Dear Mr. President,

The United States of America and Canada are recognized as two of the most enlightened societies around the globe. Our formidable alliance has only benefited the advancement of knowledge and the widespread of logical reasoning. At first glance, the Keystone XL pipeline may seem like a business masterstroke, but, with the urging need to address the energy crisis, one must consider the severe repercussions such an ambitious project can generate. I am against the introduction of the pipeline, simply because it would expose people to health threatening conditions, it would put our environment at risk, and citizens would benefit the least.

Of the numerous negative effects the pipeline would have, exposing ordinary people to hazardous conditions must be the most significant. Indeed, according to Meagan Fitzpatrick’s article, Dr. O’Connor told several US senators that “carcinogens get into the food chain, water and air in communities downstream from the oil sands and that those toxins are linked to cancers occurring in those areas”. Mr. Obama, this is no longer a question of economy versus environment, greed versus compassion, or short-term versus long-term. When human lives are put at risk for the sake of money, it is a question of moral boundaries. These people have the right to remain where they are without being exposed to increased cancer chances. Even the very food they work for and put on the table might eventually be the cause of their death. In other words, the citizens are forced to bleed in order to quench the thirst of a few corporations. Do these words resemble a society founded on justice and transparency? I believe not, sir.

Secondly, as we all know, the grand majority of the issues surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline are primarily focused on our environment. Evidently, the highly controversial pipeline would only bring harm to what remains of the environment that surrounds us. Just like in the not too distant past, there will inevitably be oil spills. According to the National Wildlife Federation, a “massive 2,000 mile, five-state proposed pipeline would use safety shortcuts, substandard materials and unsafe practices, creating a high risk of ruptures that would endanger rare species, water supplies, and rancher livelihoods.” Many of us fear the contamination of our necessary water supply and the destruction of ecosystems. Just like oil, our environment is limited. It cannot continue to endure the repetitive ignorance and negligence of political leaders. It can only withstand so much.

Despite popular belief, Americans would benefit the least from the controversial project. Many in support of the pipeline would quickly point to the immediate creation of jobs. Evidently, the construction of the pipeline would enable thousands of Americans to get rid of their unemployed status, and it would generate a decent amount of profit. One would also imagine that the continual rise of oil prices would finally be brought to a halt. However, according to James Conca of Forbes, “the Keystone XL is designed to promote exports of Canadian tar sands oil and its refined products to non-U.S. markets, especially China and Latin America”. That means the price of the gasoline so many crave will only continue to rise. In the end, it seems as though Americans will benefit the least from this “revolutionary” project, while coping with the majority of the risk. Economical supremacy would, yet again, still be far from our reach.

Mr. President, I understand that the alluring prospect of returning the American economy to its former glory can be difficult to resist, but I need you to also consider the fate of future generations. I need you to think carefully about what an injustice it would be for Mamadou of Senegal, for Felipe of Brazil, or for Natasha and Malia Ann of the USA. No money or political power can spare us from the unruly forces of nature. Once you make that call Mr. President, there is no turning back.

Yours sincerely,
Khaled Fawal



Keystone XL would endanger health of Americans, U.S. senators say, Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC News:

Staying Hooked on a Dirty Fuel: Why Canadian Tar Sands Pipelines Are a Bad Bet for the United States, National Wildlife Federation:

What Is Wrong With The Keystone XL Pipeline?, James Conca, Forbes: