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Letter to the Editor: Keystone XL pipeline would threaten major water source

BY JULIANA LEY

Published March 15, 2012

To the Daily:

Kyle Smith omits many important considerations from his March 12th viewpoint, “Focus on jobs, not re-election.” As oil used to be, water is viewed as an endless resource, the conservation of which is therefore not necessary.

Smith’s article was brought about by our current oil crisis. Living in an affluent country, we notice a shortage of oil much sooner than one of water, but unlike oil, water is necessary for life on our planet. The fact that Smith fails to even name the Ogallala Aquifer reveals deep ignorance of environmental issues with water. Because it provides 30 percent of the groundwater used for crop irrigation, contamination of the Ogallala Aquifer would thereby cause the nation to suffer if it were to be contaminated. A good argument would at least take into account the name of that “aquifer in Nebraska”, which actually extends into 7 other states as well.

This threat, along with contamination and depletion of the Athabasca River watershed — which extends into beautiful Jasper National Park — due to unfettered tar sands development, is hardly “overblown.” President Barack Obama recognizes this and consequently won’t allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. He happens to agree with the “special interest environmental groups that support him” and this, rather than not wanting to “anger” them, is the reason for his decision. Corresponding special interest oil groups are undoubtedly angered by a move toward renewable energy, which is even more safe and reliable than oil from Canada. Furthermore, there are far more jobs to be created in this area than there are by construction of a pipeline.
On top of all these facts that are lacking in Smith’s article, and even when we grant him that any president needs a plan for re-election, he does not concede that Republican candidates have certainly been putting other issues before job creation as well.

Juliana Ley
Engineering senior


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