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How the Keystone XL Pipeline Project's Termination Benefits the Planet

The Keystone XL Pipeline Project is officially canceled. Here's how that benefits the planet, the people, and the animals.

Written by
Kristine Nguyen
Published

You've probably seen excitement amongst your eco-friends about the Keystone XL Pipeline Project being canceled by its developers after a long 13 years. That's great news for the people, planet, and animals—and you're about to find out why.

What Is the Keystone XL Pipeline Project?

The Keystone XL Pipeline Project is a project by the pipeline company, TC Energy, that was first proposed back in 2008. It was planned to be an extension of an existing pipeline that would run from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska.

This 1,210-mile pipeline would have been part of an oil pipeline system that would be capable of delivering 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day. On June 9, however, the company announced it was pulling the plug on the project.

Why the Cancellation Is Good for the Environment

So, why is the cancellation of this project such a big win for the planet? For many years, environmental communities and Indigenous people from both Canada and the United States have been campaigning for the termination of the Keystone XL Pipeline. And there are many reasons for that.

According the the Center for Biological Diversity, new fossil fuel projects like Keystone XL would be incompatible with limiting global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is the temperature cap scientists claim is necessary for preventing climate chaos.

Not only would Keystone XL have been devastating for fighting global warming, but it could have hurt people and wildlife as well. Threatened and endangered species—including the whooping crane, black-footed ferret, Northern swift fox, pallid sturgeon, and American burying beetle—would have had their habitats destroyed by both the massive ground disturbance and the potential pipeline spills.

The Keystone XL Pipeline also could have affected the water supply of millions of people, potentially contaminating drinking water, crops, and more.

"Keystone XL would cross agriculturally important and environmentally sensitive areas, including hundreds of rivers, streams, aquifers, and water bodies," reports the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "One is Nebraska’s Ogallala Aquifer, which provides drinking water for millions as well as 30 percent of America’s irrigation water. A spill would be devastating to the farms, ranches, and communities that depend on these crucial ecosystems."

The Takeaway

All in all, it's easy to see why it's a relief to many that the Keystone XL Pipeline Project is being terminated. With this news, we're one step closer to creating a brighter future for the Earth and those who live on it.