The Keystone XL pipeline is a disastrous project of foreign oil companies that will do serious damage to our country and provide very little benefit. The spill-prone pipeline would carry 800,000 barrels a day of toxic tar sands bitumen, from the tar sands fields of Alberta, Canada, across our entire country — including hundreds of waterways and Nebraska’s Ogallala aquifer which is one of our most important sources of agricultural water – to the shipping ports of the Gulf Coast, where it would be exported to oil-hungry nations like China.
The project will lead to “essentially game over for the climate” according to NASA’s former chief climate scientist James Hansen, because it will dramatically increase production in the Alberta tar sands, one of the largest pools of carbon on the planet. In May, our atmosphere crossed the threshold of 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere for the first time in millions of years, and the history of human life on earth. Keystone XL is the fuse to the carbon bomb of the tar sands – which we cannot afford to detonate in our atmosphere.
Because the pipeline crosses an international border, the decision to approve or reject Keystone XL is President Obama’s and his alone. The sham environmental assessment of Keystone XL is being overseen by President’s Obama State Department, through a corrupt process led by oil industry contractors. President Obama has the last word. We have launched the Pledge of Resistance to put pressure on President Obama to reject Keystone XL, and avoid being the target of the largest act of civil disobedience in American history.
10 Facts about Keystone XL
- Keystone XL is an export pipeline for foreign oil companies. The Keystone XL pipeline is sponsored by a foreign corporation that wants to build a 1,700 mile pipeline cutting across America to move Canadian tar sands crude to Gulf Coast ports, where it will be processed and sold to foreign countries.
- The only oil Americans will get from Keystone XL is the oil that spills. A foreign oil company wants to build the pipeline to transport Canadian tar sands crude through America and export it overseas — leaving us to deal with the risk of toxic spills and contaminated water.
- Keystone XL carries “tar sands bitumen,” which is not even oil. It’s much dirtier. Bitumen is so much thicker it must be heated and diluted with toxic corrosive chemicals in order to flow through pipelines. Unlike oil, this toxic stew doesn’t float, it sinks –making spills even more likely and harder to clean up. A 2010 spill in the Kalamazoo River still hasn’t been fully cleaned up.
- Keystone XL is a major risk to our land and water. If we learned anything from the Exxon and BP disasters, it’s that spills are catastrophically costly. A spill would devastate farmers and ranchers along the Keystone route — and could leave their kids and grandkids with contaminated drinking water for decades. The fact that Canadians don’t want tar sands pipelines across their own country says it all. Keystone XL is all risk and no reward for America.
- Keystone XL is “game over for the climate.” You can’t be serious about climate change and also be for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Oil companies have repeatedly admitted that Keystone XL is critical to fully developing Canada’s tar sands fields, which would be “game over” — we lose on our efforts to stop the worst effects of climate change.
- Keystone XL will raise gas prices for Americans. That’s right. It RAISES prices. Currently a glut of tar sands oil in the U.S. is keeping prices low. By exporting it to the global market, TransCanada admitted Keystone XL will actually increase gas prices in the Midwest by 10 to 20 cents per gallon, sending billions from American consumers to foreign and multinational oil interests.
- Keystone XL is a lose-lose on the environment and jobs – it’s not a tradeoff. Keystone XL won’t create significant jobs. Even with the contractors hired by the pipeline developer writing it, the State Department report says that constructing Keystone would create only 35 permanent jobs. According to a recent study, Keystone XL could cost us jobs with the impacts of higher gas prices, damage from oil spills, and slowing job growth in clean energy by sustaining the world’s oil market.
- Keystone XL won’t contribute to energy security at home. The Canadian tar sands bitumen that would be carried on Keystone XL will be shipped overseas, not kept in America. So it won’t help us import less oil from foreign countries, including the Middle East.
- Despite what the lobbyists say in Washington DC, Keystone XL is not a hard political choice. It’s a no brainer for rejection. That is, unless oil companies are writing your checks.
- Keystone XL will determine the president’s legacy. If approved by President Obama, Keystone XL immediately obliterates his credibility on fighting climate change, and radically undermines his efforts to improve fuel efficiency, one of his biggest environmental accomplishments.
Much of this list came from the research of our friends at Media Matters: http://mediamattersaction.org/message/onepagers/201304010001