Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Action Page

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Below is a compilation of fact sheets, information resources and action items from environmental groups, governments and other groups surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline and the Canadian tar sands. Please contact us or comment below if you know of additional resources we should add to this page. - Coalition organizing the White House protest and a 10,000+ strong petition urging President Obama to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Friends of the Earth's Keystone XL pipeline resource page, petition and report “Dirty Business: How TransCanada Pipelines bullies farmers, manipulates oil markets, threatens fresh water and skimps on safety in the United States.”

NRDC's Stop Dirty Fuels: Tar Sands - Fact sheets about tar sands, Switchboard blogs on the Keystone XL pipeline, and a BioGems petition to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

National Wildlife Federation's Keystone XL Pipeline page and Tar Sands page- numerous fact sheets on Keystone XL and tar sands.

Oil Change International's report “Exporting Energy Security: Keystone XL Exposed” debunking the claims that Canadian tar sands oil is good for U.S. national security.

Bold Nebraska's Keystone XL resource page and letter urging Secretary Clinton and Governor Heineman to deny TransCanada's permit request.

Stand With Randy - Nebraska farmer and landowner Randy Thompson's page opposing the Keystone XL pipeline.

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman's letter urging President Obama and Hillary Clinton to reject TransCanada's Keystone XL permit.

energyNOW! interview with DOE Secretary Steven Chu about the Keystone XL.

Rainforest Action Network's tar sands page with reports and fact sheets on Keystone XL.

Greenpeace Canada's tar sands page and report “Dirty Oil: How the Tar Sands Are Fueling the Global Climate Crisis” [PDF]

Avaaz's petition against the Keystone XL pipeline.

DailyKos page with sample letters to the editor about the State Department's Keystone XL decision. website about the Canadian tar sands.

Global Community Monitor's tar sands page and video about impacts of tar sands development on U.S. fenceline communities.

Interfaith Religious Contingent Against Keystone XL Pipeline

Sojourners religious site with tons of content about Keystone XL and climate issues.

U.S. State Department page on the Keystone XL pipeline.

TransCanada description of its Keystone XL pipeline proposal.

Selected readings about the Keystone XL pipeline:

NASA scientist James Hansen's “Silence Is Deadly” [PDF] June 2011 piece about Keystone XL.

Bill McKibben: “Why I Got Arrested Over the Keystone XL Pipeline”.

New York Times Editorial  urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL proposal.

Los Angeles Times article exposing a 2009 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa showing early U.S. support for Keystone XL long before the appropriate agency review process.

The Tyee's 'War Over Oil Sands' series of reports.

Robert van Waarden's photo essay of the impacts of tar sands development on Canadian First Nations communities.

DeSmogBlog's ongoing coverage of the Keystone XL issue as well as our tar sands coverage.

Mark Fiore's “State Department Oil Services” animation commissioned by DeSmogBlog:

Please contact us or comment below if you know of additional resources that should be added to this page.

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I received an automated survey call. 

1. Do you believe gas prices are too high?

2. Do you believe the economy needs more jobs?

TransCanada identified itself, and stated their solution: to build the pipeline. Then they wanted to put my name on a list of peoplewho approve to send to the State Department.

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

          Re: TransCanada’s Keystone XL

Dear Mr. President:

          I am concerned citizen living in Lincoln, Nebraska. Like many others, I have spoken out, in as many ways as possible, against TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

          The reason I have taken this position is that the diluted bitumen or “DilBit” crude oil that will flow through Keystone XL, like the DilBit currently flowing through and rupturing the Keystone 1 pipeline (twelve spills occurred in its first year of operation alone), is a highly unstable, acidic, corrosive, toxic, and potentially hazardous crude oil.

          This bitumen or tar is sixty times more viscous than conventional crude oil and so has to be liquefied by means of the addition of carcinogenic, water-soluble hydrocarbons, such as naphtha or benzene. In order for the mixture to flow in the pipeline in great volume, the line has to be pressurized to 1,440 psi and heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (conventional crude flows at ambient temperatures under only 600 psi).

          Pressure variations in the pipeline will create opportunities for the liquefied hydrocarbon in the mixture to change into gaseous form. When these bubbles collapse afterward, the resultant pressure spikes will deform the pipe’s metal, making the pipeline susceptible to metal fatigue and rupture. This predictable consequence is why the current Keystone 1 pipeline, after starting to push Dilbit crude, has experienced so many shut-downs. This predictable consequence is why the Enbridge pipeline spilled upwards of a million gallons of DilBit crude into the Kalamazoo River in 2010 before it was even detected and shut down.

          These facts can be found and verified in industry records or in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s February 2011 report on the dangers posed by pipeline transportation of tar sands crude, a report written in conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation, the Pipeline Safety Trust, and the Sierra Club.

          But more disturbing than these facts, which assure an apocalyptic new normal of pipeline ruptures, explosions, and toxic spills in the Midwestern states the pipeline will travel through, is the fact that the Department of State, whose principal charge in this matter has been to conduct an EIS regarding the proposed pipeline, has not yet requested that the Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration conduct a study on the nature and properties of DilBit or “benzened” crude oil to determine what differences do in fact exist between it and conventional crude oil, and what these differences may pose as a potential hazard to property, natural resources, and human life.

          Were I the president of the United States, I would drive over to the Department of Transportation after lunch to have a sit-down with Mr. Jeffrey D. Wiese, Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety, to ask him, since he is a former oil man, why PHMSA has not done due diligence by conducting a study on the potential dangers and hazards of a liquefied mixture of bitumen and aromatic hydrocarbons that is guaranteed to produce cavitation and thereby rupture pipeline metal when subjected to high heat and pressure. If you need an appointment, here is his telephone number: 202-366-4595 (his department email address does not seem to be working).

          Afterwards, I would have my people identify the point person or persons at State who failed to request such a basic study be conducted and included in the EIS, and then personally give them their two-week notice.

          This sloppy, cynical lack of concern for the safety of the American public and their property is beyond disgraceful, and it is happening on your watch. You have a chance to right a terrible wrong that will only grow worse if this ill-conceived and dangerous pipeline is approved and goes into service.

          Don’t go down in history as just another Warren Harding. Do the right thing and deny the pipeline permit. If you do this, you may find a red state quickly turning blue.

                                                                             Sincerely yours,

                                                                             Liam O. Purdon