Tar sands oil is the worst type of oil for the climate, producing three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventionally produced oil because of the energy required to extract and process tar sands oil. Tar sands consist of heavy crude oil mixed with sand, clay and bitumen. Extraction entails burning natural gas to generate enough heat and steam to melt the oil out of the sand. As many as five barrels of water are needed to produce a single barrel of oil.
TransCanada’s proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline would ship heavy crude from Canada’s oil sands to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. Citizens from across the country have bravely taken action to demonstrate their opposition to the pipeline and make a strong statement that enough is enough. We should not spend even one more dollar to build infrastructure that will continue our dangerous addiction to oil.
For almost a decade, a powerful coalition of First Nations, ranchers and farmers, environmentalists, youth fighting for their future and people from all walks of life resisted the construction of the 1,179-mile pipeline that would flow 830,000 barrels of oil a day from the Alberta tar sands to Nebraska, eventually heading to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Engaging in everything from lobbying to non-violent civil disobedience, they ultimately swayed Barack Obama to reject the pipeline.
Donald Trump revived the once dead pipeline with an executive order that unblocked the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and set in motion a plan to curb regulatory interference on future pipeline projects. On March 24, 2017, the Trump administration approved TransCanada’s application to build the pipeline. The Trump administration’s plans to expand the nation’s pipeline infrastructure will only be stopped by a coalition willing to lead with their hearts and put their bodies on the line.