- Web site: Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
- Fact Sheet: Backgrounder on the Final Environmental Impact Statement
- Fact Sheet: Backgrounder on the National Interest Determination
- Fact sheet: Clockwork Contamination
- Fact sheet: Pipeline for Profit
- Washington Post article: TransCanada Lobbyist Paul Elliott
- Oil Change International: Exporting Energy Security, Keystone XL Exposed
- NRDC Blog: Tar Sands: They Won't Be Going To Asia Without Keystone XL
- Fact Sheet: Cornell Global Labor Institute fact sheet on Keystone XL Jobs
- TransCanada Response to Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns
- Evidence of State Department Coaching TransCanada 1
- Evidence of State Department Coaching TransCanada 2
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There is unprecedented public opposition to this pipeline.
of Americans are opposed to this pipeline. An unprecedented number of
Americans from all walks of life oppose Keystone XL including the
National Farmers Union, Transport Workers Union, Amalgamated Transit
Union, National Congress of American Indians, mayors, scientists, Nobel
Peace Laureates, landowners, members of Congress and communities that
would be hit hardest by refinery pollution in Texas.
Keystone XL pipeline isn't needed and detracts from the U.S. goals to
develop more efficient, cleaner and productive transportation solutions.
United States has enough oil pipeline capacity without the proposed
Keystone XL pipeline.There is already a whole system of pipelines from
Alberta to the United States with recent approvals for two major
dedicated raw tar sands oil pipelines to the Midwest. Industry estimates
that these pipelines cannot be filled to capacity until 2025. In the
meantime, by 2025, the United States can reduce oil use by over 4
million barrels per day (mbd), consistent with President Obama's pledge
to reduce oil use by about 3.7 mbd within the same timeframe. We can
achieve these savings by implementing fuel economy standards, putting in
place heavy truck standards, and making improvements in air travel and
building efficiency. We can also "drill on Main Street" moving more
transportation to public and non-motorized transit, including plug in
electric vehicles. Deeper cuts – 7 mbd – are possible by 2030. In short,
we do not have an everescalating need for more oil and we can offset
our oil use already now in the short-term.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline will promote oil dependency and harms U.S. security.
proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will further lock the U.S. into
Several of America’s military leaders say that the U.S. addiction to all
oil regardless of its source undermines foreign policy and economic
stability. Shifting U.S. imports from unfriendly to friendly nations
like Canada will do nothing to address underlying problems caused by
America’s oil addiction. In fact, Keystone XL would do nothing to stop
the U.S. from importing oil from the Middle East. Rather, U.S. demand
for oil drives up the global price of oil which lines the pockets of the
unfriendly countries like Iran and Syria regardless of whether the US
buys the oil. The only way for America to reduce its dependence on
Middle Eastern oil is to reduce its dependence on all oil. Furthermore,
recent evidence now suggests that the real purpose of the pipeline is to
give tar sands producers access to international markets. One of the
top beneficiaries of the pipeline, Valero will be exporting the Canadian
oil they receive.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline will increase oil prices in the American Midwest.
to TransCanada, the pipeline will increase the price of oil in the
Midwest adding almost $2 to $4 billion annually to the U.S. fuel bill
providing multi-national oil companies with the profits. It will do this
by diverting major volumes of tar sands oil that currently goes to the
U.S. Midwest to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Further, the Keystone XL pipeline
will do nothing to insulate the U.S. from oil price volatility.
job potential from Keystone XL has been significantly exaggerated and
ignores how the pipeline undermines U.S. commitments to a clean energy
The proposed Keystone XL
tar sands pipeline won’t provide the job benefits touted by TransCanada
who inflates the job potential from the Keystone XL pipeline by 13
times. According to the Cornell University Global Labor Institute,
claims that there will be 20,000 direct jobs and thousands more indirect
jobs cannot be substantiated. In fact, the State Department’s own study
suggests that far fewer jobs – no more than 6,000 direct jobs – will be
created and most of them will be non-local and temporary. Instead, the
United States can create as much as 2 million new jobs by investing in
clean energy technologies – four times as many jobs that are created
from the same spending in the oil industry.
The pipeline places unnecessary risks to drinking water from the Ogallala aquifer.
raw tar sands bitumen is more corrosive and abrasive than normal crude
oil, the pipeline threatens to pollute freshwater supplies in America’s
agricultural heartland. According to estimates, a pipeline failure could
gush 7.9 million tar sands crude into the Ogallala aquifer that
provides essential water supply to three million people and farmers.
Increasing reliance on dirty tar sands undermines U.S. objectives to combat climate change.
gas emissions from tar sands extraction and upgrading is 3-4 times more
greenhouse gas intensive than conventional oil. For example, the
Keystone XL pipeline threatens to undo the gains that would be made from
proposed rules to address greenhouse gas emissions for new trucks. If
fully utilized, the Keystone XL pipeline would add an addition 27
million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) annually than
emissions from average U.S crude. This is equivalent to seven coal-fired
plants operating continuously.
Canada's environmental and climate record on tar sands is weak.
Canadian politicians and oil companies claim they are taking steps to
gas emissions, the fact is Canada has a weak policy on climate. While
Canada has made an
international commitment to reduce its emissions by 17 percent by 2020,
it is actually on track for a 7 percent increase in emissions. Tar sands
production is rapidly expanding and acts as a barrier to Canada’s
climate progress. Tar sands emissions have more than doubled since 1990
and are expected to triple between now and 2020. Emissions from
production will account for 95 percent of the growth in Canada’s
industrial emissions between 2006 and 2020. Furthermore, the Alberta and
Canadian governments have a weak regime in place to limit or eliminate
the environmental impact of tar sands especially with recent land use
planning and monitoring announcements. An independent expert science
panel concluded that while the Canadian federal government has the
authority to regulation tar sands, they have not been doing so.
The environmental review for the Keystone XL pipeline is still missing key analysis.
Final Environmental Impact Statement released by the U.S. State
Department in August
2011 fails to adequately address the environmental impacts and safety
risks posed by the
pipeline. For example, the environmental assessment assumes there is a
need for the pipeline and fails to analyze alternatives such as the U.S.
adoption of more aggressive fuel economy standards and other oil
reduction policy. The safety of the pipeline has yet to be analyzed.
Transporting the more corrosive raw tar sands oil, or diluted bitumen,
through a pipeline can lead to spills and leaks – such as the over 30
spills experienced by the first Keystone pipeline in its first year of
operation in Canada and the United States. The pipeline will increase
toxic air emissions as refining tar sands crude results in high
emissions for harmful air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, hydrogen
sulfide, sulfuric acid mist and toxic metals. This will have a
disproportionate impact on minority and low income populations and has
not been fully analyzed in the environmental assessment. And finally,
while the environmental review correctly acknowledges that tar sands has
a higher greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil, it erroneously
concludes the pipeline will not result in an increase in global
greenhouse gas emissions.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is adverse to landowners.
April of this year, TransCanada’s issued an ultimatum indicating they
will take private property through eminent domain, one of the bluntest
legal tools available. This came after they promised not to threaten
and bully. Taking people’s property against their will is the ultimate
insult from this spurious scheme.
Safety risks have not been adequately assessed.
to 830,000 barrels a day could be pumped through the 1,700 miles of
pipeline through the middle of the country. Tar sands are inherently
more corrosive than other fuels when they spill and the risks of long
term damage have never been adequately studied. A pipeline spill and
leaks could dump toxins in our ground and surface waters, which would
degrade our water and injure our wildlife, from walleye to Sandhill
A spill of raw crude oil, some of the dirtiest fuel on
the planet, could have devastating and long-lasting impacts. A serious
spill could contaminate the Midwest’s Ogallala aquifer, a major water
supply and source of agriculture irrigation water to much of the Great
Plains. The pipeline and its infrastructure would jeopardize the
health, safety and quality of the Ogallala and other freshwater
A spill could impair habitat like the Platte River in Nebraska, an
important spring migration stopover site for endangered whooping cranes
and other birds. A spill could contaminate Oklahoma’s Deep Fork Wildlife
Area, home to bald eagles and bobcats.
The Missouri and Niobrara Rivers, the Ogallala aquifer, sage grouse
habitat, walleye fisheries, crop lands, wildlife habitats and
recreational opportunities will all be at risk of dangerous tar sands
At the very least, the public should be assured that the company faces
full liability for any accidents, spills or other harm, if you approve
Then, there’s air pollution. Refining of tar sands oil emits higher
levels of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, lead, mercury, and other
toxic pollutants than conventional oil. This adds more pollutants to the
air around the communities located around the refineries, some of which
already fail to meet clean air standards for soot, smog and other
pollutants. Air pollution exacerbates respiratory diseases like asthma
Finally, are not convinced that the company has prepared a sound
emergency spill response plan. How many Gulf of Mexico or Yellowstone
or Kalamazoo River disasters do we have to go through to see that
companies’ emergency response plans are ineffective?
Sources for the above information can be found on this fact sheet.