13-Year-Old Wins The Keystone XL Debate In 500 Words Or Less


 A middle school debate between two thirteen-year-olds in their school paper highlights the differences between kids brought up liberal versus those reared by righties. The students, hailing from Massabesic Middle School in Waterboro, Maine, were asked to write position pieces about the Keystone XL pipeline.
Colby Cole, writing from the right, presented his case first:

KXL OILING SENSATION

THROUGHOUT THE NATION

  KXL is something amazing, so let me tell you about it. Here are the facts. KXL is better known as the Keystone Pipeline XL. This pipeline will run Tar Sands oil from Canada into the United States. It will be 36 inches in diameter, and will run through 3 States. This will have multiple unloading stations for the Tar Sands to be loaded up and shipped for money. That’s all the basics about the pipeline.

    This pipeline will create jobs as well. It will create 42,000 to be exact, which will boost the economy. This pipeline will also indirectly affect the economy. For examples the workers will eat at local restaurants causing more positions to be open. These jobs include construction of the pipeline. Another form of job it will create is maintenance in order to maintain the pipelines’ ability to pump oil. Which leads me to my next point.

    People are now talking about accidents that could happen, but there are maintenance people  to prevent that. Second of all the odds of a pipeline accident is less likely than being in a train crash. To put that in perspective it’s more likely a train will get in an accident than the pipeline getting in one. These pipes are made out of high quality steel, which causes the pipes to burst less than the older ones.

    Well you probably have one question. Why do we need tar sands oil? Well we use it to produce petroleum products. These include gasoline to keep your car running. Heating oil to heat your homes, and asphalt to build roads.

    As you can tell I feel very strongly about this. If the evidence I presented to you isn’t enough then I don’t know what is. Your opinion is your opinion. Vote wisely.


Colby’s “four facts” are of course the Republican talking points. Lots of jobs. Oil we need. No way there will EVER be an accident. That’s the evidence, you don’t need any more.

Allison Blair, approaching from the left, has quite a different perspective:

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Keystone XL:

Few Jobs, No Oil And A Whole Lot Of Risk

I am thirteen years old and am writing about the controversial matter that is the KXL pipeline in counterpart with Colby Cole, who leans farther right than the Leaning Tower Of Pisa.

It is bad for the economy.

Building the Keystone pipeline and opening up the Tar Sands will negatively impact national and local economies: Burning the recoverable tar sands oil will increase the earth’s temperature by a minimum of 2 degree Celsius, which NYU Law School’s Environmental Law Center estimates could permanently cut the US GDP by 2.5%. At the same time state and local economies are already buckling under the real­time economic effects of our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels. In the past two years, the vast majority of U.S. counties were affected by at least one of the eleven $1 billion dollar extreme weather events. Superstorm Sandy alone caused an estimated $80 billion in damage. The only thing the Keystone Pipeline would do to ​make it rain ​is contribute to climate change.

It’s bad for the environment.

Studies show that tar sands pipelines are more vulnerable to leaks than those carrying traditional crude oil because of the oil’s corrosive nature and the chemicals necessary to make it run through the pipes. Despite the industry’s extravagant safety claims, we also know from recent spills and subsequent government investigations that its leak­ detection systems are sub par and its spill containment and clean­up methods are inadequate. The fumes from the oil may also leak through the pipes and pollute the air. Once mined, tar sands leave behind a filthy legacy in the form of toxic sludge stored in giant, largely unregulated “ponds,” which are leaking a combined three million gallons of oil toxic sludge into the Athabasca River every day. ​That’s a big no-no.

The KXL Would Increase Domestic Oil Prices For Us Regular Americans.

The oil to be sent through Keystone XL pipeline was never meant for US markets. In its own presentation to investors about the proposed pipeline extension, TransCanada (the company behind Keystone XL) boasted that most if not all of the extracted and refined oil would be exported ­­­ sold in markets overseas where oil is sold for a higher price. This would result in higher profits for the big oil companies and Mrs. Lyons’s head to combust. ​We aren’t going to get any of this oil.

In Conclusion…

The Keystone Pipeline XL is a bad idea all around. The oil companies are glorifying the results of this large, unnecessary oil slide pipe thing when in reality the pipeline will worsen this country instead of making it better.

In short, ​big pipe go boom boom.

This article is over now.


Well then.  Facts, science, sources and logic. At thirteen-years-old this girl could school most conservatives on the issue, not just the middle-schoolers. I had a chance to ask Allison about the debate. She told me:

I felt so bad.  Colby is nice, but he had no facts.  His research was faulty and his position was about emotions. Seriously, what? I only used 442 of my 500 words. I felt like it was an easy win.

It was. Well done, young lady. People like you give us hope.


Featured Image: RSU57.org

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