Keystone XL: The 1,179 Mile Journey from Alberta to Nebraska

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

pipeline, keystone_xl, Alberta, oil A new pipeline running through the oil sands of northern Alberta. (Tony Horwitz)

For the last five years, environmentalists and energy companies have lobbied, protested and fought over the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would stretch 1,179 miles from Hardisty, Alberta, in Canada to Steele City, Nebraska.

Last January, the State Department released its final environmental impact report on the Pipeline, concluding that the project would be unlikely to change global greenhouse gas emissions. President Barack Obama has the final say, though, and he has yet to make a decision on the project.

Whether or not the Alberta-to-Nebraska leg of the pipeline is approved, the Canadian oil sands are already up and pumping.

Journalist Tony Horwitz traveled the length of the proposed pipeline, and he says that North America could become the Saudi Arabia of the Western Hemisphere. He chronicles it all in his book, "Boom: Oil, Money, Cowboys, Strippers, and the Energy Rush That Could Change America Forever," and he explores the proposed pipeline's impact.

Guests:

Tony Horwitz

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]

CAROLINE from NJ USA

I live in New Jersey, and just today I heard on NPR that a Philadelphia oil refinery that was NOT USED/Shut-down is now working because it's receiving shipments of tar-sands oil VIA train. Putting lost, lacking business back into service, and people back to work is a good thing, yet the rails in the USA are aging. There are many accidents due to faulty infrastructure.

Why, I wonder, is the USA not putting money into aging infrastructure? Accidents cost money, and although it creates jobs, do we what those kinds of jobs to be principle? Tankers dangling off a suspended railroad bridge over some river, just waiting for further disaster is the normal. "...the total number of gallons of crude spilled in rail accidents in 2013 was much greater than the total amount from 1975 to 2012." according to "Oil Investment News".

You can't put people in a pipeline! Railroads in Europe get people around the countries with great satisfaction, but few ride the rails in the USA, and it would be smart to encourage more passenger rail travel.

My question would be why not put people to work fixing what is already built, rather than building something new, that's bound to age and become a problem and obsolete in the future?

Mar. 12 2014 12:40 PM

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