For Immediate Release, February 13, 2012
Contact: Noah Greenwald, (503) 484-7495
40 Groups Call on Supporters to Oppose Keystone XL
24-hour Push Seeks Half a Million Petitions Against Climate-killing Pipeline
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity joined more than 40 other environmental groups across the country today in a massive, 24-hour effort to express public opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. The campaign aims to gather 500,000 petitions against the controversial project by noon on Tuesday. The signatures will be hand-delivered to the Senate, which is poised to vote on the project as early as this week.
“Keystone XL is a dangerous, shortsighted project that will enrich oil companies and leave oil spills, environmental destruction and climate catastrophe in its wake,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director with the Center. “This is the moment for Americans to voice their opposition to Keystone XL.”
More than 12,000 people encircled the White House last fall to oppose Keystone XL.
President Barack Obama rejected the pipeline in January, but now Republicans in the Senate are pushing legislative language requiring the project to be permitted in 30 days.
Every day, the Keystone XL pipeline would transport up to 35 million gallons of dirty tar-sands oil from Canada across 1,700 miles, six states and hundreds of water bodies, posing a huge risk of oil spills. An existing pipeline called Keystone 1 has already leaked 14 times since it started operating in June 2010, including one spill that gushed 21,000 gallons of tar-sands crude. The new pipeline would directly threaten at least 20 rare and endangered species, including whooping cranes.
The extraction and refinement of tar-sands oil produces two to three times more greenhouse gases per barrel than does conventional oil, representing a massive new source of fossil fuels that leading climate scientist Dr. James Hansen has said will mean “game over” in our efforts to avoid irreversible global-warming calamity. Strip mining of oil from Alberta’s tar sands is also destroying tens of thousands of acres of boreal forest and polluting hundreds of millions of gallons of water from the Athabasca River, in the process creating toxic ponds so large they can be seen from space.