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Time's Running Out to Stop the Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline -- Take Action Now PDF Print E-mail
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by Tara Lohan   
04 June 2011
Image The disastrous mining of tar sands in Alberta has wreaked havoc on the environment and communities in northern Canada, not to mention its massive emissions of CO2. Of course the hopelessly oil-addicted US wants in on the action, too.

A proposed pipeline, Keystone XL, will pump the dirty oil through six US states, risking the drinking water of over 2 million people. The Sierra Club reported that, "They estimated that it would ONLY leak once every seven to eleven years. But they neglected to include the pipeline's pumping stations, which have already sustained 11 reported spills in the last year!"

This isn't a potential threat -- it's already impacting communities and we're running out of time to stop it. The public comment period for the pipeline ends on June 6. The decision to green light this project is in the hands of Secretary Clinton. As Robert Greenwald explained in the Guardian recently:

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline deals with what is called "dirty oil" tar sands. Tar sands production carbon dioxide emissions are three times higher that those of conventional oil. The amount of oil Keystone XL would carry is equal to the pollution level of adding six million new cars to our roads. Tar sands mining operations involve a vast drilling infrastructure, open pit mines, and toxic wasteland ponds up to three miles wide. The extraction process involves strip-mining and drilling that injects steam into the ground to melt the tar-like crude oil from the sand and requires a massive amount of energy and water.

In addition to pollution and harm to the environment, Keystone XL directly puts at risk the land of families across a full stretch of our country. The pipeline would cross through six states and several major rivers, in addition to the Ogallala aquifer, which supplies clean water to two million Americans.

You can take action on this right now by signing the petition below. Change.org|Start an Online Petition » .

Tara Lohan is Senior Editor at AlterNet.org. This article originally appeared at AlterNet.org.
Jan Lundberg commented on her webpage:

I signed the petition. I was an oil industry analyst in the 1970s and '80s before going after oil pollution as a career, and I wish I could say I've helped fight the tar sands schemes. Only indirectly, unfortunately. But I'll put Tara Lohan's alert on our Culture Change website.
I urge people to not only stop the pipeline but to give a kick to megapolluters where it hurts: boycott petroleum products -- if you feel you must drive, you can at least get many of the plastics out of your home. From EnergyBulletin.net, below is a UK peak oil group's report mentioning tar sands' role all the way over in Europe.
For energy-related environmental activism and information pertaining to slashing oil use and changing lifestyle, see http://CultureChange.org and http://SailTransportNetwork.com
Jan Lundberg

ODAC Newsletter - June 3

Staff, Oil Depletion Analysis Centre

The inherent contradictions of the UK government’s approach to energy and climate policy were made clearly visible this week. On the one hand Thursday saw the release of further detail around the Green Deal, a fairly ambitious bill aimed at facilitating the retrofitting of private homes in order to improve energy efficiency. On the other, evidence emerged that the UK is one of just two EU governments (the other is the Netherlands) stalling on a new EU fuel directive which would see oil from the Canadian tar sands banned in Europe, due to their high emissions. [read the report]

* * * * *

Further reading:

Tar Sands Pipelines

Image
Tar sands extraction (Chris Clarke courtesy Pembina Institute)
Comments (1)Add Comment
On 1/13/2014 according to the LA Times, "About 400,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from 18 rail cars after a Dec. 30 derailment near Casselton, N.D., the National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary investigation report Monday.
An ensuing explosion sent a massive mushroom cloud of fire above the prairie and forced the evacuation of 1,400 residents."
In March 2014 alone 603,064 gallons of oil spilled in the USA.
Our country is riddled with pipelines that run through every state in this country. Canada already has passed a law regulating the oil tanks carried by trains because they are so unsafe that it only takes a minor collision or derailment to erupt in massive fires, which fill the air with smoke. We cannot put out the fires so we let them burn out, filling our air with toxic back smoke for days on end. The tank cars that fall into waterways catch the water on fire and send toxins down one waterway and into other waterways. One tank can eruption can affect hundreds of miles of clean water, turning it toxic.
Due to the severity of the current situation, considering that pipelines can erupt from manmade error to natural weather disasters, it is unlikely that we will see any end to pipeline disasters in this country. Each disaster destroys our valuable land and water, so that soon we will not be able to be a self-sufficient country, soon we will not even have the land to produce enough crops to feed us, and already nearly every person in this country lives within one mile of some polluted waterway.
We already have an oil surplus and the US is the largest oil importer worldwide, but the big oil people and anyone with any investment whatsoever in the market has some connection to oil as a way of making money. But what good will it do to fatten the pockets of billionaires or the wealthy if we have no viable land or water in this country?
The president can act alone in any time of crisis. If President Obama does not act now in some way, especially prior to the next election for president, who will?
Please look at a map that shows all the pipelines that ALREADY exist in this country, and now we have one waiting to open running straight through our country's farmlands to TX? Does Texas need more oil? No, but the Koch Brothers and others who want "heavy" oil as is found in tar sands (which we have NO viable way to clean up if it spills), do not want to get it from Venezuela anymore because Venezuela just passed a minimum wage act and the cost of "heavy" oil will go up and the rich oil investors do not want to pay more for their oil, so their answer is to run a pipeline right through our country to TX so they can get their "heavy" oil even cheaper! News stations do not tell us these facts, this is something I learned on public radio, which is funded “by the people”.
The repercussions, if one would ask the GOP is that this will increase jobs! Well I imagine there will be millions of job openings when one small break happens in this pipeline, the jobs will be attempting to clean up something we do not even know how to clean up!
The time is right now Mr. President, I your loyal constituent am begging you to look at the disasters that keep happening day after day and do something NOW to stop them.
Keystone is not the only pipeline on the table at the moment, there are still more. Please stop them all now, please. At least regulate the oil cars on the trains to safer standards as did Canada!
I love my country but I can see how many people are killed and suffering due to oil disasters. Even our beloved Yellowstone State Park has been affected.
I plead your attention to this matter. It is not something that is at its root partisan, even if it is for the rich and against the people, their land and water. This is a disaster now, but soon it will be the literal destruction of our country, and by then our kids will not have water or land, our country will not be able to produce enough food and clean water will be gone.
This is so important. PLEASE Mr. President act while you can, you DO have the right to act in any national disaster. I ask you how many more disasters will it take before you act?
Thank you for all you have done for this country. This is all I ask of you at this time.
Most sincerely, Anne Walker ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Anne Walker
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