Pipeline Monologue Project

In this unit, our class learned about the Keystone Pipeline, and the arguments for and against it. The Keystone Pipeline is a pitched idea of a pipe that carries tar sand's oil from Canada to Texas. This pipe will go through six states to get to Texas, which could potentially affect peoples' land and lives. The decision of whether this pipeline will be passed is made by Barack Obama. 

Quotes and facts:

"The Keystone XL pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil into the United States daily, and result in climate-damaging emissions equal to adding more than 5.6 million new cars to U.S. roads. " foe.org

"During tar sands oil production alone, levels of carbon dioxide emissions are three to four times higher than those of conventional oil." foe.org

"The probability of spills from this pipeline is high and more threatening than conventional spills, because tar sands oil sinks rather than floats, making clean ups more difficult and costly." foe.org

"In the summer of 2010, a million gallons of tar sands oil poured into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan from a pipeline run by another Canadian company, Enbridge. Although nearly one billion dollars have been spent over the past three years to clean up the spill, almost 40 miles of the river are still contaminated." foe.org

"Not only have indigenous communities been forced off of their land, but also those living downstream from tailing ponds have seen spikes in rates of rare cancers, renal failure, lupus, and hyperthyroidism." foe.org



(Sitting in doctors office waiting, doctor comes into the room)

Hi Doctor Miles, I’m good thanks. And you? Oh thats great. Yeah, yeah, the baby is doing fine as far as I’m concerned, I feel great!

(Doctor begins to take tests)

So do you see anything I should be worried about? Oh that’s wonderful. Just two more months to go, I’m so excited! I’ve always dreamed about raising my daughter in the same place I grew up… She’s actually going to have the room I had when I was little! Yeah, I’m really excited. Well, is there anything else? My asthma? It’s alright I guess, I mean I just got used to it. Yeah, I mean I’ve had it my whole life, most of my siblings have it, too, It’s just normal for me. No, my husband doesn’t have it but his mother and grandmother do. Well, I mean I’ve never thought about it before, but I mean I would know how to handle it if my daughter did end up having asthma. No, I know, I understand. You’re concerned? Concerned about what? Yeah, I live about a mile away from here, why? I’ve heard about it in the news, one of my sister’s friend’s land is going to be affected by the pipeline, boy is she mad. My opinion? I don’t know, I’m kind of sidetracked by the baby, I haven’t really had time to think about anything else, is there something wrong with that? I would figure it would cause some pollution… Are you telling me my house will be affected, too? Really? Do you think my asthma will start acting up again? Wow, I’ve never thought about it that way. Lets hope my daughter won’t end up having it! Yeah I know, I’m just trying to be optimistic. So what should I do if she does get it, what if the pipeline is passed? I can’t just get up and move Doctor, this is my home! I grew up here! I am calm! I’m calm. It’s just, I never thought I’d move, especially not because I’m getting polluted out of my own home. Well, thanks for the advice. I really have to go… I have a lot to think about.


(Sitting at kitchen table reading the paper. Loud sounds from video games coming from the basement)

“Turn that down, Jacob! Jacob! I said turn it down! It’s gotta be quieter than that! You’ll wake up your mother!” Geez… I can hardly hear myself think. One of these days you’re going to have to just tell him to get out. But he’s my son… What am I going to do? No. He’s 26 years old. I shouldn’t have to deal with this anymore. But he’s my son… No. He needs to know that our door is always open… But-but not unless you actually do something for a change! You can’t just sit around, play video games, eat all the food, make a mess, and expect me to pay for all of it. I don’t think so. He’s not even trying to find a job! He thinks this is a free ride. Oh no. No, no, no. This can’t go on any longer. (Flips to article on protesting of the Keystone Pipeline) Oh, God, not this again. Who cares? If its makin’ new jobs, its fine by me. This is what I need, this is what America needs! This is the one thing thats gonna get my son out of my house, fending for himself. Anything that does that is okay in my book. God knows he needs this. (Checks watch) 12:30 already? Man, its late. (Goes to stove and puts a kettle on the stove. Makes a plate of food on a tray. Makes a cup of tea with the water. Walks upstairs and quietly goes into his room to see his sleeping wife.) -sighs- Still asleep… Of course. (Walks over to the bed and puts tray of food on the nightstand. Sits on foot of the bed.) -Talking quietly- “You’re so beautiful when you sleep. Man, do I really miss you. I mean… I really miss you. Thats silly to say, you’re right here in front of me. I guess I just mean…. I mean… We used to have so much fun. Remember when we used to go bowling with the Andersons every Sunday night? Ha- I miss them. I remember I’d come home from work every day, and Jacob would be doing his homework, and you’d have dinner on the table and dessert in the oven. You were really great. You still are. I love you. I love you so much. Its just that… (sniffles, wipes tear from cheek) I never thought this day would come so fast. I’m sorry I can’t do more for you… I wish I could take you to the best doctor in the world and he’d fix you, and we’d be back to normal! Its just so hard, you know, with Jacob here and all. Its a lot of people I have to take care of on my own without any help. But don’t you worry, soon Jacob will be working on the pipeline! I just know it. And I’ll be able to afford a doctor for you… and we can be happy again. I promise. I love you.”


(Sitting at computer in robe, coffee in hand)

Ah, lets see… Wow! Five new likes on my post overnight! Well, I’m glad to see some people care… unlike you 27 people who dislike my post. Pff. If only you knew what was really going on… If you would just take the time to listen, and open your hearts to what the environment is telling you… You’d understand. You wouldn’t need me, you would only need yourself. (Reading aloud) “Dear Stacy, what a wonderful piece you have written on the Keystone Pipeline! Please, come to Boston! I know we’d love to hear you talk! Love, Miranda.” Aw, how sweet. Dear Miranda, thanks so much! Love to see that you care. Best wishes, Stacy. Maybe I should think about doing another seminar… I’ve only been to Boston once. Maybe that’d be fun. (Reading aloud) “Stacy, why don’t you just shut up already. Go back to the 80’s. This is 2013, we’re advancing technology everyday. This pipeline is exactly what we need to get ourselves out of this rut, and anyone who thinks otherwise isn’t American. -Anonymous” Wow. Just. Okay. Wow. Remember Stacy… be professional. The world can see this. Maybe I should just delete the comment. No, big deal, act like it was never there. No! I can’t run from my problems. I need to face them. You are smarter than this person, you are more mature. Okay. (Reading aloud) “Dear anonymous, I appreciate the criticism but I’m afraid you are wrong…” No, no, no. Thats just pointing fingers. You need to stick to an actual argument. Lets see “Dear anonymous, thanks for the criticism, but I would have to disagree. What is the point of being American if soon we’re just going to end up destroying the world, meaning the US is gone?!-” Now thats just too harsh. I’ve never had someone be so against my opinions… Okay, lets try again. “Dear Anonymous, thanks for the criticism, but I have to disagree. Since when is being American about destroying our Earth? The Earth was never built to have so much pollution in it, let alone so many people! We are the ones causing these problems. The Earth is not meant to have a gigantic pipe carrying disgusting toxins through it. It’s one thing to give off pollution into the atmosphere, but this is literally putting toxins directly into our ground. I get the positive points to it, don’t get me wrong, it creates new jobs, makes our country more independant, so on and so forth. But since when is economics more important than taking care of the place we live. If we keep neglecting the Earth, one day you’ll wake up and see there is no point to having all of this money if we don’t have anywhere to spend it… Our world is crumbling to pieces every day, you’re just too blind to see it.”