By Monique Ruiz
Dear President Obama,
My concern for the Keystone XL pipeline rose from the moment I discovered that the project caused a threat to our society. The other day, I watched a documentary and read several articles about the Keystone pipeline. It surprised me when I learned of all the possible changes that it would create. I am asking on your behalf, President Obama, to refuse the project and prevent the consequences that it will bring. Some of my main concerns were the risk of an oil spill and the effects it could have on people’s health and on the environment.
One of the three major problems of the pipeline is the risk of oil spills. It is a big concern for people’s well-being, especially in those states that the pipeline will pass through. In the article, “Proposed Tar Sands Pipeline a Deadly Idea,’’ Ahna Kruzic mentioned that a “smaller pipeline […] has leaked 12 times in its first year of operation’’ (p.2). The Keystone pipeline will be twice the size and it will contain twice the amount of oil than the small pipeline. The project involves building a 1,700 mile pipeline that would start in Alberta and end in Texas. That is to say that there is no guarantee that the Keystone pipeline would not leak during and or after the operation. In Heather Hansen’s article “ Mega Myths of the Keystone XL Pipeline,’’ she states that “the existing Keystone pipeline has failed 14 times since it began operation’’ (Mega Myths…). For this reason, more than 20 000 gallons of oil has leaked in lakes and on shores. Therefore, because it is heavier and longer than the smaller pipelines, the risk of an oil spill is higher. For this reason, I suggest that you do not approve the project for the sake of people’s safety.
Moreover, approving the Keystone project will raise health issues. People who lived in the local community near the tar sands, mentioned that they have been having “constant headaches, nausea and dizziness’’ (Public Hearings…). Some people thought that these health problems were a coincidence; however, their conditions got worse. For example, people were losing weight, got the flu and muscle aches. They left the local homes and lived someplace far away from the tar sands. After a while, people started to feel better. Few came back to get the rest of their belongings. Those who did come back got sick. In the lake shore of Athabasca, “7-8 people were diagnosed with cancer ’’ (Witness: To the Last Drop). Later, biologist discovered that the fish they had been eating contained chemicals that were related to developing cancer and brain tumors. People avoided eating fish, which was their primarily source of food. Habitants from the Athabasca were left with the choice of death, hunger or fighting for their survival. Before accepting the proposal for the Keystone pipeline, I’d like you to take a moment and think of how it would raise numerous health problems to individuals.
Not to mention, if you approve the Keystone pipeline project, it would destroy what is left of our nature. In his article, Kruzic states that it would “devastate and ruin an area of land the size of the entire country of England’’ (p.1). The pipeline will be built underneath beautiful rivers and shores. This includes one of the “massive Miswestern underground water source called the Ogallala Aquifer’’ (Mega Myths…). Because of its shallow water, it could easily be contaminated if oil spills from the pipeline. In addition, this groundwater is used in farmlands located near the Ogallala Aquifer. If the water is contaminated, it would destroy lands as well. As you can see President Obama, if the project is approved, beautiful coastlines and fresh sources of water would be damaged forever.
I highly recommend taking a look on what is at stake. The rise of the Keystone pipeline project risks of oil spills, of the development of health problems and of harm to the environment. The project will not benefit our society at all. It would only cause harm to us and our planet. As a father of two children, you would want the best for them and for their future. That being said, the decisions you will make today, will determine the future of your children and the future generation.
Kruzic, A. (2011, September). Kruzic: Proposed Tar Sands Pipeline a Deadly Idea. Iowastatedaily.com. Retrieved March 14, 2014, from
Hansen, H. (2011, September). Mega Myths of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Hcn.org. Retrieved March 14, 2014, from
Off, C. & Douglas, J. (2014, January). Public Hearings Begin In Peace River, Alberta Over Concerns About Oilsands Operations. Cbc.ca. Retrieved March 14, 2014, from
Radford, T. (2011, June 24). Witness: To the Last Drop – Part 1. Retrieved from