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The Keystone XL pipeline is a venture that is estimated to cover a distance of about one thousand nine hundred kilometers of thirty-six inch diameter in transporting crude oil that stretching from Hardisty, Alberta and extending all the way south to Steele city of Nebraska. Keystone XL pipeline project is critical for the improvement of the economy and enhanced energy sustainability.
In addition, the pipeline project will be critical in enabling easy access of oil productions by the US oil producers. In fact, the project will benefit majorly from the large oil markets existing in the US.
The project that is estimated to cost $5.3 billion, the largest transportation venture in the US currently is expected to come with a number of implications concerning the political, economic and environmental aspects. Therefore, the study will explore the political, economic and environmental implications of the Keystone XL pipeline.
In essence, comprehending the implications of political, economic and environmental factors before approval of important projects such as the Gateway Pipeline is critical (McAllister 54). The main objective of the study is to examine the implications of political, environmental and economic factors before the establishment of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The economic, political and environmental implications have not often been critically looked at while approving major projects such as Keystone Pipeline. Examining the implications of such factors is important before such projects are undertaken. Therefore, the study of the economic, political and environmental implications is critical for both academic and practical purposes.
The literature analysis will provide a description of the relevant important information on the economic, political as well as the environmental implication of the approval or the censure of the Keystone pipeline project. Specifically, the literature review focuses on various studies that have been conducted on the environmental, political and economic implications of similar projects around the world.
According to the studies that have been conducted, the environmental, political and economic implications of major projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline are immense (Wang 545).
Studies have indicated that projects are approved under the circumstances where the benefits supersede the costs and negative effects (Wang 545). Most successful oil and gas pipeline projects have greater economic benefits to the industries as well as the general economic growth of the country or countries it connects. Moreover, environmental implications are highly considered by most of the oil and gas pipeline projects.
The reason is that the oil and gas have great impact on the environment in case of leakage. In fact, most of the studies on the environmental implication of oil and gas industry have narrowly focused on such impacts (Hirschberg 15). However, the effect of environment goes beyond the pipeline to the emissions that are generated by the pipelines as well as related industries.
All major projects have political implications ranging from political decision-making process to government relationships. The implementation of major projects requires political will and government cooperation in terms of resources management, security and financial obligations (Harnly 23).
In the circumstances that the project involves multiple political boundaries, inter-governmental relationship is highly required. Moreover, both private sector and governments finance most of the major projects.
The Keystone XL pipeline that has to be undertaken across various states. For the project to succeed there is need for state cooperation. The pipeline construction will have effects on various environmental laws as well as state regulations. However, legal requirements can be amended to suit the developmental needs of the pipeline. In essence, the pipeline will have little political implications.
The construction of the project will employ about nine thousand expert American labor units. In other words, employment prospects will be available to the welders, mechanics, electricians and pipefitters. In addition, job opportunities will be offered in terms of safety coordinators, heavy equipment operators and other personnel in the construction industry to sustain their livelihoods (Harnly 23).
Further, studies show that approximately seven thousand five hundred employment openings in the US are sustained by the steel manufacturing industries. In principle, the manufacturers of steel pipes, fittings, valves, pumps as well as control devices are bigger beneficiaries of oil pipeline ventures.
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TransCanada Corporation, the Alberta based Energy Company that specializes in the development and operation of energy infrastructure in North America, has a connection with over fifty dealers in various states within the US. The corporation has employed over three thousand five hundred Americans in the construction of the Gulf Coast pipeline.
Most importantly, the building of both the Keystone XL and the Gulf Coast pipelines will have positive economic implications in terms proceeds to the local and state governments.
For instance, the projects are expected to generate over $20 billion to the overall economy as well as $100 million in local governments income and $490 million to the state governments. Further, the pipeline ventures will produce over $5 billion in terms of property taxes.
Canadian Energy Research Institute contends that the Keystone pipeline will boost the America’s GDP in terms of proceeds and creation of employment opportunities in the next twenty-two years. Specifically, the institute contends that the project will boost the US gross domestic product by $175 billion and avail 1.9 million-person years of work.
Generally, the pipeline venture will create job prospects as well as generate tax proceeds to the state governments thereby leading to the growth of the economy (McAllister 54).
To begin with, American families will get jobs as welders, mechanics, equipment operators, truck drivers and laborers thus improving their livelihoods. Second, the venture has the potential of creating a number of business opportunities such as clearing, lodging and accommodation as well as maintenance equipment brought about by high demand for the local goods and services.
Lastly, the project will sustain the livelihoods of the society as well as increase the flow of tax proceeds in terms of property taxes across the US. The tax revenues will be invaluable in the operations and support of the local programs, disaster services, health and educational programs.
The construction of Keystone pipeline pledged to undertake the safety measures considering the environmental implications. Actually, pipelines are considered the safest and the most proficient medium through which fossil fuels can be transported (McAllister 84). In the United States, over ninety-five percent of oil and natural gas pipelines transports are safe and unswerving.
The pipeline venture has incorporated special safety conditions in its design and the construction. In other words, the project has included remote-controlled shut off valves as well as augmenting the examination of the pipelines, concealing the pipes deeper into the ground and using solid pipes at river crossings.
The anticipated Keystone itinerary has identified the significance of the local land and topsoil conservation thus efficiently perform the construction taking into account the importance of land reclamation process.
Further, with the vast experience in the building and the operation of pipelines, TransCanada Company has devised measures that will minimize adverse effects to the endangered species, habitat, water crossings as well as the paleontological resources. Moreover, the pipeline’s high-tech controls will provide updates concerning any problems within the pipeline.
Discussion and Analysis
From the study, quantitative performance parameters are very vital in the determination of the implications. The direct economic gains, the public perceptions and the possible environmental hazard determine the quantitative measures that are used.
Based on the parameters the implication of the factors was emphasized. According to the study findings, the environment becomes one of the major concerns by not only the public but also the industrialists and the governments. As a result, the project has taken keen measures to avert any environmental hazards that may occur.
Another important environmental aspect that came out is how the project as well as related industries will deal with the issues of carbon emissions. The major argument was that the pipeline increases the utilization of carbon fuels that causes an increase in the emissions.
However, the proponents of the project argue that the measures taken are in accordance with the global requirements and conditions that have been put in place to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. In addition, the US environmental regulations require that companies particularly dealing in fossil fuel have to meet environmental conditions that ensure reductions of emission in the atmosphere.
Actions such as meeting the oil and gas pollution standards and carbon sequestration are some of the environmental precautions that will be undertaken by the project. The environmental oversight agencies have made it mandatory for companies to comply with not only the US environmental regulations but also global requirements.
While considering the economic parameters through direct benefits including employment opportunities, supportive industries, contribution of the project to the Growth of GDP, the results indicate an increasing trend. The indication is that there are increased benefits of the project.
In essence, the environmental, economic and political indicators show positive impacts on the implementation of the project. Depending on the empirical indicators, the Keystone XL pipeline should be approved.
The economic, political and environmental analysis indicates positive implications of the project. The conclusion that can be drawn from the analyses is that the approval of the project will have positive results particularly on the economy despite few concerns over the environmental issues. In other words, the economic benefits are greater than the imminent costs.
The economic, political, social and environmental evaluations are critical before the approval and implementation of major projects. Depending on the results of the environmental, economic and political implications, Keystone XL pipeline should be approved.
Harnly, Nick. Cost-Benefit Analysis and the environment. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. Print.
Hirschberg, Stefan. “Environmental, economic and social criteria and indicators for sustainability assessment of energy technologies.” Project Management Review, 6.2 (2007): 3-28.
McAllister, Donald. Evaluation in Environmental Planning: Assessing Environmental, Social, Economic, and Political Trade-offs. Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2010. Print.
Wang, Yan. “Environmental impact assessment of projects: new law, old problems.” Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 23.2 (2003): 543–579. Print.