This thoroughly researched and wholly engaging book investigates the economic, ecological, political, and psychological issues behind the Keystone XL pipeline—a project so controversial it has inspired the largest expression of civil disobedience since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. With enough carbon trapped in the Canadian tar sands to plunge the Earth into irreversible climate change, it is the Keystone XL pipeline that will set that carbon free. The debate rages on over whether this 2,100-mile long steel pipeline is a vital piece America’s energy future or the conduit for global climate disaster. From the enormous tar sands mines in Alberta to a tree-top blockade in Texas, this book introduces the people and explores the competing interests that power the environmental issue of the current generation.
Environmental activist Avery travels the route of TransCanada s controversial Keystone XL pipeline, engaging in frank and respectful dialogue with proponents and opponents in Alberta, Canada, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Admittedly partisan Avery, who was once arrested while protesting the Pipeline, illustrates the personal side of global ecological issues. Beginning with an exploration of dichotomous thinking about economy vs. ecology, he argues for a new paradigm of interdependent solutions. Using interviews and anecdotes, he introduces readers to a vast array of opinions surrounding the pipeline: a Republican rancher in Nebraska fighting TransCanada s arrogant claims of eminent domain; a North Dakota farmer with damaged land from an undetected leak; an elderly woman in Texas pressured into signing over access to her property. Avery respectfully presents opposing viewpoints as well, including a lengthy interview with a TransCanada v-p and a moving encounter with a farmer whose support for the pipeline stems from believing in man s God-given right to transform the Earth. While the paradigm shift Avery describes isn t groundbreaking, his finely researched book blazes with hope.