EPA Speaks Out on Keystone Pipeline  

The Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry roughly 830,000 barrels of tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast in the US, has been one of the most polarizing issues in American politics over the past few years. Environmentalists recognize that the pipeline will do little more than encourage continued tar sands extraction, one of the most carbon-intensive oil production methods on the planet. Supporters of heavy industry see the pipeline as a crucial piece of infrastructure that will create a more robust economy including jobs and increased energy security (although the Keystone would produce very few permanent jobs). President Obama has stated that the future of the pipeline project depends on whether or not it will contribute further to climate change. This week, the EPA weighed in on the State Department’s environmental impact statement, using authority granted by the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The letter sent to the State Department from the EPA outlines their findings that the pipeline would indeed contribute to climate change. The production, transport, and refining processes, and the burning of the final product would result in an additional 1.3 -27.4 million metric tons of CO2 each year. On the high end, that’s equivalent to the GHG emissions from 5.7 million passenger vehicles or 7.8 coal-fired power plants. With oil prices currently lower than most economists expected, construction of the pipeline would make it cheaper […]

Read More →

Arkansas Tar Sands Pipeline Spill: More Evidence KXL is a Bad Idea

ExxonMobil hasn’t yet released the final number on how many barrels of tar-sands oil was spilled in Arkansas over the weekend, though the leak near the town of Mayflower prompted evacuation of homes and the closing of an interstate expressway.  Clean-up continues on what appears to be the largest pipeline spill since an Enbridge pipeline in Wisconsin burst last summer.  In light of such accidents, we at Green America see the recent State Department report downplaying the environmental effects of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline as dangerously flawed.  Some in Congress agree: “Whether it’s the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, or … (the) mess in Arkansas, Americans are realizing that transporting large amounts of this corrosive and polluting fuel is a bad deal for American taxpayers and for our environment,” said Representative Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat. In fact, the danger comes not just from pipelines. Last Wednesday, a train carrying tar-sands crude derailed in Minnesota, spilling 15,000 gallons. To avoid these disastrous spills, and the terrible impact on the climate, please urge President Obama today to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Read More →

Enbridge Dirty Tar Sands Pipeline to Exceed the Keystone XL

For those of you following tar sands pipeline developments and the growing opposition to the K-XL, heightened opposition is needed as tar sands pipelines proliferate. The planned Enbridge pipeline, also from Canada to Texas, would be even larger than the K-XL. Enbridge would connect four pipelines, exceed the size of the K-XL, and also carry approximately 850,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil per day. As the Sierra Club reports: “Enbridge’s tar sands expansion plan doesn’t stop there. The company plans to dramatically increase capacity on the infamous Line 6B that spilled into the KalamazooRiver, and is quietly backing Exxon’s plans to reverse the flow on a line that would deliver tar sands through Vermont, New Hampshire, and out for export through the ports of Maine. All told, Enbridge plans to expand their capacity to import tar sands by more than two million barrels per day.” As discussed in our July 23 blog, the National Transportation and Safety Board found gross negligence that lead to the disastrous tar sands oil spill in the KalamazooRiver in 2010, releasing more than a million gallons of tar sands oil. So now the corporation responsible for our country’s largest onshore spill, which still requires clean-up years later, wants to further expand its dirty tar sands operations. A report by the Polaris Institute in Ottawa, Out on the Mainline: Mapping Enbridge’s Web of Pipeline, states: “According to Enbridge’s own data, between 1999 and 2010, across […]

Read More →

All Tar Sand Pipelines Are a Bad Idea


Today the National Academy of Sciences has been conducting briefings on whether corrosive tar sands oil can be safely transported through pipelines. Recent history affirms that tar sands pipelines are a bad idea, as documented in the July 10, 2012 report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on the 2010 Kalamazoo tar sands spill. That spill, from the tar […]

Read More →

New Indigenous Leaders’ Report on Shell’s Destruction, Tar Sands & More


The Indigenous Environmental Network and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation have launched a new campaign against Shell and its destructive projects, including tar sands extraction. They have released a new report on the company’s increasing role in the world’s dirtiest energy projects. The new report, “Risking Ruin: Shell’s dangerous developments in the Tar Sands, Arctic and Nigeria” , highlights Indigenous […]

Read More →

Senate Defeats Effort to Approve Keystone XL

This afternoon the Senate narrowly defeated an amendment to the transportation bill by Senator Hoeven (R-ND) that would have undercut the President’s decision-making authority on the Keystone XL pipeline and moved the project forward. The Senate lacked the three-fifths majority needed to approve the measure. Concerned citizens and green businesses have spoken out against the pipeline, defeating Big Oil…for the moment. Today’s vote was a resounding “No!” to: Dirty fossil fuel Oil spills Damage to human health Environmental dangers Exacerbation of climate change False job creation claims False energy security claims Of course, we’ve got a long road ahead of us. TransCanada is planning to proceed with a portion of the pipeline (from TX to OK) and to re-apply for a permit for the section crossing between Canada and the US. There are plenty of challenges ahead – but today’s Senate vote positions us for further success.  We’ll need you to stay informed and stay involved – so do check out: The latest (March 2012) resource by the National Resources Defense Council on the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline and Climate Change. This YouTube video of Texan landowners against the K XL. Articles about Lakota resistance to the K XL: http://www.lastrealindians.com/2012/03/06/oglala-nationals-roadblock-oil-pipeline-trucks-on-pine-ridge-rez/ http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/03/lakota-arrests-underway-halting-xl.html

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

House Republicans Follow Senate’s Direction on Keystone XL Pipeline

On December 2, 2011, two days after the introduction of a Senate bill to fast-track decision-making on the Keystone XL pipeline, House Republicans released their plans to expedite the pipeline permitting process — and also to take the decision away from the State Department and to grant it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The House bill is sponsored by Rep. Terry Lee (R-NE). Pressure from Big Oil and the Chamber of Commerce should not be allowed to override thorough consideration of the dangerous consequences of the KXL pipeline. Green America opposes construction of the pipeline due to the perils it presents for human health, the environment and climate change, as well as the tremendous setback the pipeline would mean for development of our domestic, renewable energy sector. Rep. Lee has stated that Republicans aim to attach the bill to legislation that Democrats seek on extending unemployment insurance and payroll tax cuts. Some in Congress are trying to use our country’s dire need for job creation as an excuse to build this pipeline. Data on job creation commissioned by the oil industry, while still in circulation, has been grossly inflated. We will generate more good quality, lasting jobs through investment in clean energy. A report from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) finds that clean energy jobs will provide more career opportunities than the fossil fuel sector does “across all levels of skill and education” and “a high proportion of […]

Read More →

Encircling the White House & Standing Against Keystone XL

KeystoneXL 008

This afternoon, I joined Green Festival regional director Alix Davidson and Green America policy director Fran Teplitz at Lafayette Park, two blocks away from Green America’s offices, and directly in front of the White House, for today’s day of action against the Keystone XL Pipeline. At the rally before the action, inspirational speakers like Rev. Lennox Yearwood and Tom Poor […]

Read More →