Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Just Say No to the Keystone XL Pipeline – August 30, 2011

CFN – Have you heard about the Keystone XL pipeline?  There is a proposal on the table to transport approximately 900,000 barrels of thick, synthetic crude oil to Texas and the Gulf States from Alberta for refining.  If approved, this would mean an expansion of the world’s dirtiest and most environmentally destructive form of oil (according to Friends of Earth website) development. These Western Canadian operations are currently having horrendous environmental impacts on the way of life of local communities.Demonstrations have been ongoing in front of the White House and participants continue to be arrested in their attempt to convince President Obama of the proposed pipeline’s dangers.  The Sierra Club along with several other environmental groups have plainly expressed that “this is a terrible project”.

According to the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) “A barrel of tar sands oil emits up to three times as much climate-disrupting gas as conventional oil.  Building Keystone XL would be the greenhouse gas equivalent of adding roughly 6.5 million passenger vehicles to the road, or constructing 12 new coal-fired power plants.”

“Friends of the Earth” would like us to know that it takes 3 barrels of water to extract one barrel of oil.  At this rate, tar sand operations use about 400,000,000 (yes 400 million) gallons of water per day.  Ninety percent of the polluted water (resulting from the extraction process) is then dumped into man-made open ponds called tailing ponds.  These ponds are a toxic brew of substances such as cyanide and ammonia which has seeped into neigbouring fresh water supplies.
Communities living downstream from such “tailing” ponds have seen a spike in rare cancers, renal failure, lupus and hyperthyroidism.  In the village of Fort Chipewyan, 100 of the town’s 1,2000 residents have died from cancer.  Think about the results if you add in the affect to flora and fauna in the area.

Many people are concerned for the safety and welfare of agricultural land, numerous water aquifers, rivers, grasslands, cultural sites and ecological sensitive areas which potentially could be affected should a spill or leak occur.  In an effort to eliminate such an event, the IEN and various other concerned individuals and organizations are sending a direct message to President Obama to deny approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The IEN network is bringing tribal governmental and grassroots leaders from the US and Canada directly impacted by the proposed pipeline to a peaceful protest for alternatives to the proposed pipeline and invite all brothers and sisters who share this living earth to stand in peaceful solidarity with them on the Indigenous Day of Action, September 2nd.  The IEN will arrive in DC on August 30th and will be participating in the Canadian Day of Action and staying until the Indigenous Day of Action, September 2nd.We have all heard of numerous oil spills and leaks over the years which have resulted in lives and resources being damaged and lost.  The definition of insanity is to continue doing things the same old way and expecting different results.  Stop the insanity please. The demonstration campaign at the White House is scheduled to end September 3rd.

Final thought…our survival depends on clean air, water and soil.  Why are we putting these resources at risk for oil?

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