Re-evaluating the Keystone XL Pipeline report

Bryant Centeno-Monroy
Guest Contributor

In early March, the State Department released a report on the Keystone XL Pipeline, which stated the construction of the pipeline posed little to no environmental risk.

What the report did not reveal, according to sources at Mother Jones – a nonprofit news organization that specializes in investigative, political and social justice reporting – is that experts who contributed to the draft had previous connections to big oil companies, companies that want to see the construction of the pipeline through.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is a pipeline system designed to transport petroleum products from Canada and the northern United States, primarily to the refineries in the gulf coast of Texas.

These experts have been linked to oil companies such as Shell, TransCanada, ExxonMobil, BP and CoconoPhillips, all of whom have vested interest in the construction of the XP Pipeline.

As a concerned citizen, it angers me to see that my own government is releasing manipulated information to the public in order to sway support toward the construction of the pipeline, instead of stating the facts from both sides in an unbiased fashion.

If the State Department allowed these so-called experts to contribute to the report’s draft, where are the scientific and environmental experts’ contributions?

The fact that they only allowed these professionals with previous or current big oil connections to write the draft automatically aligns the report in a biased position. Why did the report not reach out to the scientific and environmental community? Why not try to write a report that would reach a fair and unbiased conclusion based on the pros and cons of the pipeline?

These are the questions all citizens must be asking.

Until the State Department releases a fair and balanced report on the effects of the pipeline, concerned citizens must continue to question and challenge anything that says otherwise. We cannot continue to remain complacent and simply accept everything we are told by the media and our government. I am all for the creation of more jobs, but not at the expense of our environment.

Why is there no push for the creation of new jobs in the environmental sector or any other sector that does not involve profiteering?

If we do not focus on how to keep the environment stable now, how can we expect future generations to thrive in a world that continues to destroy the natural environment and deplete natural resources for profit?

The Keystone XL Pipeline could not only cause issues for the environment but has major health implications as well. We already know that pollution is not good for our health, yet we continue to drill and frack the very earth that has provided so much for us. BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 had a disastrous impact on marine life in the Gulf of Mexico; imagine if another disaster were to occur right here in the U.S.

What would the consequences of such an event be?

I, for one, would not like to wait and find out.

I call for all those who seek environmental justice to rally together and take our actions a step further. We must follow in the footsteps of the anti-war protests of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. I am tired of my generation being called the worst this country has ever witnessed.

We are too docile when it comes to these matters and it is our duty and responsibility as citizens of this democracy to lawfully seek truth and justice for the environment. These next few months are going to be crucial in determining whether or not the pipeline will go up.

Now, more than ever, we must continue to pressure the Obama administration to seek environmental justice.

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