If you haven’t heard of the tar sands, they’re a massive operation that people are calling the most environmentally destructive project on the planet. Right now, President Obama is considering signing a permit to allow the development of a new pipeline that would pump “dirty tar sands” oil from Canada to the U.S.
In the past 2 weeks, over 740 people, including religeous leaders, political leaders, environmental activists, writers, opinion leaders and people of conscience have been arrested for sitting in front of the White House to protest the proposed tar sands pipeline which will bring millions of gallons of crude, dirty oil from Alberta Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Over 10,000 people have signed petitions to President Obama to oppose the construction of this pipeline which could wreak environmental havoc with risks of spills and disruption of land and leaks of toxins in to our precious aquifers. Some of the economic issues at hand are graphically and thoroughly described in the reference: EXPORTING ENERGY SECURITY by Oil Change International, September 2011.
In the overview of this document, the key issues are made and talking points offered:
“TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline is a $7 billion project to bring heavy, sour crude oil from tar sands production in Alberta, Canada to Port Arthur, Texas for refining. It has sparked an ongoing struggle as advocates and opponents of the project make their case in various ways to the Obama Administration. Among the most oft repeated talking points by industry and their allies is the idea that Keystone XL is necessary for American energy security, and that its construction will help wean America of its dependence on Mideast oil. But the idea that Keystone XL will decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil is demonstrably false. To issue a presidential permit to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the Obama Administration’s State Department must find that the pipeline serves the national interest. This report demonstrates compellingly why it does not.”
1. “The Keystone XL pipeline is an export pipeline. The Gulf Coast refiners at the end of the pipeline’s route are focused on expanding exports, and the nature of the tar sands crude Keystone XL delivers enhances their capacity to do so.
2. “Valero, the top beneficiary of the Keystone XL pipeline, has recently explicitly detailed an export strategy to its investors. The nation’s top refiner has locked in at least 20 percent of the pipeline’s capacity, and, because its refinery in Port Arthur is within a Foreign Trade Zone, the company will accomplish its export strategy tax free.
3. “The oil market has changed markedly in the last several years, with U.S. demand decreasing, and U.S. production increasing for the first time in 40 years. Higher fuel economy standards and slow economic growth have led to a decline in U.S. gasoline demand, while technological advances have opened up new sources in the U.S. Increasingly, the US is exporting oil”
In an article published today, it was revealed that Governor Heineman of Nebraska asked President Obama to oppose the pipeline because it would cross and risk contamination to the great Ogallala aquifer in Nebraska which is “the lifeblood of Nebraska’s agricultural industry”. This is just one of the potential environmental catastrophies that could be caused by oil spills, disruption of wildlife and lands and communities and disregard for the economic welfare and health of the people of the United States.
And finally, the tar sands project produces 3 times the amount of greenhouse gases than any other oil mining processes, threatening to speed up the already relentless havoc wreaked by climate change on our planet.
You can add your voice to this movement to protect our land and welfare in the U.S.:
It only takes a minute to sign the petition. Got to this web site www.350.org/take-a-stand and petiton President Obama, take action or contribute however you can.
Let’s make sure we stop this project and help move the world beyond fossil fuels.