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Global Warming: 8 Quotes From Scientists on the Heated Debate of the Keystone XL Pipeline

By    |   Monday, 30 March 2015 11:24 AM

Many scientists disagree on the benefits or pitfalls of the Keystone XL pipeline, making the debate about global warming effects more intense. Some scientists say the oil pipeline from Canada through the U.S. would endanger the environment while others say it would provide cleaner energy production than other sources.

Here are eight quotes from scientists in the ongoing debate on the continued construction of the Keystone pipeline.

1. "The Keystone pipeline project is not about job creation or environmental politics. It's about building a critical component of North America's energy infrastructure," Dr. Bernard L. Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, wrote in a 2015 email to ProCon.org on the subject.

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2. Getting Canadian oil is an improvement over the oil "coming in from the Middle East, Nigeria, and Venezuela," Dr. Patrick Moore, chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., told Fox Business News in 2011. Moore is also a former director of Greenpeace International. “Canada is a friendly democracy that has good environmental laws,” he added.

3. "Aggressive commitments by Canadian authorities to reduce the greenhouse-gas footprint of tar-sands development, combined with the initiatives already announced by the president to reduce U.S. national emissions, can minimize environmental damage (from the pipeline)," wrote Michael B. McElroy, professor of environmental studies at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science

However, Michael E. Mann, professor in the departments of meteorology and geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, holds a different view. Constructing "the Keystone XL pipeline simply makes no sense. It represents an investment in infrastructure that will lock in decades of extraction of dirty, expensive fossil fuels at a time when we need to be rapidly pivoting away from a fossil fuel-driven energy economy," reports The Guardian.

Dr. James E. Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, stated in an article for the Common Dreams website, "The environmental impacts of tar sands development include: irreversible effects on biodiversity and the natural environment, reduced water quality, destruction of fragile pristine Boreal Forest and associated wetlands ..."

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6. "The pipeline also would cross the shallow Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska, one of the largest sources of fresh water in the world and vital for the region's $20 billion agricultural operations," writes Dr. Michael E. Kraft, professor emeritus of political science and public and environmental affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, according to a 2011 article published in The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

7. "The Keystone XL pipeline will drive expansion of the energy-intensive strip-mining and drilling of tar sands from under Canada's Boreal forest, increasing global carbon emissions," wrote more than 90 leading scientists and economists in a 2015 letter to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

8. Scientist Marcia McNutt, Science Magazine editor-in-chief, told NPR that environmentalists concerned about global warming could demand safe options for the pipeline. “There actually could be some concessions in exchange for approving the pipeline that could require a limit on the carbon emissions in that process,” she said.

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Many scientists disagree on the benefits or pitfalls of the Keystone XL pipeline, making the debate about global warming effects more intense.
Global Warming, Keystone XL Pipeline, Quotes, Scientists, Debate, Environment
Monday, 30 March 2015 11:24 AM
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