By ANASTASIA SIELSKI, age 16

Tar sands in Canada's Alberta Boreal forests PHOTO:Flickr/NWFblogs
Tar sands in Canada’s Alberta Boreal forests PHOTO:Flickr/NWFblogs

The Keystone XL pipeline is a project developed by the oil company TransCanada to transport large amounts of oil from Canada to Texas. To be able to make the pipeline, TransCanada needs White House approval. However, thousands of environmental activists came together outside the White House to protest against the Keystone Pipeline in August and November of 2011.

The environmental activists oppose the Keystone XL pipeline because it would put people’s health at risk and worsen climate change. Since the pipeline would travel long distances, it could leak and pollute fresh water sources for over 2 million people. Also, to make the pipeline almost 10 million acres of Canada’s forest would have to be cut down, the equivalent of almost 7.5 million football fields. Nina Sielski, 11, believes that President Obama should reject the Keystone Pipeline.“If it is going to hurt more people that it is going to help out, then it should not be built.”

Sara Gutierrez, 12, disagrees, and thinks it should be built. She says that “The Keystone pipeline would make jobs for unemployed Americans.” TransCanada estimates that the pipeline would make 20,000 jobs, although that number continues to change. President Obama had originally rejected the Keystone pipeline in January 2012, then he agreed to allow TransCanada to build a section of the underground pipe in Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico.

An alternative to oil would be sustainable sources of energy, such as wind energy. Wind energy is as effective as oil, can create as many jobs as the pipeline and it does not put our environment or health in danger.