NRDC —- Cancel Keystone Pipeline During Cancun Meeting

As negotiators from around the world meet in Cancun to discuss how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global climate change, the Natural Resources Defense Council says this is the perfect time for the United States to cancel the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada to Houston, Texas. The negotiations are attempting to strengthen an international structure to reduce climate change. And along the way, countries are highlighting the actions they are taking at home to put clean energy in place. But hidden in the shadows are the actions still going on that promote the dirty energy economy – one that is dependent on ever higher-carbon sources of fossil fuels such as tar sands oil from Canada. In particular, the United States is in the middle of making a decision that will have an enormous impact on tar sands oil expansion. The same State Department that in Cancún is debating ways to fight climate change, is seriously considering granting a permit to the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. How can the State Department reconcile a commitment to fight climate change and to promote clean energy with issuing a permit that will cause expansion of the environmentally destructive and high-carbon tar sands? The simple fact is that tar sands and clean energy do not fit together. A world in which we are moving towards clean energy must be a world in which we are moving away from dirty fuels such as tar sands. Let’s put the facts about tar sands and this proposed tar sands pipeline on the table. The extraction of tar sands destroys Canada’s Boreal forests and wetlands, depletes precious watersheds, pollutes air and water, creates vast expanses of toxic waste holding dams, and uses a lot of energy causing high greenhouse gas emissions. Tar sands pipelines are at higher risk of ruptures and leaks due to carrying a more corrosive substance than conventional oil. The proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is little better than a pollution delivery system to the United States, putting the sensitive Nebraska sand hills and the Ogallala Aquifer (the source of freshwater for America’s heartland) at risk and bringing tar sands to refineries in areas of the United States already burdened with pollution from the oil industry. The pipeline is awaiting approval from Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, who has said that she will likely approve the project soon. ((08 DEC 2010))














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