Stopping Keystone XL: Talking Dirty (Oil)

Christine Irvine, Tar Sands Action/CC BY 2.0

It’s been a busy week for action against dirty tar sands oil. Monday saw the Sierra Club and many others joining with our Canadian allies to participate in "Black Out Speak Out Day" in Canada.

From my colleague Michael Marx:

"It's not a holiday. It's a rare national day of protest against Prime Minister Stephen Harper's conservative government's attack on civil society organizations including labor, environment, immigration, and students. Over 13,000 Canadian websites will be blacked out in protest..."

The day was a great success in bringing attention to Prime Minister Harper's move to put the oil industry ahead of enforcing laws about air and water pollution, endangered species, and the health of downstream communities.

Then we released this animation about the realities of tar sands oil, narrated by Hollywood star Joshua Jackson.

Clearly the fight against dirty tar sands oil and the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not over. This is obvious as Big Oil's buddies in the House of Representatives continue trying to force approval of this disastrous plan into the transportation bill. The Senate is holding strong against this push.

Meanwhile a new report is more cause for concern regarding inland oil spills and the potential that Keystone XL could make worse and existing problem. This month's Risk Analysis magazine found that there is a significant risk of oil spills at inland locations that threaten lakes, streams, and rivers. This study is particularly relevant as Nebraska and other inland states determine the environmental impact of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Currently, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has no particular process or checklist for determining whether or not a pipeline is environmentally sound.

And as planning for the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline moves forward in some states, residents continue to speak out against it.

"We're fed up with the tactics. We demand transparency. We demand EPA involvement. And we demand that our concerns be openly and publicly addressed," said David Daniel, landowner affected by the southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The price Big Oil wants us to pay in our health and environment is far too high, and we’re drawing the line at tar sands oil.

Tags: Canada | Oil | Tar Sands