Last month, 800,000 signatures were delivered to Congress expressing opposition to TransCanada's tar sands pipeline through the US.
Republicans are trying to push it through as an amendment to the Transportation Bill, which would force the pipeline through even though President Obama rejected it.
The vote could take place today or tomorrow. There are other provisions that would be approved too, including forced expanded oil drilling and repealing EPA's crucial clean air boiler rule.
There are so many reasons to reject the pipeline. The only reason to accept it are the millions of dollars big oil is piping to politicians to push it through. The 44 Senators who are co-sponsoring the amendment have received over $20 million dollars from the oil industry.
Some of the reasons to reject the pipeline:
- tar sands oil is the dirtiest on earth, producing triple the carbon emissions of conventional oil. Many say it would be "game over" for climate change if Canada's tar sands expands, which is the whole point of the pipeline
- Alberta's tar sands are in Canada's boreal forest, one of the largest, pristine rainforests on earth. The forest is stripped to produce tar sands oil, raping its biodiversity and leading to massive extinctions. Caribou are so stressed that Canada's now considering killing their wolves to protect them.
- oil that flows through the pipeline down the entire spine of the US, will NOT supply the US, so it won't get us off foreign oil. It will flow to the Gulf and will be exported from there. The US is just a passageway.
- the US won't see a cent of money from the oil or taxes because the Gulf refineries are in a Foreign Trade Zone. In fact, most experts see oil prices rising from the pipeline.
- the tar sands pipeline in Canada leaked 30 times in the first year it was built - expect that in the US.
- TransCanada is using eminent domain to force the pipeline on private land against the wishes of landowners.
- contrary to GOP stats which claim the pipeline will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, the State Dept figures show it will create only about 2000 temporary jobs.
Over 100 city mayors who sent a letter opposing the pipeline said, "By diverting tar sands crude from Midwest refineries where it currently goes, to the Gulf, Keystone XL opens the door for it to be sold at higher prices to the Gulf and export markets. This will likely raise Midwest fuel prices. Keystone XL adds insult to injury by having Americans bear the brunt of environmental risks of transporting this crude across our heartlands and then having to likely pay higher prices for fuel, all while huge amounts of this oil leaves our ports for lucrative export markets."
Yesterday, the Lakota tribe in South Dakota formed a human blockade for six hours trying to stop trucks carrying tar sands equipment through the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 5 people were arrested. The truckers insisted they had "corporate rights that supersede any other law."
Here's a good summary of the situation.
Please call your Senators: