The Instigator
MattAllen
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
HarrisonJHamilton
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Keystone XL Pipeline

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,141 times Debate No: 70846
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

MattAllen

Con

There are 3 main reasons why I think that the Keystone XL Pipeline is a bad idea. 1. It's Bad For The Environment; 2. It's Bad For the U.S. Economy; 3. It's A Step Backward From A Future Of Clean Energy. In my first argument, I will discuss how the Keystone XL Pipeline is bad for the environment.
The Keystone Pipeline, if passed, will be carrying tar sands oil. The amount of pollution that tar sands oil produces is much more than that of conventional oil. During the creation of tar sands oil alone, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the environment is approximately 3 to 4 times higher than that of conventional oil. The Keystone XL pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil into the United States daily, and result in climate-damaging emissions equal to adding more than 5.6 million new cars to U.S. roads. The Keystone XL Pipeline would travel through 6 U.S. states and would cross through major rivers, such as the Missouri River, Yellowstone River, and Red River. It would also travel through the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides water to more than 1/4 of America's irragated land and two million American citizens.The probability of spills from this pipeline is high and more threatening than conventional spills, because tar sands oil sinks rather than floats, making clean ups more difficult and costly. NASA"s leading climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen has called the Keystone XL pipeline "a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet." All pipelines spill. According to TransCanada the Keystone 1 pipeline was predicted to spill once every seven years. It spilled 12 times in its first year and it has spilled more than 30 times over its lifetime. The Keystone XL pipeline is built to spill, and when it does it will have a devastating effect upon employment and the economy, according to Cornell University.Tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest fuels on the Earth. Facilitating the exploitation of the tar sands will delay investments in clean and safe alternatives to oil, such as better fuel economy requirements, plug-in electric cars fueled by solar power, and smart growth and public transportation infrastructure that give Americans choices other than cars. In order to avoid devastating effects on the climate from a global rise of 2 degrees Celsius, such as the melting of the Arctic ice, sea level rise, and more extreme tornados and hurricanes and more floods and heat waves, the International Energy Association says that up to two-thirds of known fossil reserves must remain untouched.

Sources:
www.foe.org
tarsandsblockade.org
HarrisonJHamilton

Pro

I live in Mobile, Alabama, a gulf coast city that was directly affected by the 2010 oil spill. I have seen the harm an oil spill can cause to an environment. However, given that oil and water cannot and will not mix, I don't see how oil could directly affect a water supply. I would argue the chemicals used to treat a spill are much more harmful to an environment. When it comes to a spill affecting an economy, the gulf coast relies on the tourism industry which was destroyed during the summer of 2010. However, given that most Keystone pipeline states are landlocked, I hardly see how the economy would suffer. If anything, a spill would create more jobs than it destroys, given that a oil spill clean up requires lots of man power. As far as a Keystone Pipeline spill affecting the climate, the whole idea of manufactured climate change is disputed in the scientific world. Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which was praised in the global warming community, was proven to be riddled with plagiarism. Although I do think alternative energy is a key investment in humanity's future, I don't think preventing oil transit would be taking away from clean energy investment.

I think our civilization's addiction to oil is a real concern. That's why I think every dollar invested in oil discovery should be matched to invest in alternative energy concepts. Oil money is far too powerful in today's world for my liking.
Debate Round No. 1
MattAllen

Con

Before I start my second argument, I will argue some of my opponents points.
First, I think it is great that you have an opinion about this issue, but my problem with your argument is that it contained just your opinion and no facts. If your argument did contain facts, then where are your sources?
Second, how is Al Gore's documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" relevant to the discussion at hand, which is whether or not the Keystone XL Pipeline is a good thing.
Third, you are correct by saying that water and oil don't mix, but tar sands oil, the type of oil that would pass through the Keystone XL Pipeline, sits on top of the water, which makes it even more difficult to remove.

In my second argument, I will discuss how the Keystone XL Pipeline is bad for the economy. People who support the creation of the Keystone XL Pipeline argue that it is a jobs creator. The reality is, Keystone XL would likely kill more jobs than it would add. According the State Department, it would create 1,950 construction jobs for two years. Once complete? Thirty-five new permanent American jobs, according to pipeline builder TransCanada. House Republicans are still claiming the project would create 120,000 jobs, but that's based on outdated information. The House Energy Committee"s GOP majority website estimates, from figures given by TransCanada two years ago, for a much longer pipeline than is now proposed. Won't refined tar sands oil help fuel the United States and reduce gas prices? Think again. Tar sands miners want Keystone XL because it will help them ship oil overseas to an international market, where their product will fetch more money and add billions of dollars in annual profits. That's a losing deal for everyone, except Big Oil. Midwest drivers would be hardest hit because the region currently imports more than half of its oil for refining from Canada. Increases at the pump could range from 25 cents to 40 cents a gallon, depending on how regional refineries respond to paying $20 to $30 more per 42-gallon barrel for Canadian crude oil. Canadian oil currently sent to the Midwest from Canada would likely be diverted to Keystone XL to reduce Midwest supply, which would put additional pressure on gasoline prices.

Sources:
nrdc.org
consumerwatchdog.org
factcheck.org
HarrisonJHamilton

Pro

Yes you are posting statistical data, but data coming from the State Department, which is part of a liberal administration who clearly isn't a supporter of the Keystone Pipeline, is as bias as Republican-backed data. The documentary helped prove my argument that manufactured climate change isn't a proven fact, which in turn aided me in disproving that the pipeline would affect climate change.

Also, the Keystone Pipeline would be used to transport oil to refineries in Texas, where it is refined into petroleum and shipped throughout the country, not to overseas countries. Why would they want to spend billions transporting gasoline to Europe when the largest consumer of oil and gas is the United States? Europe receives its oil and gas from Petrobras aka Russia.

Once you can become more objective and not let you're political ideology influence your opinions so heavily, then we can have a healthy debate.

Round 3 please.
Debate Round No. 2
MattAllen

Con

Before I commence my final argument, I would like to thank my opponent for a wonderful debate that enriched my knowledge and also argue some of their points.
First, in a debate, biased facts are better than no facts at all. Second, the purpose of the Keystone XL Pipeline is to allow this oil company, which is located in the landlocked Alberta, Canada, to send its oil to a port where it can be shipped to other countries. The company, TransCanada, has admitted to this. Third, Europe receives its oil from Russia because it is their only option, but they would much rather receive it from Canada because of the foreign affairs problems these countries are having with Russia.

In my final argument, I will discuss how the Keystone XL Pipeline is a step backwards from a future of clean energy. Nearly every aspect of our daily lives " heating, lighting, cooking, communications, transportation, commerce " depends on electricity. Unfortunately, generating that electricity through the use of traditional fossil fuels can be economically and environmentally costly and a danger to public health. Electricity generated with fossil fuels, such as oil, coal or natural gas, releases into our air and waterways harmful particles into our air, including carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, methane and mercury compounds, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Coal-fired power plants are responsible for 22 deaths each year in Massachusetts, according to the Sierra Club. Clean energy is heat and electricity produced from renewable sources, generating little or no pollution or emissions. These technologies, including those listed below, provide clean, renewable sources of power from local sources of energy, which are sustainable over time rather than finite sources like traditional fossil fuels. With no native sources of traditional fossil fuels, Massachusetts sits at the end of the energy pipeline with some of the highest energy costs in the United States. Massachusetts spends billions of dollars each year to purchase on foreign sources of energy from outside of the region or country. By adopting renewable sources of energy, Massachusetts is able to keep those energy dollars, and the jobs they represent, here at home. At a moment when climate action is more urgent than ever, building this pipeline would be a step into a past instead of a shift into a clean energy future. Keystone XL would represent a long-term commitment to the expansion of dangerous tar sands oil when we need to be investing in safe, renewable sources of energy instead.

Sources:
nrdc.org
masscec.com
HarrisonJHamilton

Pro

HarrisonJHamilton forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Eshwarma_Dackard 2 years ago
Eshwarma_Dackard
This is getting ugly robmatthewd.
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