The disaster that won't die
The Wilderness Society
It’s like an ecological zombie movie - the Keystone XL pipeline is the environmental disaster that just won’t die.
America’s petro-lobbyists won’t let the pipeline die the death it deserves. Despite the President’s decision to shelve the project, oil company lobbyists have persuaded 227 members of Congress to try to force the pipeline onto the American people.
Uncertain Gains and Certain Losses
Should the pipeline move forward, the only certain winners would be the Canadian and American oil companies that build and maintain it. The number of jobs that would be produced is the subject of great debate. And the income from future oil revenue is so uncertain, the pipeline is even opposed by some fiscal conservatives.
The losses, however, are clear:
- The process begins with a massive strip-mining operation in Alberta that turns wildlife-rich boreal forest into a barren petro-landscape. Undisturbed, this forest absorbs and stores massive quantities of carbon. Destroy the forest, and that carbon stays airborne.
- The mined tar sands must then be cooked, using natural gas, to separate the petroleum from the sand. This leads to dramatic new sources of greenhouse gas emissions compared with conventional oil refining.
- The pipeline will cross 70 rivers and streams, including the Missouri, Platte, Yellowstone, and Arkansas. It crosses aquifers on which millions of Americans rely for drinking water and agricultural irrigation. The likelihood of pipeline leaks and spills is near certain.
Money Talks in Washington
So why is there is much pressure to keep the pipeline alive? It’s about money. It’s about the $145 million that the oil industry poured into Washington lobbying firms in 2011 alone. It’s about the $22,500,000 in campaign contributions made to Congressional candidates in 2010-11.
We don’t have millions for lobbyists but we have the truth. And we have you.
The Wilderness Society’s scientists, experts and community leaders have been working since 1935 to keep America’s most iconic wild places wild. We believe that pristine forests, deserts, coasts and other landscapes belong to all of us, both to enjoy and admire. As collective owners of these lands, we hold them in trust for future generations. That includes protecting them from short-sighted efforts to pillage the wilderness for immediate gain.
We are your voice in Washington. Please join us in this fight.
Not on our watch. Don’t let the oil industry force this dirty boondoggle down our throats.