I Wrote A Story for National Geographic
Feb 10, 2021
The result of a decade of stop-and-go progress is a patchwork of infrastructure strung over almost that entire route, from the starting point in Hardisty, Alberta, where a pumping station was completed in December, to the junction in Steele City, Nebraska, where the XL is supposed to join the existing Keystone pipeline that already runs to Texas. There are now more than 90 miles of Keystone XL pipe in the ground, a string of temporary work camps under construction, and roughly 48,000 tons of pipe sitting in yards all along the route. There is also a less material but still valuable asset: a chain of perpetual land easements, laboriously assembled by TC Energy lawyers, stretching nearly the entire length of the route.
“It’s just like when you have a cut on your arm and then when it heals you get a bit of a scar and it doesn’t really hurt your arm or anything. It’s just sort of an appearance thing. It’s sort of the same way on prairie land. It’s just that it was disturbed and put back,” Carol Hern said, describing the project.
Others, however, see harm that is deeper than the surface level scar. Follow the link in my bio to read the story.
The Keystone XL pipeline is dead. Now what?
The Keystone XL may never move any oil, but its impact will still linger in the form of the pipes, worker camps, and other assets stranded along its 1,200-mile path.