Keystone XL Vote Stirs Controversy

On January 9, the House of Representatives voted to approve the final construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The measure was passed with a majority vote of 266-152, with strong bipartisan support from both the Republicans and the Democrats.. News of the vote has been met with mixed reactions, with many people taking different stances over the Keystone XL Pipeline. This vote was introduced quickly after a Nebraska court was unable to come up with the votes required to reject the legislation. After the House approved the vote, there was a flurry of mixed reactions concerning the impact of a project as big as Keystone and many people were not afraid to list their opinions

Ever since it was first proposed in 2008 as an extension to an already existing pipeline, Keystone XL has been involved in various controversies over its development. The pipeline was to be built between the Canadian province of Alberta and the states of Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. However, many people were worried about the environmental impact of the pipeline. Environmentalists frequently point out that the pipeline will transport tar sands oil. Tar sands oil contain mixtures of petroleum and sand, that, when burned, produces around 12% more carbon emissions than regular oil. For obvious reasons, environmentalists are concerned with the effect that burning tar sands oil would have on the environment, so they protest against the building of the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama has also stated that he will veto the bill if he receives it, but there is a high chance that the veto will be overridden.

On the other hand, there are many supporters of Keystone XL and they tout it as a stimulant for the economy. The State Department estimated that around 42,000 temporary jobs would be created by the construction of the pipeline. Opponents counteracted by stating that the pipeline would only create 50 permanent jobs in the United States once it was built. However, it stands to say that the US will receive part of the oil that the Canadians are transporting, thereby increasing our oil reserves and making our economy even more secure. In any case, although the country is divided about whether or not to go ahead with the pipeline, Keystone XL has the potential to help or hurt they country.


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