Sunday, March 30, 2014

Keystone Pipeline Still a Hot Issue

By Tiffany Liang

For years, the Internet has been rife with discussion of the Keystone Pipeline project and the implications. On February 9, 2005, TransCanada Corporation proposed the project. This company is based in Alberta, Canada and owns thousands of miles of pipeline used for oil and natural gas transportation. This project is for a pipeline to transport crude oil derived from tar sands from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

The project has been divided into four phases. Phase 1 has been in operation since 2011 and runs from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska. Phase 2 has also been in operation since 2011 and runs from Steele City to Cushing, Oklahoma. Phase 3 runs from Cushing to two separate stations in Texas. The first station, in Nederland, began operation on January 21 this year.

Phase 4 is the most controversial section of the pipeline. Like Phase 1, it is proposed to run from Hardisty to Steele City. Environmentalist groups such as and Tar Sands Action argue that Phase 4’s construction would cause pollution that is of special concern, since it runs over the Ogallala Aquifer, an important source of drinking water for eight states. Portions of the pipeline also pass over active seismic zones.

As of March 2014, President Obama has not approved the Phase 4 section of the Keystone Pipeline (Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman issued his approval in January 2013). Whether or not Phase 4 is approved, it will have serious implications for Obama’s presidency.

For more on the pros and cons of this project, go to and

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