The Keystone XL pipeline proposal is one of the most controversial energy issues facing America today. If approved by the Obama administration, it would transport crude oil extracted from Canada's oil sands across six U.S. states to refineries in Texas. Supporters say the project would provide a secure source of energy and jobs, but opponents say oil-sands crude is a "dirty" fuel that will hurt the environment and worsen global warming. This week, energyNOW! looks into the Keystone XL controversy: is it an economic boon, or an environmental disaster?
Keystone XL's Impact on America
The Keystone XL pipeline proposal has roiled America's energy industry and environmental community. On the one hand, it could reduce U.S. dependence on oil imports from OPEC nations, but on the other hand, it could pollute some of the most environmentally sensitive areas of our country.
Anchor Thalia Assuras travels to Nebraska to hear from concerned landowners along the pipeline route, members of Congress with very different opinions about the proposal, and environmentalists who are so passionate about the issue they were willing to be arrested during protests outside the White House.
The Oil Sands Industry and Canada's Future
The oil sands, which would feed the Keystone XL pipeline, have created thousands of jobs in Canada's Alberta province, and the extraction industry has tripled in size since 1995. Government estimates say the country may double its current output of heavy crude by the end of this decade. But some researchers and residents are concerned Alberta's economic engine is exacting a heavy environmental toll.
Correspondent Michael Davie explores how oil-sands production is changing Alberta, and speaks with industry supporters about the economic benefits and with industry critics who say it's harming the air, water, and wildlife.
One-on-one interview: U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu
The debate over the Keystone XL pipeline is coming to a head, with the Obama administration planning a final decision on the project before the end of this year.
Anchor Thalia Assuras sat down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to discuss his views on the Keystone XL pipeline, the growing global demand for oil, and the environmental impacts of oil-sands development.