Sign grasstops letter to US Senators on Tar Sands Pipeline
April 26, 2012
- The Honorable Barbara Boxer
- The Honorable Max Baucus
- The Honorable Jay Rockefeller
- The Honorable Richard Durbin
- The Honorable Tim Johnson
- The Honorable Charles Schumer
- The Honorable Bill Nelson
- The Honorable Robert Menendez
- The Honorable Nick Rahall
- The Honorable Peter DeFazio
- The Honorable Jerry Costello
- The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton
- The Honorable Jerrold Nadler
- The Honorable Corrine Brown
- The Honorable Elijah Cummings
- The Honorable Leonard Boswell
- The Honorable Tim Bishop
- The Honorable Earl Blumenauer
- The Honorable Henry Waxman
- The Honorable Ed Markey
- The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson
We write to ask you to stand firm in keeping any provisions authorizing the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline out of the Transportation bill, and to express our deep appreciation for the leadership that several of you have been providing on this issue.
Extracting tar sands oil generates three times more carbon pollution than drilling for conventional oil. As a result, producing and using tar sands oil adds 20% more global warming carbon pollution to the atmosphere than even conventional oil. Without the pipeline, producers have no way to get significant volumes of tar sands oil off the continent for the foreseeable future, so most of it will stay in the ground where it belongs. The pipeline’s purpose is to open vast new tar sands markets by enabling oil companies to ship up to 900,000 barrels per day of tar sands oil through the US to other countries.
The International Energy Agency reaffirmed as recently as April 25th that the world is currently on a trajectory for nearly an 11 degree F increase in average temperature, with more extreme changes in many areas. This would be a catastrophe dwarfing any in recorded history. Worse yet, it would trigger automatic “feedback loops” that – even if we then halted all emissions —would make 11 degrees just a mark on an unstoppable trajectory of further temperature increases and even more extreme disasters. To halt climate change at even the extremely dangerous level of 3.6 degrees F, experts estimate that the U.S. and other developed countries must begin reducing our emissions by 10% every year after 2015.
Expanding tar sands use would make catastrophic climate change disasters — including flooding, drought, wildfires, disease epidemics, and more — unavoidable.
The Senate has already rejected forcing approval of this pipeline. The White House has warned that the Transportation bill will be vetoed if a Keystone provision is added.
We support you in insisting on a clean version of the Senate transportation bill without Keystone XL or any other environmentally harmful provisions.