Tell President Obama: Stop Keystone XL!

Keystone XL Pipeline ProtestOn January 31, 2014, the State Department issued its final environmental impact statement on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. If President Obama approves construction of the northern 875-mile section of this pipeline (the southern section has already been built), oil companies could send up to 830,000 barrels per day from Alberta, Canada and the Bakken Shale Formation in Montana to Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast for refining and distribution, including export.

The State Department reasoned that, because oil companies will continue to extract the crude whether this pipeline is built or not, the effect of the pipeline itself on climate change would be minimal. Environmental advocates point out, however, that the pipeline would make easy the transport of crude oil in vast quantities, thereby encouraging further development of this particularly polluting energy form at a time when we must immediately begin to wean ourselves from it and turn to cleaner alternatives.

This pipeline is not in the national interest. Despite all that its developers promise, the Keystone XL Pipeline offers very little benefit: 

• Jobs: According to the U.S. State Department the pipeline would create at most 3,900 temporary construction jobs. TransCanada, the Canadian company that wants to build the pipeline, estimates that only a small number of permanent jobs will remain.

Energy Independence: The pipeline will not decrease American energy prices because all of the oil produced would be available to the international market. This oil will not belong to the United States.

International leadership: If the U.S. continues to allow oil companies to build massive new infrastructure projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline, we will lose all credibility as a nation serious about addressing climate change.

So what will we see?  

Increased risk of environmental disasters: The proposed 875-mile Keystone XL Pipeline would cross more than 1000 water bodies, including 50 rivers and streams, and several aquifers, including the Ogallala, which is the heart of our nation's bread basket. It would also come within a mile of approximately 2500 water wells. A spill from a different pipeline into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in July 2010 has yet to be fully cleaned up.

Indigenous Perspective: The pipeline is strongly opposed by the Native Peoples of both Canada and the United States.

CO2: A Canadian think tank estimates that the process of extracting and refining tar sands results in greenhouse gas emissions that are 37% higher than conventional oil production.

The pipeline will certainly benefit oil companies financially, especially the TransCanada Corporation. Yet it is Americans who will bear the risks of oil spills in our rivers and our aquifers and the consequences of worsening climate change.

Act Now -

1. Call on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline using the letter below!

2. Submit comments to the State Department. The period for public comment runs until March 7th. You can register your opinions via Regulations.gov.


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