Business Voices Needed: Oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline!

Submitted by greenamerica on February 17, 2014

As the climate crisis continues, now more than ever we need to ensure that Keystone XL Pipeline is not constructed. The State Department is now accepting comments on the Keystone XL pipeline and on the Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Pipeline during the official comment period that ends March 7, 2014. As a business leader your voice is crucial. Please express your disapproval of this project to the State Department- click to add your name to the business leaders’ sign-on letter today.

We need you to take action today – sign the business leaders’ statement against the Keystone XL Pipeline!

 

 

Why Take Action?

 

birdoilspillThe Keystone XL Pipeline is not in the interest of the American people. Rather, it is in the interest of TransCanada and other multi-national oil conglomerates who wish to enjoy profits at the expense of environmental well-being. Those who stand to profit from the pipeline have pushed for it under the guise that it creates jobs and is safe for the environment. A closer look, though, reveals that neither of these claims are true. Undeniably, the pipeline offers legitimate benefits to only the few, and tremendous risks to us all.

The claim that Keystone XL represents a meaningful contribution to America's labor force is simply untrue. A jaw-dropping finding from the State Department's official report on the pipeline is that the project, following its completion, would translate to only 35 permanent jobs! In what way does this represent a meaningful contributution to America's economic welfare? During construction, the pipeline would create around 3,900 jobs, but these would only last for the two years or so necessary to complete the undertaking.

Following the construction period, what economic benefit does Keystone XL offer to the American people? A study by Cornell's Global labor Institute concluded that the Keystone XL Pipeline could actually destroy more jobs than it created, due to regional increases in gas prices, as well as potential pipeline spills, pollution, and increased emissions. If our nation is serious about job creation, we need to approach this in a sustainable way. Research shows that investment in clean energy offers three to four times more economic benefits and jobs as an equal investment in fossil fuels. America needs local investments in renewable energy, not a pipeline to export oil to other countries.

And, investing in clean energy does not come with the environmental hazards posed by the Keystone XL.

First of all, spills from the proposed pipeline seem inevitable. TransCanada, the company who would construct Keystone XL, is currently under a "sweeping audit for systematic violations of mimum safety regulations in the construction of its pipelines". This company has a terrible track record. TransCanada's first Keystone pipeline, already operating, has been highly problematic, spilled over 14 times, and had to be shut down twice due to safety concerns. Compounding this issue is the fact that tar sands oil is especially corrosive and acidic. It's extremely difficult to clean. It is not sane to be without worry towards the biodiversity of the areas through which the proposed pipeline would travel, as well as towards human health  if spillage was to contaminate water reservoirs.

Secondly, tar sands oil has a massive carbon footprint, sometimes requiring more energy to produce than it creates. Oil from tar sands produces 17% more greenhouse gas emissions than regular oil.

Some argue that the Keystone XL Pipeline would make little difference with respect to emissions becuase regardless, most of Alberta's oil will find its way to the market. But this is not true. Without Keystone, transportation capabilities for the tar sands may be very limited, much more costly, and could reduce how much of the tar sands get burned, even if still extracted.

This Canadian tar sands extraction and transport process has dire implications for human health, the environment, the well being of Native communities, climate change, and even the economy. The Keystone XL Pipeline would lock the U.S. into a long-term commitment to energy infrastructure for which the environmental detriments are far, far greater than the economic benefits. The pipeline would perpetuate a global reliance on dirty oil, at a time most desperately crucial for mitigating climate change and moving forward to cleaner, safer technologies.

The decision rests with President Obama to approve or reject the pipeline. Tell the President to respond to the threat of climate change, as he has said he would. Stand up against the Keystone XL Pipeline: Add your name to the business sign-on letter.

Your business voice is uniquely qualified to make the case that we can mitigate climate change and build a strong, sustainable economy.

 

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