Photo via Celsias
Despite the pleas of activists, the State Department has allowed plans for a pipeline that will transfer oil from Canada's notorious tar sands to the US. As you likely know, oil from tar sands is considered to be among the dirtiest kinds of oil there is--it emits three times the carbon that typical crude does. Now, a coalition of environmental groups, led by the Sierra Club, has filed a lawsuit against the State Dept. to stop it.According to the Sierra Club,
On August 20, the Department of State approved Enbridge Energy's Alberta Clipper Project, a pipeline that will stretch from northern Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin and pump 450,000 barrels per day of tar sands crude--the dirtiest form of oil on earth. We're very disappointed by this decision. More proposed pipelines, like TransCanada's Keystone XL project, are now seeking similar permits, and Secretary Clinton still has a chance to prevent us from getting locked into a dirty energy infrastructure for years to come.Canada is already the US' biggest oil supplier, and this decision has the propensity to make it far more difficult to reduce reliance on fossil futures in the future. Not to mention that a massive oil pipeline seems to be in stark contrast to Obama's envisioned clean energy economy. Hence, the lawsuit.
Here's what stands to be negatively impacted, according to the Sierra Club:
The Alberta Clipper is proposed to run through Chippewa National Forest and Leech Lake tribal lands, negatively affecting 200 water bodies, 1,200 acres of upland forested lands, 650 acres of open lands, and 1,300 acres of wetlands. This fuel has the capacity to destroy Canada's Boreal Forest, ruin natural habitats, and heavily contribute to increasing air, water, and global warming pollution.The Alberta tar sands are an environmental disaster--approving this pipeline not only further validates them, but encourages their expansion. The Sierra Club is right to register a public objection to US plans to continue to rely on and support them.