The Department of State may allow TransCanada to build the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline through six states from Montana to Texas. The poison Keystone XL pipeline threatens America’s heartland, moving toxic oil through America’s breadbasket. A toxic tar sands oil spill in this region would devastate aquifers that supply water to 30 percent of America’s irrigated farmland.
Americans who live near oil refineries in urban areas would also be exposed to increased health risks from air pollution from the Keystone XL pipeline. Tar sands oil is laden with even higher concentrations of toxins than conventional oil.
This pipeline will lock us into decades of dependence on the world’s dirtiest oil, when increasing fuel efficiency by 2.5 miles per gallon would offset all the oil this pipeline can provide.
Secretary Clinton has the authority to approve or deny the Keystone XL. Tell her not to rubber-stamp this risky project, and stop this toxic pipeline before its too late!
Most Americans have never heard of the Alberta tar sands, yet it is one of the largest and most destructive projects on Earth. This little-known industrial mega-project is creating an ongoing environmental disaster in Canada, and is now threatening to create one here in the United States.
Tar sands oil is mined from a black sticky substance called bitumen, found beneath the vast boreal forest in Alberta, Canada. To extract tar sands crude, oil companies clear-cut ancient forest, then strip mine the soil beneath it, using huge quantities of fresh water and natural gas to separate the oil from bitumen. The process leaves behind giant toxic lakes that are linked to abnormally high rates of cancer in neighboring communities and are large enough to be seen from space.
But it doesn’t stop there. The oil industry is expanding facilities to process this toxic oil here in the United States through a network of refineries and pipelines. Public health in several states is under threat from dramatic increases in refining pollution, and massive pipelines are planned to cross the United States’ largest freshwater aquifer, which supplies one-third of our nation’s agriculture. Communities in Alberta have long been speaking out about the damage tar sands poses to their health through water and air pollution.
- Keystone XL Pipeline By the Numbers (2 pages)
- Tar Sands Oil Poisons Our Air and Water
- Toxic Tar Sands: Profiles From the Front Lines – Sierra Club Report (18 pages)
- Canadian Gov’t, Alberta Fighting Foreign Climate Laws to Push Tar Sands: Report – November 23, 2010