Climate change is an undeniable reality that already is having profound effects on the United States and the world.
The Keystone XL pipeline between Alberta, Canada, and the Texas coast would significantly worsen that problem. The pipeline would transport thick tar sands oil, not liquid oil, to refining facilities in Texas.
Tar sands extraction is the most environmentally destructive and carbon-intensive method for extracting a fossil fuel. The tar sands, once processed, will release significantly more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Such gases are primarily responsible for climate change. Tar sands should be left in the ground.
An argument of the oil industry is that the Keystone pipeline will create jobs. That is a myth.
According to an article in the March 11 Time magazine, the Keystone pipeline will create only 20 permanent jobs, and between 2,500 and 4,600 two-year, temporary jobs for people who already are employed, such as contractors, construction workers and petroleum professionals.
Also, most of the oil will not stay within the United States, but will be exported to other countries such as Japan and those in Europe.
This pipeline will have little or no effect on lowering gasoline prices in the U.S., which is another claim of the industry.
Finally, the pipeline would pass through grasslands and wetlands used by migratory birds, disrupting their migration patterns. Wetlands are important because they purify water, and are a delicate, critical ecosystem.
The Keystone XL pipeline is a climate nightmare and should not be approved by President Barack Obama.