The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed expansion of the Keystone Pipeline that would transport Canadian oil sands bitumen from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska. This proposed expansion route would traverse the Ogallala aquifer. Backed by TransCanada Corporation, a major North American energy company based in Calgary, Alberta, the Keystone XL pipeline project has been strained for permit approval by numerous lawsuits and legislative resistance. Since Keystone XL is a transnational proposal, its fate ultimately relies on U.S. State Department and presidential approval. The staggering risk of ecosystem damage within the initially proposed route has forced TransCananda to submit many alternative route proposals that reduce the extent of navigation through the Ogallala aquifer. Incorporation of the Keystone XL Pipeline offers noteworthy economic benefits albeit with a significant environmental burden. The fresh water contained within the Ogallala aquifer is the most essential component in America’s agricultural industry; therefore, selection of an alternative route that completely circumnavigates the Ogallala aquifer is of absolute necessity. Contaminating these waters in the likely event of an oil spill would yield devastating results.
There is much debate between environmental proponents and political pundits. Implementation of the Keystone XL Pipeline would increase energy dependency and create jobs to enhance the American economy.
If anyone has up to date information on the current status of the Keysone XL Pipeline please let me know.