The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would stretch 1,700 miles from Western Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas. And it has become a touchstone for the bitter fight over America’s energy future. Opponents say the pipeline — designed to bring oil from Canadian tar sands down through the United States — would further bind future generations to outdated oil-based energy policy. Meanwhile, supporters say it represents a step toward America’s energy independence.
Steve Mufson, author of the new TED Book Keystone XL: Down the Line and a reporter at The Washington Post, has journeyed along the entire length of the proposed pipeline. He suggests that its real story is twofold: about the American frontier spirit, and about just how far we are willing to go to feed our oil addiction. In the book, Mufson asks readers to consider the Keystone XL debate — beyond the issues of climate change, tar sands and U.S. energy trade policy. He unpacks issues that don’t get as much play in the press: the ups and downs of the North Dakota shale boom, prairie populism in Nebraska, drinking-water concerns near the Ogallala aquifer, Native American communities’ desire to protect their land and burials sites along the Trail of Tears, and ranchers’ objections to the use of eminent domain by Canadian companies.
Click here to continue.