Keystone Pipeline

Keystone Pipeline
Meghan Schiller

Meghan Schiller/MEDILL

Landowners, ranchers, Indian tribes and action committees worry that the negatives of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline far outweigh the positives. They care about their land and its history and worry that possible contamination from the pipeline’s tar sands oil would ruin their land and, with it, their livelihood and sacred sites.
Ali Durkin

Ali Durkin/MEDILL

In early 2013, the president will make a final decision on whether to approve Canadian company TransCanada’s permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Supporters say the pipeline, which will bring tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, will also bring jobs and energy security. Critics argue a potential spill could destroy land and water in the pipeline‚Äôs path. President Barack Obama is likely to remain silent on the Keystone XL debate, presumably in the hopes that it does not become a campaign issue. But, in the months leading up to the decision, advocates on both sides of the debate are making their final push to get their voices heard in Washington.

Yue Wang

Yue Wang/MEDILL

The greater sage grouse, a symbol of the West, may disappear because of construction of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Scientists worry that further habitat fragmentation and construction noise will force the greater sage grouse out of South Dakota. The bird, famous for its bizarre and elaborate mating display, has been a candidate for the endangered species list for two years.