American Mayors to Obama: Reject the Tar Sands Pipeline

103 American Mayors sent a letter to President Obama, thanking him for postponing his decision on the tar sands pipeline until further environmental review, but that review can only result in one answer: this pipeline is not in the nation’s best interest.

Signed by mayors from 28 states and 10 state capitals, representing over 9 million people, states:

"Expansion of high carbon fuels such as tar sands undermine hard work by local communities everywhere to fight climate change, reduce dependence on oil, and create a clean energy future."

The letter calls for the environmental review to include greenhouse gas impacts from this high carbon project, as well as evaluating how the project would affect local community efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, ratchet down carbon emissions and fight climate change.

It expresses deep concerns about pipeline leaks, given that the first Keystone pipeline experienced some 30 leaks in the US and Canada in its first year.

The mayors invite the Administration to work with local communities on creating a clean energy future that will provide solid and lasting energy and economic security by lessening our dependence on oil.

Says Mayor Frank Cownie, Des Moines, Iowa, "We are heartened by President Obama’s move to give the Keystone XL project a sober second thought.  We encourage him to use this opportunity to take a closer, critical look at what is really driving this project: a business strategy to increase profits and expand access to export markets, as the proponents explained in hearings when they sought approval for the Canadian portion of the line. 

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."

Mayor Kitty Piercy, Eugene, Oregon says, "Mayors work hard to reduce their carbon footprints and our dependence on oil at the local level, because their citizens are worried about climate change. People are seeing changes in the climate already, and frankly don’t much care what naysayers and skeptics say anymore. The people we serve expect us to take action now, help slow down climate change, and preserve the Earth for their children and grandchildren. Avoiding further tar sands pipelines, like the Keystone XL, is a critical step in making that happen."

Here’s the letter:

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