Keystone Pipeline Monologue Project


In our history project we had to write three monologues, each in different perspectives, about the different views on the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Keystone XL is a pipeline system that transports tar sands oil which is a synthetic crude oil. It was developed by TransCanada and they are currently working to build it. They plan for it to run from Canada to Texas.The Keystone XL Pipeline has started a lot of controversy on whether it should or shouldn’t be built. In my monologues, I tried to put myself in different perspectives rather than just one. I was three different people, Joe Mann, Amanda Leslie,Tommy White, and they all had different problems. Joe Mann can’t seem to get a job but then he hears about this opportunity to work on the Keystone XL. Amanda Leslie is strongly against building the Keystone XL and wants to get rid of it. And Tommy White is already working for the Keystone XL but he’s sick of it. What I got from writing these monologues is looking on both sides of the Keystone Pipeline. It helped me understand how in some ways I can see why republicans want this and other ways I can see the harm in having it. So, with that I can understand why there is such a huge controversial argument going on. I hope you enjoy reading them!


Who’s Hiring?

Monologue #1: Joe Mann

(Sitting in his kitchen at the breakfast counter. He’s talking on a small flip phone.)

Uh. Hello? Oh, yes..Hi. My name is Joe Mann...and I was wondering if you were hiring?....How old am I? 36...Where do I come from?.....What do you mean?....Ohhh what job do I come well I haven’t been employed for a year. I’ve been living off of my parents....I am experienced...I just haven’t been working....I’m good at typing, you know um computer work and stuff....Filing? Filing what?....Well I can learn....what? You’re not hiring?...So why did you just ask me all these questions?....Can’t you just interview me? you, bye-bye.
Ugh. I need a drink.

(Walks to a bar a few blocks away from his house. He continued thinking about where to work)

Can I have a Bud please. Thanks.
(Overhears a conversation between three men about the keystone pipeline.)

Keystone pipeline....hey...yeah you....what are they hiring or something? Oh Yeah? How much do they pay you?....Oh but they’re giving a lot of job opportunities to people? Yeah I need a job. You got connections? Yeah I’d like their number....Thanks.
(A young man sits down next to him. He overheard the conversation and he tries to talk Joe out of it.)
I don’t want that job? What do you mean? I need a job, you don’t know my situation. It’s not promising? What do you mean it’s not guaranteed I’ll get a job? Oh it’s not guaranteed I’ll keep it? What do you mean it’s temporary. You know what how about you just mind your business. You don’t know how badly I need a job. You’re talking nonsense. No one was even talking to you. I don’t need your dumb warning. What are you talking about? The guys over there were just saying how republican leaders and other pipeline supporters offered up many jobs from Keystone XL  and that it will create anywhere from 20,000 to 500,000 jobs. That’s plenty of opportunities. I know what your problem is....yeah...I do. You just want as many opportunities for yourself and so you’re making up stupid stories to run people off. Yeah, whatever. Go tell your myths to someone else.
(Thinks to himself)
Shoot. What am I going to now? I hear about this pipe thing that’s offering all these jobs and then someone comes and gives me different information. Despite my behavior...I kind of believe him. I don’t want to because it would make it so much easier if for me to make my decision. Then again...maybe it’s ok if the job is temporary...that’s still money....and I’ll just look for another job while I’m working. That’ll work right? Geesh...I just need a job.


 I Can Do It On My Own

Monologue #2: Amanda Leslie

(Amanda is laying with her back on the couch and her arm on her forehead)

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. I can hear the clock as I lay here...thinking. Thinking about what life would be like if whoever hadn’t thought up this ridiculous idea to make a pipeline, carrying oil. Oil! Like we haven’t enough already...ok well maybe we don’t have it but other countries do. Can’t we just continue to keep buying it from them? I mean why can’t they just make peace already. I personally think that buying oil from another country is way better than wasting all this time and money to make a pipe and fill it with oil, that could really harm us environmentally. I thought our country could do better than that. So I want to be the change since nothing is getting any better. The more they try to make it better, the worse everything gets. And I know exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to protest and make a huge scene to let everyone know that I’m serious about keeping our environment safe. I’ll recruit people that are on my side. We’ll start a rally! We’ll camp out next to the pipeline and stand in the bulldozers way. We’ll get their attention. We’ll make a public announcement that will be so loud, the astronauts will hear it in space! We will be global. Oh, I’ve got to call Jessie and tell her of my wonderful plan!
(Dials Jessie’s number on her house phone)

Jessie?....Oh hey... it’s me....Amanda?.....Ohh hahaha you’re such a joker. Listen, I have the most genius plan to stop that ridiculous keystone pipeline act. I wanted to start a rally. We could camp out next to the pipeline, make public announcements and-.....Oh no, no Jessie you don’t understand this is a great plan.....but it’ll stop them dead in their tracks....why don’t you have a good feeling about it? I can assure you we’re doing the right thing here. I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do....well how do you expect anything to happen if you’re just laying on your butt all day watching the food network?....No, Jessie...I didn’t mean it like that it’s just-....Jessie no, I’m sorry...Jessie (Other line clicks)....Jessie?

(Sighs) Great. Jessie is my best friend....I’ll make it up later. Fine, if she won’t do it, then I’ll call I’ll do this on my own and that’ll show Jessie what she’s missing. She’ll see the huge difference I’ll be making and practically be begging to join me. (Takes out a piece of paper and a pen. She starts to write the speech she plans to announce.) Citizens of Canada, I’m here to inform you about the Keystone Pipeline. As a child I’ve always wanted a peace of mind about our earth, but it was hard. I was only 8 and I was already getting gray hairs (Laughs). It would make me sick. My only dream was that the earth would be a better place. I would always wish that before I blew out the candles each year on my birthday. Look now. I guess wishing didn’t  do any good. Listen I know it’s not Disneyland, dreams don’t always come but that doesn’t mean they can’t come true! If you want to do something, then get your butts up and do something! Who’s with me? We’ll start right now. We’ll petition and boycott, we’ll do whatever it takes. (Amanda finishes her speech, sits back on her couch and thinks to herself) We’ll beat this, and even if it means me going this alone....I’ll beat this. I know I will.

Same’ ol Same ol’

Monologue #3: Tommy White

(Tommy is on an open space of land. There are piles dirt, bulldozers and working men everywhere. Tommy is shoveling.)
Everyday is the same. Same digging, shoveling, building, shoveling, digging, building. I can’t stand it but I need this job. So many people are starting a controversy over it. Some people are against and they’re saying how dirty it is and how the jobs aren’t promising. I got this job before the pipeline was being built. The other people who are for it are saying how it’s cheaper and reliable, and we won’t be dependent on other countries for it. All this protesting and boycotting. Every time I turn on the t.v commercials come on every 10 minutes and do you know what they’re about? The stupid Keystone pipeline. The point of going home and relaxing is to get away from work, not coming home to it. I’m just sick of it all. Honestly....I don’t really care about any of it. I don’t know what to believe. I just need this money. How did I get caught in this mess anyway? I keep thinking about how people are saying the jobs are temporary. I mean I know I’ve been here for a long time but what about after it’s over? I try to shrug those thoughts off. We’re all doing it for the money anyway. In the meantime I’m just going to keep wasting my breath doing the same thing everyday, at least I’m getting paid for it...for now at least.


1) Arguments against the Keystone XL Pipeline say that it encourages production of dirty crude from oil and it would threaten sensitive lands and it’s water sources.

“Encourages production of a dirty sort of crude from oil sands and it would threaten sensitive lands and also water sources along it’s route.”
"Keystone XL Pipeline." Keystone XL. New York Times, 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>.

2) President Obama turned down the proposal of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

“To show his support, in March 2012, President Obama stood in a red-dirt field near Cushing, Okla. in front of acres of stacked pipeline pieces and declared that the Gulf Coast portion of the pipeline was a priority for his administration.”
"Keystone XL Pipeline." Keystone XL. New York Times, 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>.
“President Obama rejected the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline on January 18, 2012, dealing a blow to Big Oil.”
"Friends of the Earth." Friends of the Earth. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>.

3) Republicans and other people who support the pipeline stated that the Keystone XL would create anywhere from 20,00 to 500,000 jobs.

“Republican leaders and other pipeline supporters have offered up a wide range of claims about how many jobs Keystone XL (ultimately a temporary construction project) will create—anywhere from 20,000 to 500,000.”
"The Undead Pipeline Returns." YES! Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>.

4) A Cornell University argued that the Keystone XL would create about 5,000 to 6,000 jobs over three years and most of them would be temporary.

“A Cornell University study argued that the project would create fewer than 5,000 jobs and could cause job losses in some parts of the country. The State Department predicted it would create about 5,000 to 6,000 jobs over three years, most of them temporary.”
"The Undead Pipeline Returns." YES! Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>.

5) Tar sands oil requires harming the environment in order to make transportation fuel.

“Tar sands oil is a high carbon fuel strip-mined from beneath Canada’s Boreal forest. Fuel from tar sands represents an increasingly significant portion of the fuel used in cars in the United States. To extract oil from tar sands, companies must destroy fragile forest ecosystems and then use a very energy-intensive upgrading and refining process to turn that oil into transportation fuel.” "Friends of the Earth." Friends of the Earth. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>.

6) President Obama permitted TransCanada to build the Keystone XL after he rejected it.

On March 22, 2012, President Obama bowed to Big Oil by issuing a memorandum and executive order to federal agencies to expedite the review of Keystone XL’s southern segment, completely backtracking on his previous basic commitment to a transparent and full review of TransCanada’s pipeline. The president pledged to “cut through the red tape” and “get it done” -- as if following bedrock environmental laws were a nuisance instead of a necessity.”
"Friends of the Earth." Friends of the Earth. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>.