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Happy 2015 and the Keystone Pipeline XL

Happy 2015 and the Keystone Pipeline XL

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Alexandra Magaard // 16 January 2015 // #GoingGreen

Good day everyone, and happy 2015! I hope you all had a festive holiday season and a smooth slide into the New Year :) First, here is a link to the official video of the Going Green Finale at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Berlin. This video encompasses the event, student presentations and a general summary of the project. You also can find a link on the Going Green Facebook page. Thank you to the member of the Going Green team for making it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6wwXU8wBPU&feature=youtu.be Next, I wanted to provide you all with a glimpse into the United States’ current environmental controversy, the Keystone Pipeline XL. Here are some basic facts: The Keystone Pipeline XL was originally proposed in 2008. It is a 1,179-mile (1,987km) pipeline extending from Hardisty, Albert (Canada) down through the United States to Steele City, Nebraska. The project is designed to strengthen and support the United States’ and Canadian crude oil production. The Keystone pipeline is predominately supported by the Republican Party (A recent study by CNN found 80 percent of Republicans are in favor of it, in contrast to only 39 percent of Democrats) who cite that this project would create jobs and help the United States grow less dependent on Middle Eastern oil. While the Democratic Party, President Obama’s political party opposes the pipeline claiming that it will increase the threat of climate change while damaging local environments.

A map of the Keystone XL Pipeline, Source: http://keystone-xl.com/about/the-keystone-xl-oil-pipeline-project/

Last Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled in favor of the pipeline. This ruling allows the Keystone XL pipeline to run through the state. Since then the GOP (Grand Old Party, also known as the Republican party), who presently controls the House of Representatives (one branch of the United States’ legislative body), voted to approve the pipeline in a 266-153 ballot. However President Obama is against this project, stating that it will increase greenhouse gases and potentially harm local ecosystems throughout its construction, and he threatens to veto the bill. That would mean that the President would block this legislation from becoming a law by refusing to sign it. The United State’s legislature can only overcome the Presidential veto with a two-thirds majority vote. However, Obama has not veto-ed yet, which makes it again a fresh debate. The CNN poll also uncovered that 57 percent of Americans are in favor of this bill and 28 percent are opposed (the other 15 percent is of no opinion)…I guess we will have to wait and see what happens!

The Keystone Pipeline XL, photo source: The British Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30737766

If you are interested in reading more about the pipeline, below is a link to the New York Time’s coverage of it. Enjoy! http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/k/keystone_pipeline/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier That’s all for now, and I will continue to state in 2015: as the going gets tough, the tough go green. Alex  

Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.