Target: President Obama
Goal: Protect the environment by not approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline
Days after a memorable Inauguration speech promising to finally address the problems climate change, President Obama must put his environmental convictions to the test. The Keystone XL oil pipeline, a massive project of the TransCanada oil company, won its final state-level battle with the recent approval from the governor of Nebraska. Now, all that stands in the way of construction for the 1,700-mile-long project is the endorsement of the President, who must sign off on plans to build across international borders. Urge President Obama to get serious about climate change by denying approval of this dangerous pipeline.
Numerous scientists and environmental groups have protested the pipeline’s construction since its initial proposal in 2008. The new section of pipeline, known as Phase 4, is planned to stretch from Alberta, Canada to Oklahoma, cutting through five states and thousands of miles of pristine Mid-Western habitat. Construction of the pipeline would certainly disrupt adjoining ecosystems and introduce risks of devastating oil spills.
The pipeline’s threat to local wildlife, however, is only half of the problem. Climate change activists point out that Keystone XL would worsen the already dire process of greenhouse gas emissions due to the harmful nature of TransCanada’s production processes. The oil carried by the pipeline would be refined from tar sands, and this method has been shown to produce significantly greater amounts of greenhouse gasses than conventional refinement methods. A spike in these gasses from additional tar sand refinement is not something the global climate can afford.
As President Obama noted in his recent Inauguration speech, the dangers of climate change cannot be ignored any longer. Ask him to endorse his rhetoric with real action and say no to the Keystone XL pipeline.
Dear President Obama,
In your recent Inauguration speech, you proclaimed that the dangers of climate change can no longer be ignored. In keeping with your promise to address the threats posed by climate change, I ask you to deny the Keystone XL oil pipeline your approval for construction.
The environmental costs posed by the pipeline’s construction are simply too great to justify by any economic benefits. The pipeline would disrupt thousands of miles of pristine natural habitat in some of the most beautiful open spaces our nation possesses. In addition to immediate damages from construction, these landscapes would be further threatened by the risk of devastating oil spills that could harm these spaces irreparably. As we learned too well in the Gulf of Mexico, even the slightest risk may still be too much.
Most importantly, the approval of the pipeline would explicitly endorse a method of oil refinement that is known to produce far greater volumes of harmful gasses than conventional practices. Tar sand refinement poses a significant threat to effective climate change management; it is precisely the type of practice that you pledged to reduce in your Inaugural speech. To approve the Keystone XL pipeline would constitute a step backward. We cannot afford to do so any longer.
I ask you, Mr. President, to take a significant step forward. Don’t allow the Keystone XL pipeline to damage our cherished natural spaces, and don’t delay the fight against climate change any longer. Please say no to the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: rickz via flickr