History Of The Keystone Pipeline Essay
By Garrett Kizior
History of the Keystone Pipeline
Canada’s Athabasca River Basin is the home of one of the world’s largest stockpile of fossil fuels; bitumen. Bitumen, which lies beneath prehistoric boreal forests and peat bogs, is composed of oil, sand, and clay, and is often compared to thick tar. Because of its composition, bitumen is commonly referred to as tar sands The only method to remove the tar sands from the ground is to first inject hot steam into the earth until the bitumen melts and then carry it to the surface with heavy machinery. Once above ground, converting bitumen to fuel can consume as much energy as it provides. Even though the costs involved in drilling the tar sands are high and the ultimate energy it provides is relatively low, the Athabasca River Basin continues to be heavily mined for its bitumen, with the United States as one of its biggest customers. Each year the amount of land that is mined in the tar sands increases, and if the current rate of expansion continues over the next few years, the total area being mined would be larger than the land in the state of Indiana.
The United States was introduced to the great potential energy wealth of the tar sands by George Bush and Dick Cheney. Soon after George Bush became president in 2000, he, along with vice-president Cheney, constructed a plan for the United States to become more energy independent by overhauling the energy industry rules. They believed that the tar sands in…