Many Oklahoman’s are concerned about the prospect of the TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline coming to Oklahoma. Landowners are upset at the prospects of eminent domain being used by a foreign company, and they are the only ones upset, environmentalist are also concerned about the environmental impacts the pipeline will have.
One major concern for Oklahoman’s is that the proposed route for the pipeline crosses the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides drinking water for people in eight states, including Oklahoma. It also provides as much as 30% of the nation’s ground water used for irrigation.
Not all Oklahoman’s are against the pipeline though, Oklahoma’s Attorney General Scott Pruitt wrote a letter to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to show his support for the pipeline.
“As Oklahoma Attorney General, I write to express my support for the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline (Keystone XL) project. In addition to the obvious national security and economic benefits of the pipeline, Oklahoma has a unique interest in the completion of the Keystone XL stemming from the ongoing glut of crude oil at the Cushing Hub. The glut has contributed to the depressed prices of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude and negatively impacted Oklahoma producers,” Scott Pruitt said.
However, Pruitt doesn’t address the landowner’s concerns or those of environmental groups. The Keystone 1, TransCanada’s last pipeline in the US, was predicted to have a leak once every seven years but has had 12 leaks in the first year. That’s more than any other first-year pipeline in U.S. history. The risks with spills from the pipeline are also increased due to diluted bitumen carried in the pipeline, it’s a highly corrosive and acidic material sometimes called DilBit. It’s a mixture of raw bitumen and volatile natural gas liquid condensate. Bitumen often contains toxins such as chromium, mercury, arsenic, and lead.
All concerned Oklahoman’s will have the chance to speak out against the pipeline tomorrow at a public hearing hosted by the U.S. Department of State. Each citizen will have 3 minutes to voice their concerns. The hearing will take at Reed Center Exhibition Hall, 5800 Will Rogers Road in Midwest City, from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Those that are unable to attend the meeting but would still like to have their concerns heard may contact Whitney Pearson with the Sierra Club with a short paragraph answering the following question, “is this pipeline in our national interest?”
About the Author
Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.