Sunday, April 25, 2010


The following story and petition comes originally from the Friends of the Earth via the Care2 site. I have to admit that I am somewhat uneasy about this item. It is all well and good to be against a pipeline that is intimately tied to bringing oil from the Alberta tarsands to its major market, the USA. Still, it's a simple fact that of the USA continues with its present economic system that they plainly need such oil, as in necessity. This sort of project will go ahead because there is no alternative for the USA in the way it presently operates. I don't think that such projects can be realistically opposed unless a lot of other things are opposed simultaneously. Be that as it may here's the article and appeal.
Public Comment Needed To Prevent New Oil Pipeline
posted by: Beth Buczynski

Canada, and more specifically the province of Alberta, is ground zero for tar sands extraction.

As North America’s number one source of foreign oil, the tar 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.

To access these underground stores, Big Oil companies must strip mine huge tracts of forest, causing cancer hot spots in indigenous communities living downstream from the toxic byproducts.

As if these characteristics weren't horrifying enough, these same companies are now pressuring the Obama administration to allow construction of a pipeline that would pump oil from the Canadian tar sands to refineries in the Gulf Coast that supply our country's gasoline.

Known as the "Keystone XL," oil companies are counting on this massive pipeline to make the expansion of tar sands operations profitable profitable, but they've failed to take into account (at least publicly) the "extra-large" effects this will have on environment, wildlife, and human health.

Consider these points from

Oil sands production harms human health in at least two ways: when extracted, and when processed and refined from bitumen into gasoline. As described above extraction pollutes water resources. Communities downstream, in some cases hundreds of kilometers downstream, have been impacted: directly, with elevated cancer rates; and indirectly, with their subsistence economy endangered by polluted fisheries.

The spread of refineries processing tar sands oil is a problem because the synthetic heavy crude produced from tar sands is laden with more toxins than conventional oil. Communities adjacent to tar sands oil refineries face increased carbon dioxide emissions, and increased exposure to heavy metals, and sulfurs.

The communities along the Keystone XL pipeline's proposed path, would face increased risk of spills, and, at the pipeline's end, the health of people living near Texas refineries would suffer, as tar sands oil spews higher levels of dangerous pollutants into the air when processed.

Thankfully, President Obama has the power to halt this plan because Big Oil needs his permission, in the form of a presidential permit, to begin construction.

On April 9, the State Department released a draft analysis of the project, called an Environmental Impact Statement, which kicked off a 45-day public comment period.

Submitting official comments is a key opportunity for members of the public to pressure the Obama administration to reject this pipeline. The State Department is required by law to listen to your concerns and take them into account before making a final determination as to whether this project is in the public interest.

Click here to make your voice heard. Urge the Obama administration to reject new pipelines for the world's dirtiest oil.
Please go to the link above to send the following letter to the Obama Administration.
I am writing to submit my concerns about the impacts the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would have on the climate and communities -- and to urge you to deny a permit for this pipeline.

Tar sands oil is dirtier than conventional oil, causing three times more greenhouse gas emissions than regular gasoline. The 900,000 barrels of dirty oil that would be pumped through this pipeline every day would add 38 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere annually, which is equal to adding six million new cars to the road. Your draft environmental impact statement ignores how this pipeline would make global warming worse, a serious oversight that must be amended.


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