The societal concerns and ethics of the Keystone XL pipeline

August 30, 2011

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(Courtesy of Tar Sands Action)
Hundreds of pipeline opponents were arrested last week in front of the White House. Protests will continue until September 3.

President Obama has a major decision to make, and his support within the environmental community may hang in the balance. The president must decide whether to allow a Canadian company, TransCanada, to build a massive oil pipeline stretching from Alberta, Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Environmentalists across the country are speaking out against the pipeline, which could carry as much as 900,000 barrels of oil between Canada and the U.S. everyday – oil with a carbon output that’s 20 percent higher than conventional oil supplies. Dr. James Hansen, the NASA climatologist whose congressional testimony first warned of climate change in 1988, calls the pipeline the fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet.

We look at the debate through the eyes of scholar and philospher, David Goa, director of the Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life at the University of Alberta.