Sierra Club Calls on Hillary Clinton to Weigh Risks of Toxic Pipeline to Farms, Water, Air

EPA, Bipartisan Leaders, Tens of Thousands of Citizens Raise Concerns About Project

The Sierra Club is mobilizing thousands of citizens to contact Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and urge her to fully evaluate the risks of a proposed pipeline that would carry the world’s dirtiest oil from Canada into the United States. 

Clinton indicated this week while speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco that the State Department may be leaning toward approving permits for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, despite the fact that the agency has not finished reviewing the project or thousands of comments from Americans opposing it.

The State Department must approve permits for the pipeline, which would run through the Midwest, putting drinking water and agriculture at risk and feeding air pollution from refineries. 

Nebraska Senators Johanns and Nelson, whose state would be heavily affected by spills and pollution from the pipeline, both spoke out, calling for Clinton to fully assess the project’s risks before deciding. 

Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune:

We are confident that once Secretary Clinton has a chance to carefully review the serious risks this project poses to America’s health, environment, and economy, she will decide against permitting this pipeline. 

Leaders from different agencies and different sides of the aisle have raised red flags about the Keystone XL pipeline. Tens of thousands of American citizens have spoken out against it. 

The State Department has not finished environmental review of the project, but any thorough review will show that the costs of piping tar sands oil into America are simply too high. Building this pipeline is the equivalent of putting 6.5 million new cars on our roads. President Obama has taken important steps will reduce oil dependence and cut pollution—like his recent announcement increasing fuel economy standards. Building this toxic oil pipeline would undo the progress we’ve made. It would be like building more than a dozen new coal plants. 

Tar sands oil is the dirtiest oil on earth, producing three times the global warming pollution as conventional oil. Extraction of tar sands requires clear-cutting ancient forests and leaving behind toxic lakes that have been linked to cancer in downstream communities.

In her comments this week, Secretary Clinton said, ‘We’re either going to be dependent on dirty oil from the Gulf or dirty oil from Canada.’

We do not have to choose between dirty oil from the Gulf or dirty oil from Canada. Instead, we should be investing in domestic sources of clean energy, like wind and solar and efficiency measures that will keep dollars and jobs here at home.

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