The Instigator
Con (against)
1 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
5 Points

The US Government should stop development of the Keyston Pipeline.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/25/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,078 times Debate No: 24865
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




This is a debate for the DDO Tournament. I will argue that the Keystone Pipeline should be built.
Round 1. Acceptance
Round 2. Oppening arbuments
Round 3. Rebuttle
Round 4. Closing arguments
Keyseont Pipeline: an oil pipeline that is to travel from Canada to central and Southern US.
Thanks to my opponent and let this debate begin.


All sounds acceptable to me.

i am looking forward to an educational, relevant topic especially as the collegiate debate season is about to begin.

With that, I hand it over to the advocate of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Debate Round No. 1


BennyW forfeited this round.


In regards to FF of Round 2, I would just like to remind that no new arguments are allowed in the concluding round.

My following argument will be brief and, hopefuly, concise. I will elaborate further in the next round.

Pipeline Definition

"The 1,700-mile long Keystone XL Pipeline would connect the Alberta oil sand fields in Canada to refineries in Texas. The multi-billion dollar project is being proposed by TransCanada, a Canadian energy company. TransCanada has been attempting to get a permit for the pipeline for over three years. The proposed line would travel through six U.S. states: Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The line would cross through 16 counties in North and East Texas. The pipeline itself would be 36 inches around."

Tar-Sand Oil

Some pipeline advocates are citing it's only 6% worse than convential oil: this is optimistic. It is mined by huge trucks and takes an excess amount of heat and energy to seperate the bitumen from the sands. Thus Stanford Assistant Professor Adam Brandt states a much more reasonable estimation is it is 20% to 25% worse than that of conventional, regarding carbon-foot-print. Literature reviews place it high as 37% worse. But it is now thought to be even worse as the tar sand companies are replacing boggy peat lands that absorb large amounts of carbon with dry forests when they are finished mining. These vastly detrimental environmental concerns will be on-going for decades and generations. Not only does this set a national and international precedent of not seeking alternative energy, but it speeds the process of our worsening environment. This won't cause Global Warming, but it certainly speeds it's process. With China and India, already, being careless with the overwhelming warnings from the scientific community, America joining them, will surely be a strong, wrongfuly-minded precendent and slippery-slope.

Moreover, if the Ogallala Aquifer is contaminted it will be irreversible. This is an ancient, fossil aquifer of which the Great-Plains depends on for their world-leading agriculture output: see history of Dust Bowl, for the implications of this economic, environmental hazard.

Moreover, TransCanada is beginning to receive permits to start building, yet they haven't even told states the chemicals used to dilute the heavy tar sands bitumen that the 1,100-mile pipeline would carry from Canada. Not only is this blatantly disrespective but it also shows signs that our fragile farmland is being taken for granted by the company building the pipeline.


The United States Department of State investigated TransCanada, and they have had twenty-one spills: not an impressive figure, especially given this will be going right down the farmland of America. Also it must be mentioned that this will be one of the more monstorous projects they have take on. Recently in May of 2011, for example, 21, 000 gallons of oil spilt in N. Dakota because of a faulty valve in a pipeline. In 2011 alone, there were in fact 12 major spills from a similar pipeline that of which TransCanada is planning.


In the particular case this is just not a good time for Texas, as they are going through a water drought. TransCanada will be extracting fresh water from Texas land, as permitted by eminent-domain, to clean out their pipelines and hyrdraulic testing. This is a detail, yes, but is a regional dilemma, so it ought not to be discounted as trivial.

Jobs and the Economy

Some way-overly optimistic studies have shown that the pipeline will create 500,000 jobs. This is grossly wrong. TransCanada, which has a clear biased in wanting to get a permit, stipulated it will probably only create 20,000 jobs. But from a far less-biased source, The U.S. State Department issued a statement tha itt will, estimated, create around 5,000 to 6,000 jobs. The great majority of these jobs is only for construction because the beauty of a pipeline is that it is automated. So whatever minute stimulus the pipeline will create, it will be greatly temporary. Also, this is not a necessity, for all America may do with the great majority of this is sell it to foreign markets--Latine America, Europe, and China.


Once the pipeline is built the pipeline stays. It will stay there, transporting oil for decades and decades. Building a pipeline is a marriage. The little jobs it created will go away. Much of the oil will be sold. OPEC will still be strong, making money off of other markets. The only thing that is permanent in this decision, is the irreversible damage it does to our climate and irriversible damage it will, in all likliness, do to agriculture lands and the irreversible precedent America will set for the world.


The Proponent case, safely, outweighs on a Magnitude and Timeline scale.
Debate Round No. 2


I apologize for my forfeit.

I agree with the definition presented by my opponent.

First I will argue that the Keystone Pipeline is more advantageous than relying on foreign oil which constitutes a large portion of our oil [1]. While I am arguing that the government should not prohibit the building of the Pipeline, they should not be the ones primarily pushing for it. It should be a pretty much private endeavor with the government consulted in regards to conflicts which may arise and handling the permitting, while most of the business be handled by TransCanada or some other companies.

Tar-Sand Oil
It may be a bit worse for the environment, but if it is maintained properly there should be minimal problems.


My opponent brings up the point tat they don’t have great record, in that case there should be something to the effect of an ongoing audit and oversight.


This pipeline will take a long time to complete there is no telling if there will still be a drought. If the drought continues the Texas portion can be postponed while the rest become operational.

As for Eminent domain, it is a major concern. It must first be noted that it is allowable according to the fifth amendment but the way it is applied is often abusive. Also, as I have stated in my intent, the government should take a minimal role.

Jobs and the economy

While the amount of jobs created directly by the building of the pipeline will be minimal, the effect will be to improve the economy since it will help to reduce the price of oil, making the price of doing business cheaper and businesses be able to hire more people.

Overall although there are issues, it will be a net gain for the economy. This along with the abundance of domestic oil we are sitting on will reduce gas prices.




jwesbruce forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent forfeited so he was unable to respond to my points. However, since I also forfeited we are even and I ask the voters to do the same. Since this is the final round I will as promised not introduce any new arguments. I will just ask the voters to examine the arguments already presented.


jwesbruce forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by BennyW 3 years ago
I think I have changed my view on this issue a bit.
Posted by imabench 4 years ago
The FF'ing by both sides made this really hard to judge, but after reviewing the rounds that werent Forfeited, the con never actually brought up any of his own arguments in the debate for why the pipeline should be preserved.... He gives very small counters to the Pro's arguments but failed to argue why the pipeline should be built even though he had the character space to do so. Pro gave well spoken arguments for why it shouldnt be built and since the Con's rebuttals were no more than two sentences long for any given argument, he failed to be convincing enough to have fulfilled his BOP in my opinion. Arguments to the Pro, Pro also used more sources, however I will give conduct to the con since he FF'd less rounds.

Rate of debate: 2 out of 4 stars
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: rfd in comments