grieg is a senior in anthropology.