Tar sands oil pipeline would be devastating

June 21, 2010 

As the BP disaster continues to ravage the Gulf Coast, I am increasingly concerned about the construction of a proposed tar sands oil pipeline, which causes much more environmental damage and pollution than traditional fossil fuels.

I urge the State Department to deny permits to TransCanada and to stop the Keystone XL pipeline from being built through America's heartland.

The environmental costs and risk of devastation are simply too high to justify building a 1,660-mile-long tar sands pipeline. Plans for the pipeline should be scrapped in favor of cleaner energy projects.

Tar sands oil production threatens irreplaceable forests, which are home to grizzly bears, wolverines, woodland caribou and over a billion birds. These lands are scarred and ravaged to access the tar sands under the soil.

Polluters have to use three barrels of fresh water to create a barrel of tar sands oil. Virgin forests are replaced with permanent waste-water dumps, toxic tailings ponds that are inviting but deadly to birds and mine pits so massive they are visible from outer space.

People suffer from tar sands development. Communities downstream are seeing a spike in rare cancers and other serious health conditions, such as heart and lung disease.

We must say "no" to unsafe pipelines that will carry in dirty fuels from Canada. Instead, we must work for American-grown clean energy innovation from wind and solar power that will put Americans to work and make us more energy independent.

Nancy Fleming

Port Royal

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