Tar Sands Facts, Concerns and Action
(Image Credits to www.tarsandsaction.org)
Nine Nobel Peace Laureates, including the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have called on President Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry dirty tar sands oil from Canada’s Boreal forest to refineries in Texas. The pipeline will drive more destruction of songbird habitat, fuel global warming, and threaten drinking water for millions of Americans. To support them in this call, you can visit www.stoptar.org. Also see the fact sheets with comments by Bill McKibben and the the Infographic on the supporters and opposition of the pipeline, put together by www.tarsandsaction.org, both attached to this post.
Comments can be made to the Department of State on this issue through the following ways:
- DOS Comments Page: Make a Comment
- E-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- USPS mail at: Keystone XL Project NID, P.O. Box 96503-98500, Washington, D.C. 20090-6503; or
- FAX at: 206-269-0098
ACTION: This wednesday there will be a hearing concerning the Tar Sands/Keystone XL pipeline at the LBJ Library (2313 Red River St) starting at 12:00pm. There is no place that is more important for you to be on this day. Rally at 6pm - Bike ride at 8pm (after the rally).
Tar Sands can be mined and processed to extract the oil-rich bitumen, which is then refined into oil. "The bitumen in tar sands cannot be pumped from the ground in its natural state; instead tar sand deposits are mined, usually using strip mining or open pit techniques, or the oil is extracted by underground heating with additional upgrading. About two tons of tar sands are required to produce one barrel of oil" (see more on these processes here, the website this information was borrowed from). Tar sands are not pure oil, they take a large amount of energy (2.5 times as energy intensive as conventional oil) and huge amounts of water to refine. They are often an indicator of low availability/supply of conventional oil which is easier and cheaper to mine, refine and use. The mining of tar sands is an indicator that we are running out of oil. Building this pipeline and mining the tar sands will destroy habitat for animals and people. For a good break down of the social, health and environmental concerns in Canada this video is a good place to start. If this project is approved it will communicate that we as a people are in support of more projects like this, and bigger ones, in the futre. The approval will also be a clear message that we do not intend to change our consumption habits, our emissions levels, or our direct degredation of the environment and damages to human health, ever. The approval will be a clear message that any hope to stop the acceleration of climate change or ensure our survival is gone forever. Please make it out to this momentous hearing, there is nothing more important. We can still stop this!
"TransCanada wants to build the largest tar sands pipeline ever, right through America's heartland. The production of tar sands oil generates 3x as many greenhouse gases as the production of conventional crude. This pollution, along with the ecological destruction that this project will cause to the Boreal Forest in Canada (one of North Americas biggest carbon sinks), must be considered in the Environmental Impact Statement the Department of State is using to determine the project's environmental footprint. The State Department should take a hard look at the real impacts of this project, and deny TransCanada the Presidential Permit. Deepening our reliance on the dirtiest oil on earth is simply not in our national interest." VOLUNTEER INFO: Contact Trevor at (512) 470-6572 or Ian at (512) 466-6939. www.TarSandsAction.org
- Energy Security: Tar Sand will not Reduce Dependence on Foreign Oil. Keystone XL will not lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil, but transport Canadian oil to American refineries for export to overseas markets.
- Gas prices: Keystone XL will increase gas prices for Americans—Especially Farmers.
- Jobs: TransCanada’s jobs projections are vastly inflated.
- Safety: A rupture in the Keystone XL pipeline could cause a BP style oil spill in America’s heartland, over the source of fresh drinking water for 20 million people. NASA’s top climate scientist says that fully developing the tar sands in Canada would mean “essentially game over” for the climate.
- Climate Change: Keystone XL is the fuse to North America’s biggest carbon bomb.