Here Come the Tar Sands
Proposed Tar Sands Pipeline and Refinery Network, excerpted from original.Image credit:Oil Sands Truth.org
We were surprised and disappointed last week when we heard that the State Department issued approval for a controversial pipeline designed to carry the dirtiest oil on Earth from Canada into the United States.
The State Department decision will allow construction of Enbridge Energy’s Alberta Clipper pipeline, which will carry tar sands oil from Canada into the United States. Tar sands oil is extremely dirty--It not only creates 3-5 times the greenhouse gases as conventional oil, it's production has destroyed giant swaths of boreal forest and its toxic tailings ponds kill migrating birds.The pipeline approved by the State Department last week will carry Canada's nasty crud across northern Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin. An additional pipeline will carry tar-sands waste back to Canada. The Alberta Clipper pipeline is the first in a network of proposed pipelines that will crisscross the United States, bringing dirty oil, pollution, and heavy infrastructure to rural communities.
Over the past few months, tens of thousands of Americans have written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, urging them not to lock our nation into a massive infrastructure designed to keep us addicted to dirty oil from abroad. We aren't going to just sit by and watch this happen. We plan to file suit as soon as possible to stop the Alberta Clipper pipeline.
We aren't the only ones opposed to tar sands. A whole coalition, including environmental, community, and indigenous groups in the United States and Canada, have strongly opposed the tar sands pipelines. For us, this contradicts our country's promise to cut global warming pollution and end our country's addiction to oil. Right now, we have a chance to create thousands of good, lasting, clean energy jobs right here at home. These pipelines undermine those efforts and move us in the wrong direction.
In case you're not familiar with it, here's some dirt on the tar sands (also called oil sands) from our coalition website DirtyOilSands.org.
- Alberta’s oil sands are America’s number one source of foreign oil. - The oil sands produce the world’s most harmful type of oil for the atmosphere, emitting high volumes of greenhouse gases during development, which contribute to global warming. - Oil sands projects are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution in Canada.
And that's just part of the damage tar sands cause - check out the website to learn more.
At a time when concern is growing about the national security threat posed by global warming, it doesn't make sense to open our gates to one of the dirtiest fuels on earth. This pipeline will lock America into a dirty energy infrastructure for years to come. This is exactly the kind of project the State Department should be protecting us from.
Secretary Clinton and President Obama still have time to do the right thing. If they're serious about creating clean, American energy and green jobs here at home, they won't approve more tar sands pipelines.
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