In February more than 10,000 citizens rallied at the White House, calling on President Obama to honor his clean energy campaign promises and reject the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, resulting in multiple arrests of protest leaders. The 1,700-mile pipeline, a project of TransCanada Corporation, would carry tar sands crude oil south from Alberta, Canada, through multiple heartland states to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
“As our nation’s worst-ever economic recession drags on, creating jobs in the clean energy sector should be priority number one,” states a Sierra Club Beyond Oil campaign spokesperson. “Building the poisonous Keystone XL pipeline would put the brakes on clean energy and exacerbate the pollution and public health problems that come with America’s dependence on dirty, dangerous oil.”
The Sierra Club reports that pipeline plans require clear-cutting boreal forests and consuming huge amounts of energy and water, leaving behind toxic lakes. An associated oil spill could devastate aquifers that supply water to 30 percent of America’s irrigated farmland (2,554 U.S. oil pipeline spills occurred from 2000 to 2009). Opponents are also concerned the pipeline would exacerbate air pollution and cancer, respiratory illnesses and other health problems in communities surrounding oil refineries in Chicago, Detroit and Houston.
For states directly impacted, visit Tinyurl.com/KeystoneXLMap. Learn more and take action at SierraClub.org/dirtyfuels/tar-sands.