Tell Obama: NO to tar sands crude, YES to renewables

Time is short to stop a disastrous, climate-wrecking energy project from running roughshod over the American heartland. We need your help to convince the Obama Administration to stand firm in its opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Last November, the Obama Administration pushed the deadline on its final pipeline decision into early 2013, determining that current impact studies on the proposed pipeline were insufficient to make a final decision.

A fair and measured period of scrutiny for the proposed pipeline is exactly what Big Oil and Republicans in Congress don’t want, because this project fails on every score. It’s bad for the environment, human health, climate change, and our economy. That’s why Congressional Republicans pushed legislation in December designed to force a presidential decision on the pipeline sooner – by February 2012.

In these tough economic times, to whip up support for the pipeline, the oil industry and many Republicans falsely claim that we need the Keystone XL for job creation. Jobs estimates for the pipeline, however, have been wildly exaggerated and bring only false hope. Far more jobs – and enduring ones at that – would be created by building our domestic renewable energy sector. In fact, investment in clean energy generates 3-4 times as many jobs as investments in fossil fuels.

President Obama needs to hear from the public that the Keystone XL pipeline is wrong for our country. Please contact the White House TODAY to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and to support investment in the US clean energy sector.

Call the White House public comment line at: 202-456-1111

Or e-mail the White House here.

Together, last fall, we demanded that this project be fully vetted, even though Big Oil wanted it fast-tracked, and we WON. With Congress pressuring the president to provide a final answer by February, it is imperative that once again, together, we send the strongest message possible thta his answer must be a resounding NO to dirty tar-sands crude.

Categories: clean energy

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  1. People want cheap energy so badly that they’re willing to trade off our future for it. Those of us who don’t believe in oil at all costs are in the minority. Any of you living in the northern US notice how weird the weather is this winter? As I sit here in Michigan it’s another day approaching 50 degrees, no snow on the ground and none in the forecast…and it’s not just a January thaw. Climate change is no longer a theory…it’s here and it’s real. Hope everyone likes the heat.

  2. Although I agree that it is important, in the long term, to reduce our dependence on oil, I cannot oppose the Keystone pipeline on those grounds. The fact is that this oil *will* be extracted, one way or another; it’s worth too much to leave in the ground. So the only real question is, will the oil thus extracted go to the U.S. (where it will reduce our dependence on oil from uncertain allies in the increasingly unstable Middle East), or to China (traveling there by tanker, a process that will create more emissions than the pipeline will, not to mention the risk of spills)?

    We must face facts. Our nation is going to remain heavily dependent on oil for the near future, and putting the kibosh on this pipeline is not going to change that. All it will do is ensure that the oil we do use comes from less reliable sources, while Canada’s oil goes abroad. Sorry, I can’t help you on this one.

    • This is not just “oil” but tar-sands crude, an even dirtier, more dangerous form of the fossil fuel. From Green America’s editorial on the subject from last fall:

      “Producing a barrel of tar sands oil generates three times the greenhouse gas emissions as a barrel of conventional oil, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Considering both the dangers to farmers and the rural economy in the heartland and the devastating climate risks associated with tar sands exploitation, the Keystone XL pipeline shouldn’t be built.” (The full editorial is here:

      A leading climate scientist has called the exploitation of the tar sands “game over” for the climate. We’ll oppose this pipeline whether through the US or through Canada. First Nations peoples in Canada are already planning to resist any secondary plans to build a pipeline through their lands, and we’ll support them.

    • You (Amy) raise a very important point, or question, about the use of tar sands oil. Green America opposes the KXL for a host of reasons, but let’s just say we were interested in a “more local” source of oil. Would the KXL answer the need?

      There is increasing information that significant amounts of the KXL oil will run through our country at great risk — and then the oil will be EXPORTED. This then raises the concerns you site about transporting oil by tanker. Here are some articles addressing this concern:

      Given past deceptions about this project, such as its job creation potential, we cannot assume this foreign pipeline is being proposed to our benefit.

  3. Been meaning to express my outrage about the govt fast-tracking the pipeline project under the guise of jobs creation. Such a lie! The only jobs that will be created in long term are the environmental clean up after this blows up in our face. And the only MONEY that will result will be in the pockets of Oil Company Execs, and in the CHECKBOOKS of LOBBYISTS.

    If these tar sands are really such a viable source of “energy” then why don’t we minimize our risk and expense (not just construction ..but the ongoing MONITORING that will have to be in place) by building a damn refinery closer to where we are mining it out?? At least this plan would create construction jobs, create refinery jobs (a new one, not an existing one) AND would minimize the risk of ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER. Once we pollute our water table (for SEVEN states was it?) there is NO WAY to fix that. Where do you think we will get fresh water? For people, for wildlife, for livestock, for CROPS!

    We need to get beyond this type of thinking and invest in REAL answers — sustainable renewables. I know that’s not the ONLY answer … but is has the GREATEST POTENTIAL to be an answer.

  4. I called this am at 11:30cst and left the message to continue his support of truly green clean energy, not dirty oil, especially Canadian tar sands crude. I also told him to stand firm by his decision to keep the final decision into 2013 and not to give in to pressure from the oil industry. I had operator #19 and she was very pleasant. She said she did not need my name. I told her I live in the midwest and am very concerned about the disasters that will occur should this pipeline go through.

  5. You are wrong on this one Green America – and please dial down the rhetoric and bombastic tone.

    I know your name is Green America but you should look at the planet as whole if you really believe in Green. Doing the drilling and transporting of oil and natural gas here in North America is far greener and cleaner than bringing so much of our supply from half way around the world. Further the jobs it will create and the lower oil price since we are not shipping the oil from the middle east will help everyone in America and move the economy in a positive direction. We need to be doing this now and not waiting until 2013. Call the White and tell them to put politics aside and do what is best for the American people and that is having us develop our own natural resources.

    • 1. KXL will not reduce our dependence on “foreign oil”. The purpose of this pipeline is to transport Canadian tar sands into America for refining and then for sale on the export market. To truly reduce demand for fossil fuels in this country, Green America calls for energy efficiency and a transition to renewable forms of energy, such as wind and solar. (For more on Keystone’s export model:

      2. RE: Jobs … Keystone proponents have vastly inflated their estimates on the number of jobs this pipeline could potentially produce. All new energy projects create jobs. We need to choose the best and smartest projects for our country’s future. Luckily, the renewable energy sector creates jobs at three to four times the rate of investing in fossil fuels. (For more on job-growth from renewable energy technologies:

  6. Climate change is a natural cycle… not man made. Show me proof that I’m wrong.

    Pushing the Keystone XL pipeline off to 2013 was purely political.

    The EPA dictates every move that is made with projects like the Keystone XL pipeline as to protect the environment.

    The Keystone XL pipeline would not be bad for our economy. As you know, we desperated need jobs. Such Federal projects create a lot of high paying jobs. In 1991, I worked as a draftsman on a sizable pipeline project. My pay was nearly triple from what I was paid in the private sector. It employed thousands of americans and made a hugh positive impact on local economies.

    For whatever reason, building a domestic renewable energy sector is still years away. HOW MANY HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS MORE FROM OUR NATIONAL TRESURE NEED WE SPEND TO PROVE THAT? Solyndra, the recent near total recall of the Chevy VOLT because catches fire, and Wind Turbines that create tens of thousands of jobs (IN CHINA and elsewhere outside our country) and don’t generate electricity at cents per KWH but at 27 DOLLARS PER KWH.

    As for the Keystone XL pipeline, chatterings from a monkey in a tree would be better heard than one-sided views. Everyone deserves to hear fair and Balanced dialogue.

    • 1. RE: “The EPA dictates every move … to protect the environment.” … In fact, the EPA is very much in favor of Obama’s decision to delay the KXL decision for further scrutiny. The EPA is on record calling early State Department studies of the KXL environmental impact “inadequate” and “insufficient,” which is one impetus behind the decision to delay.

      2. RE: jobs … See comment above on how renewable energy projects are the real job creators.

      3. RE: Pennies per KWH … Actually, wind is cost-competitive to natural gas in several markets already, and projected to achieve broad cost-competitiveness within five years. Plus, a true comparison would account for the millions of dollars in subsidies provided to the fossil fuel industry. Solar and wind costs are decreasing, energy efficiency helps us get there even faster.

      • 1. RE: 1. “The EPA dictates… It doesn’t surprise me at all that the EPA is very much in favor of further scrutiny. They have proven to be a smuthering force to our job creators and on our economy. The EPA is in desperate need of a major overhaul to make it more business friendly.

        2. RE: Jobs. The only major developement I’ve seen recently from the renewable Wind energy sector has been the tens of thousands of jobs created by GE in places like China. Unless you are referring to the solar energy jobs-creating sector where $365B of taxpayer money was “invested” into the private sector company Solyndra. Or maybe you are referring to the auto industry. I’ve heard that job security has really increased since the recall of nearly all of the Chevy VOLT…the electric car that catches fire. Waisted billions in taxpayer bail out money, but just think of all the jobs that were saved… I mean, someone has to fix them.

        3, RE: Pennies. How nice it would be if subsidies WERE NOT provided to the oil companys, and if GE would pay taxes on their $5B profit, and not create tens of thousands of jobs in China where workers are exploited like slaves, but would bring all those jobs back to American workers. How nice that would be.

  7. Thank you, Green America, for continuing to get the word out about this atrocity. I called and emailed the White House. This pipeline will cause great harm to people’s health, indigenous communities, drinking water, forests, air, and the movement for clean and renewable energy. The existing pipeline and the Canadian tar sands already kill people and contaminate the land, water, and air as well as deplete food and medicine sources. Why would we build more of this destruction? Any gains from this tar sands pipeline are temporary and destructive. Instead we must invest our money and jobs into renewable energy such as solar and wind. These sources of energy will not run out and will provide ongoing secure jobs, which our country desperately needs.

  8. I just emailed the White House about the Tar Sands. I hope Obama listens to us. The right-wing radio trash is so disgusting – talking about these hypothetical jobs and trashing Obama big time. I think we can tell the president we will be behind him when he stands up to these greedy pigs.

  9. I just emailed the President the following:
    “Although these may be tough economic times, I urge you to concentrate on renewable energy for job creation (as promised in your campaign) and refuse to support the Keystone XL pipeline. I believe that the job creation estimates for this pipeline by the oil industry have been wildly exaggerated and bring only false hope. Far more jobs – and enduring ones at that – would be created by building our domestic renewable energy sector. In fact, investment in clean energy generates 3-4 times as many jobs as investments in fossil fuels.
    Furthermore, the Keystone XL pipeline depends on tar sands crude – oil generated through methods that are bad for the environment, human health, climate change, and our economy.
    I urge you to follow up on your campaign promises by making renewable energy development a priority and subsidizing renewable energy in lieu of well-established and record-profit-making oil industry companies.”
    We live in a capitalist society and I do not have a problem with that. I think anybody and any corporation is entitled to make a profit from hard work, innovative technology, and whatever other legal and ethical means are available, but NOT by abusing people or our planet. All of us – people and corporations – have a responsiblity to protect the world we live in so that our children and their offspring will have a world the CAN live in.

    • Well said. All the rhetoric about Keystone equalling jobs is just appealing to peoples’ desperation in the current economy. The truth is that ANY of these energy initiatives will create jobs. It doesn’t have to be a pipeline.

  10. Readers may be interested in the Keystone XL comments of Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, who affirmed the following at the United Nations Investor Summit on Climate Risk & Energy Solutions, January 2012: “The AFL-CIO has not taken a position on the Keystone pipeline,” he said, “unions don’t agree among ourselves. But we cannot have a trust building conversation about it unless opponents of the pipeline recognize that construction jobs are real jobs, good jobs, and supporters of the pipeline recognize that tar sands oil raises real issues in terms of climate change.”

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