Hilltop Voices: Chandler Eaton on the Keystone Pipeline

The Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Americans Opportunity to Seek Environmental Stewardship

As an environmental enthusiast and lover of the outdoors, I have found it agonizing to watch the Keystone XL pipeline project. For those who don’t know about the project, Canada wants to build an oil-transporting pipeline through the U.S. to the southern coast. In the most King Solomon manner, our country would be cut in half.

The issue itself is larger than gas prices and foreign alliances. This is another escapade of humans avoiding environmental stewardship. The Keystone XL pipeline project should not continue construction on United States land and, instead, we should focus on reversing climate change.
The House and Senate are finally passing a bill, but of course it is one that will leave a harmful effect on Earth. Luckily, President Obama has promised to veto it, for, as he said, “We only have one planet.” Snaps to the President, who is apparently the only one in D.C. who sees this project as a way to procrastinate the prevention of global warming.

The cons of the pipeline’s construction far outweigh the alleged pros. Republicans predicted an exaggerated number of jobs the project would produce. However, the State Department calculated that there would be only 42,000 jobs, which would then diminish to only 50 jobs after the two years of construction conclude.

Another argument the pro-pipers are making is that Americans would save on gasoline prices. I wonder what other kinds of pipes they’re advocating, because evidently they’re too distracted to do the math. The State Department calculated minimal effects on consumer gas prices. The pipeline is Canadian owned and the profits will go into the global economy, not solely the American economy.
However, these are not the aspects of the pipeline that incite me the most. The lack of responsibility for protecting our planet is what gets me fueled up about this controversy (pun intended).

As members of the human race, who inhabit a beautiful planet, we must take environmental stewardship and start respecting the planet on which we live. I am glad that this issue has made it to the House and Senate because climate change has surfaced in the news, yet I rebuke those who believe that climate change is not linked to humans.

Senate Republicans have landed on the opinion that humans are not charged with climate change. Recently, Senate signed an amendment acknowledging the existence of climate change using the logic that there is “Biblical evidence” of climate change, while maintaining the grounds that humans are not the cause. I must have skipped over the eighth day in Genesis when God created global warming. Thankfully the prophet Al Gore was sent to warn those of us who skim-read during Bible study.

The elected politicians representing our country need to act. This is not the time to be complacent about our responsibilities. I wish I could stand in front of the Senate and House while singing the Bob Dylan lyrics, “Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call…For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled.”

While the torture of a tone-deaf folk performance from yours truly would be scarring, I’m not sure it would get the point across. It appears as if the House and Senate are fine with ignorance and apathy when confronting climate change.

For those of us who can acknowledge mankind’s responsibility for climate change, it is important to remember that supporting the pipeline project is supporting the drilling of oil sands. When oil sands are drilled, it produces approximately 17 percent more greenhouse gases than drilling pure oil.

If the United States decides to embark on the quest for environmental stewardship, this would be our opportunity to stand up and claim that we do not support this project. In order to fight against the harm which our species has caused, the U.S. should dedicate job production to renewable resources and weaning Americans of oil-dependency. We have to do something to counteract the negative effects of Canada, eh.

For now, let us keep our fingers crossed and recycling bins in use as we wait for Obama to stand strong and lead our country to a safer, environmentally conscious future. I certainly hope that the nation’s representatives realize mankind’s place in co-existing with the environment. For if we destroy nature, it will destroy us.

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.” –Cree Native American Proverb

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