Quantcast
Climate

5 Reasons Senate Must Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

On Tuesday, the Senate will vote on a bill forcing President Obama to green light the Keystone XL pipeline for dirty tar sands oil. The Keystone XL threatens our air and water and would intensify the climate change already pounding our communities. The bill is a gift to the oil and gas industry, but if it passes, the American people will be stuck paying the price.

The President himself outlined some of the problems with the project on Friday, saying, “Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn't have an impact on U.S. gas prices."

This bill would bypass essential reviews, skip safety assessments, and fast track a dangerous project. This has sweeping implications for future generations. And yet it is entangled in the politics of the moment.

In its first major vote after the midterm elections, the House passed a bill forcing the approval of the tar sands oil pipeline. Now Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, caught in a runoff election, is pushing a similar bill in the Senate.

When we take the politics out of the equation and ask the single question before the President—is this in the national interest of the U.S.—the answer is a resounding no.

The President himself outlined some of the problems with the project on Friday, saying, “Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn't have an impact on U.S. gas prices."

Here are five reasons the Senate should reject the Keystone XL pipeline:

Total Jobs: 35

TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, told the U.S. State Department the pipeline would create 35 permanent jobs. There will be temporary jobs for 1,950 construction workers for the two years. Then they'll be gone. Clean energy companies, meanwhile, announced more than 18,000 new jobs in more than 20 states in just the past three months.

17 Percent More Carbon Pollution

Tar sands oil is the dirtiest fuel on earth. Because producing it consumes so much energy, a gallon of tar sands crude generates 17 percent more carbon pollution than conventional crude oil. The State Department calculated that the incremental carbon pollution from the tar sands pipeline would be as much as putting up to 5.7 million additional cars on the road.

Without Keystone, Less Tar Sands Oil and Less Pollution

Industry analysts and energy executives say that without Keystone, they have few options for getting their landlocked product to port. Other pipeline proposals have failed to make headway, and investors are pulling back on expansion plans. Statoil announced in September it was postponing an enormous tar sands project due to rising costs and a lack of pipeline space. That's the third major cancellation this year, preventing significant amounts of pollution from entering the environment, at least temporarily.

Major Threat to America's Breadbasket and Water

The pipeline would cut through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska—states where ranches and farms produced $41.6 billion worth of food in 2012. The pipeline would cross 1,073 rivers, lakes and streams and national recognized water resources, such as the Ogallala aquifer, threatening them with a spill of tar sands crude, which has proven more difficult to clean up than conventional oil.

Tar Sands Oil Spills Harder to Clean Up

Much of Michigan's Kalamazoo River is still suffering from a tar sands pipeline blowout that contaminated 38 miles of water in 2011. In Mayflower, Arkansas, more than 200,000 gallons of tar sands crude polluted backyards and neighborhoods when a pipeline blew in 2013. Rare accidents? Hardly. TransCanada's Keystone I pipeline through the Midwest had 14 leaks in its first year of operation.

The Keystone XL pipeline is a threat to our nation. It would increase pollution and intensify climate change for generations to come. We must raise our voices and demand our leaders reject this dirty scheme.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

'Keystone XL Clone' to Pump Tar Sands Oil Starting Next Year

Public Opposition Costs Tar Sands Industry a Staggering $17B

Willie Nelson and Neil Young Play Sold-Out Concert Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Health
PxHere

This Common Preservative in Processed Food May Be Making You Tired

By Brian Mastroianni

Is it hard to motivate yourself to get off the couch and go exercise?

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
MarioGuti / iStock / Getty Images

EVs 101: Your Guide to Electric Vehicles

By Patrick Rogers

If you have ever considered making the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, don't drag your feet. Though EV prices are falling, and states are unveiling more and more public charging stations and plug-in-ready parking spots, the federal government is doing everything it can to slam the brakes on our progress away from gas-burning internal combustion engines. President Trump, likely pressured by his allies in the fossil fuel industry, has threatened to end the federal tax credits that have already helped put hundreds of thousands of EVs on the road—a move bound to harm not only our environment but our economy, too. After all, the manufacturing and sale of EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids supported 197,000 jobs in 2017, according to the most recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
An adult bush dog, part of a captive breeding program. Hudson Garcia

A Rescue Dog Is Now Helping to Save Other (Much Wilder) Dogs

By Jason Bittel

Formidable predators stalk the forests between Panama and northern Argentina. They are sometimes heard but never seen. They are small but feisty and have even been documented trying to take down a tapir, which can top out at nearly 400 pounds. Chupacabras? No.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
RoNeDya / iStock / Getty Images

What Is Mead, and Is It Good for You?

By Ansley Hill, RD, LD

Mead is a fermented beverage traditionally made from honey, water and a yeast or bacterial culture.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Climate
U.S. Army member helps clear debris from Tyndall Air Force Base following Hurricane Michael. U.S. Army

Pentagon: Climate Change Is Real and a 'National Security Issue'

The Pentagon released a Congressionally mandated report (pdf) that warns flooding, drought and wildfires and other effects of climate change puts U.S. military bases at risk.

The 22-page analysis states plainly: "The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense (DoD or the Department) missions, operational plans, and installations."

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Protesters interrupt the confirmation hearing for Andrew Wheeler on Capitol Hill Jan. 16 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

5 People Calling Out EPA Acting Head Wheeler for Putting Polluters First

This week, people across the country are joining environmental leaders to speak out against the nomination of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to lead the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Scott Pruitt's hand-picked successor, Wheeler has continued to put polluters over people, most recently by using the last of his agency's funding before it expired in the government shutdown to announce plans to allow power plants to spew toxic mercury and other hazardous pollution into the air.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Great white shark. Elias Levy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Marine Biologists Raise Flags About Viral Great White Shark Encounter

By now you might have seen Ocean Ramsey's rare and jaw-dropping encounter with a great white shark in waters near Oahu, Hawaii.

Ramsey, a marine biologist, said on the TODAY Show that it was "absolutely breathtaking and heart-melting" to be approached by the massive marine mammal.

Keep reading... Show less
A tree found severed in half in an act of vandalism in Joshua Tree National Park. Gina Ferazzi / Los AngelesTimes / Getty Images

Wall Before Country Takes Mounting Toll on Americans Everywhere

By Rhea Suh

One month on, the longest and most senseless U.S. government shutdown in history is taking a grave and growing toll on the environment and public health.

Food inspectors have been idled or are working without pay, increasing the risk we'll get sick from eating produce, meat and poultry that isn't properly checked. National parks and public wilderness lands are overrun by vandals, overtaken by off-road joyriders, and overflowing with trash. Federal testing of air and water quality, as well as monitoring of pollution levels from factories, incinerators and other sources, is on hold or sharply curtailed. Citizen input on critical environmental issues is being hindered. Vital research and data collection are being sidelined.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!