This is a quickly written comment urging the U.S. State Department to deny the permit to build the northern border section of the Keystone XL pipeline. Make your comment here by March 7th.
I’m writing to urge you to deny this permit.
There are several reasons why the approval of such a permit is a bad idea for the United States and it’s people:
1. Environmental Degradation (both in the U.S. and Canada)
It is widely known that tar sands oil is some of the most inefficient and “dirty” oil on the planet. It takes more processing to make it into useable petroleum and oil products than does your average crude.
In Canada, the degradation is not only in the immediate area of the tar sands fields, but in the ancient Boreal Forest (a huge carbon sink). Canada itself has projected that they will need to cut down 3/4 of a million acres (740K acres) of this forest during the lifetime of this Tar Sands project.
In the United States, our aquifers are at risk. On it’s current projected path, the pipeline would run over (and sometimes through) the Ogallala aquifer as it’s groundwater comes to surface. In Texas, the Carrizo Wilcox aquifer is at risk, where the DEIS states that the pipeline will be buried four feet underground.
2. Lack of real long term job creation.
Multiple sources, including a study from Cornell University has shown that such a pipeline will actually be a job loser for the American Economy. No sources have come forward with an demonstrable, realistic projection that shows any significant number of jobs to be created from this pipeline.
3. Continued reliance on fossil fuel sources.
We do not need another pipeline another oil barrel another muffler. We need to stand with the alternative, investing in sustainable technology solutions like solar or wind. This could create many jobs in this country.
4. Building pipelines won’t reduce fuel prices.
At a time when the U.S. could use a leg up, many proponents have proclaimed that this will lower gasoline prices in the U.S. Nothing could be further from the truth. This bitumen (tar sands oil) will be sloshed down to Texas, where it will be refined and exported across the world.
In addition, many of these refineries will be receiving taxpayer subsidies. I don’t want my taxes to fund a corporate welfare check to a private entity for this purpose. Subsidies should be saved for real human needs, research, etc. not creating legacy products to ship to other countries.
The EPA itself has criticized the Keystone XL Pipeline plan, publicly. While I understand that the environmental review falls into the State Department’s hands due to the fact that the pipeline crosses the border, I feel the State should listen to the EPA’s thoughts on the matter. The EPA specializes in these issues. The State department does not.
6. Water Safety Issues.
A pipeline break often spells disaster for local communities, much like recent breaks in Arkansas, Virginia, and Texas. These affect not only the economies of local communities, but their wildlife as well. Long term damage is inevitable from these catastrophes.
Allowing a permit for this pipeline is not just “another” permit. It’s a show of support for an ethically conflicted nation who will destroy a massive amount of natural resources in order to create petroleum. Further, it’s a show of support for a few private enterprises who have one goal: to make money off of refining oil for the global market.