^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4

The Keystone Pipeline Solution: Hipsters and Mormons Riding Bicycles

It was always the answer. What better way to pave over fears of spills and an unlocked ocean of carbon than by literally paving the soil above the Keystone XL pipeline with a bike path stretching from Canada to the Texas Gulf?

The concept, rendered in hilarious detail by the SWA Group (the design firm behind Google's corporate campus) apparently pitched the plan to the State Department this month. It's at least half tongue-in-cheek, but SWA has a track record of turning blighted landscapes into well-manicured blighted landscapes. In Houston, it transformed a foul waterway into one with shrubbery, trees and a concrete path called Buffalo Bayou.

In its vision for Keystone, a Katy Trail-style bike path cuts through the American heartland. In one frame, a woman on a Schwinn with a basket attached to the handlebars cruises above the pipeline and past sunflowers, an inexplicable herd of stray cattle and what appears to be a rail tanker full of oil in the distribution hub of Cushing, Oklahoma.

In another, a young hipster woman wearing loudly clashing patterns holds a sign reading "STOP EMINENT DOMAIN" in the shadow of what look like East Texas pines. A protestor, a la KXL Blockade, is suspended from the trees. In yet another, Mormons on bicycles pedal past dancing Native Americans and teepees.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

"If it was built, how could you make it better for the population?" SWA's creative director told Bloomberg. "To us, it was ridiculous that you would go through all the effort and it would have only one use."

All told, the price tag is estimated at $400 million. SWA says state and local governments could pitch in to help pipeline company TransCanada pay for it.

Of course, this hinges on the approval of a 1,200-mile pipeline -- connecting Canada's tar-sand mines to refiners on the Texas coast. A decision is due next spring. President Barack Obama has said he won't approve the pipeline if worsens climate change.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.