1. The oil isn’t going to stay buried.
American environmentalists oppose the pipeline partly because they oppose the burning of fossil fuels – especially those extracted from relatively dirty “oil sands.” But if America doesn’t build the pipeline, that oil is still going to be processed and enter the environment. It’ll just get bought by China and other countries looking for cheap and plentiful energy. And TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, is already working on contingency plans to do just that.
2. The pipeline isn’t a disaster waiting to happen.
Opponents say that the proposed route dangerously strays over part of the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska, which supplies water for 20 million people. The governor and legislature of Nebraska has urged president obama to start building. TransCanada has already agreed to redirect the pipeline to minimize hazards. It’s also agreed to encase the pipeline in cement and post a $100 million bond to cover any possible cleanups.