In Mr. Blocks world history class we were learning about The Keystone XL pipeline. This unit was interesting because before this class I never knew there was supposed to even be an pipeline. The Keystone pipeline is a 1,179 mile pipe that will transfer over 830 million barrels of oil from Canada to oil companies in America. In class we read articles and watched videos from both sides of the pipeline. The first was about the people who invented the pipeline, they said the pipeline will create more than 20 million new construction jobs. It will give America independence when it comes to oil transportation. Which meant we wouldn’t have to depend on oil companies across the sea. Then the counter video was about the protesters who were against the pipeline being built. They said that if this pipe is built it will cause more pollution to be put in the air which can increase greenhouse gasses that causes global warming. Another important reason of why the pipe shouldn’t be built was because if it leaks it can pollute the water sources that are near the pipe and it could kill any living being who drinks the water.
Later we had discussions about how we feel about the pipeline. I think it would be a great idea to have the pipeline but in order to get the oil we would have to dig up miles and miles of land to get the oil needed. We are already polluting our land and if we use for resources than can be reproduced eventually we’ll have nothing left and we’ll have to start depending on other companies again. It’s a good idea but America isn’t ready for the responsibility of a pipeline.
Facts from: Texas Observer (news article)
The Lost Fight
(In the Akerman Home in Denton Texas (2012 ) Lilly Akerman is just getting home from work)
(She’s all swole up because she had to go to a valuation hearing about her property)
How am I supposed to tell my family?
(sits in her chair thinking)
What am I supposed to say? Hey guys, guess what; Our house is in the way of that new pipeline. TransCanada now owns our land and there’s nothing we can do about it. But this money
(she looks at the check TransCanada wrote her)
We could get a new home and start fresh. But my kids, Timmy just started high school and poor little Katie Ann she’s just startin’ to walk. It would kill Timmy having to start at a new school again, it’s too much. And my folks! I need to be close to them, Ma’ needs someone to look after her I would have to move her too.
(starts to tear up but her husband walks in)
John I’m glad you’re home. I have to tell you somethin’ we have to move. I was called to court because that new gas company needs our land to build that big pipe of theirs, that’s why. ...No we can’t fight it, it’s happening all over Denton. I heard the Jentsons from down the block tried to fight the company last year they’re just now getting done the case, they lost the case and a lot of money.
We have the kids to think about. Especially Katie, it’s hard enough that you’re working days and nights. If I try to fight this all she’ll see is Timmy. They did write us a check. It’s $655,332.19 (six hundred fifty-five thousand three hundred and thirty three dollars) it’s about $200,000 (two hundred thousand)less than what our house’s worth. What do you mean $655,332.19 isn’t enough for our land? You know those people are tighter than bark on a tree . I’m surprised we got that much money. With that money we could find us a nice new house where my folks could live with us and everythang. John they’re taking our house whether you like it or not. It’s hard for me too, doctors are needed everywhere but it’s hard finding a decent job for female accountants.
(Lilly says while holding back her tears)
Come hell or high waters, I’m moving, you can stay here but I’m taking my kids and folks with me. We’re going far away from Texas its pipeline problems. I reckon’ this is it for us. I’ll go back tomorrow and tell them we’ll be tak'n'ta money. I know it’s gon’ be hard but we’ll make it through. For now we gotta get the yougin’s packing and start lookin for a new home. One where our kids will be safe, and Ma’ and Pa’ can stay with us and we’ll have a nice neighborhood, away from that nasty pipe. Now it’s time for me to start cookin’. Timmy should be home any minute now and Katie should be wakin up from her nap. Go on’ now, go get our daughter and Imma start gettin’ fixin’ dinner.
The Protesters Daughter
(In the Brownwood’s home upstairs in Margaret's room)
(Slams the door shut & grabs the picture of her and her dad from her dresser and sits on her bed)
Ugh dad you went and did it again. But this time you got yourself in a lot of trouble and who knows how long you’ll be this time. I know this pipe means a lot to you, but don’t mom and i mean something too? You’re always at a protest trying to stop the pipeline from being built. You’re never home anymore and if you are it’s pipeline this, pipeline that.You’d think I’d be used to this. You’ve been protesting against everything since I was 4, but it’s still hard to not having you around. I just want my dad back.
(Knock on the door it’s Margarets mom Margaret puts the frame down)
Yes mom? Yeah I heard about dad, how long is he in for this time? Wait what do you mean 2-3 years? He was just standing outside the gates I was with him the whole time. He did what? Why would he ever do something like that? Daddy would never do anything to hurt someone especially something that dangerous
(sounds a little more angry)
I know it’s dangerous mom, you don’t have to keep telling me. This pipe is slowly killing our environment. Don’t you see all over America, TransCanada is moving people out of their homes?
They are taking their land and all you can say is it’s too dangerous for me to fight for what I believe in? You’re supposed to support your family not hold them back. Why would I write a letter? What would that even do? It’s not like the president reads it anyway. He has so much to deal with that he sends out computer letters saying thank you for your time writting this letter and other b.s that makes you think he actually cares about you.... Grounded!!! Mom I’m sorry but you can’t ground me ,there’s another protest tomorrow. I need to show up in honor of dad.... Fine then but don’t expect me down for dinner. Ugh she just doesn’t understand. Well I have nothing better to do. Maybe writing the letter won’t kill me
(she grabs her notebook and pen)
If you do read this, I want you to know that it’s time to make a decision. This pipeline that’s supposed to “help” America is actually tearing us apart. My dad was one of the many protestors who was thrown in jail the other day. He is facing a lot of time for standing up for what he believes in. This pipeline, if made will force a lot of people out their homes My dad was standing up for those people who don’t have a voice. Their voices wouldn’t be heard if it wasn’t for him. I’m just asking for your help, can you just let my dad go please? You knew what it’s like not having a dad around. All I want is mine. I hope you actually read this and help me.
(She looks at the letter and places it on her dresser)
(TransCanada company Calgary, Alberta Canada the room where the pipe is held in)
My name is Steve, Steve Pipeline the 3rd.
All my life I was raised to believe I could change the world. I would be creating over 20,000 new construction jobs. I would be creating $58.6 million in new taxes. Everything would be great. I would be giving America independence by transferring over 830,000 barrels of oil transferred across 1,179 miles of metal. In 2011 everyone was happy about me, there were award ceremonies, and news announcements life was good. Every time someone drove by me or walked past I was praised. Everyone was my friend and everyone loved me.
(stops and takes a long breath)
Two years later when I came to America, these so called tree huggers said I was bad for the environment. Can you believe that? Me bad for the environment!! They said if leaked, which is only supposed to leak 2 times every 10 years of my existence which is not bad for me. I give Americas future generation a chance to have clean energy. There’s protests everyday about me taking away land from Texas landowners. I mean 1,000 homes isn’t a lot it’s just right for everything I want to accomplish. One day, people came up and started hitting and scratching me. It was terrifying, why would you ever hit a kid I mean everyone has feelings. The violence got so bad I had to have body guards everywhere I go. I didn’t want to be in the spotlight but it followed me everywhere. Every single day someone’s at my house throwing rocks or saying the pipeline must go. They don’t even know me or what I was raised to do. But did they bother to learn anything, no they just know that I pollute the world and can cause environmental disasters. I just really want to crawl under a rock and never be seen again. But my family won’t let me stop there. They tell me I must go on no matter how people feel about me. I was raised to do one job and one job only and that’s to transfer 830,000 barrels of oil across 1,179 miles of metal.