Petition to Reject Keystone XL Pipeline
Reject, Don’t Reroute TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline! Deny, Don’t Just Delay the Permit!
Dear President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and US State Department Officials,
Many of us were encouraged by the announcement on November 10th of your decision to seek a new environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline. We hope that your decision to seek further environmental review reflects a willingness on your part to listen to the tens of thousands of Native Nations and community members, family farmers and ranchers, environmental organizations, faith-based groups, youth and students, steelworkers, and rural citizens living along the proposed pipeline who have taken courageous action demanding a rejection of TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Your recent decision is certainly a step in the right direction. Now, as the governments of the world enter the next round of UN climate negotiations in Durban (COP17) we are writing to urge you to take one important step further, and reject entirely, the TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL Tar Sands pipeline.
If approved, the Alberta Tar Sands and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would:
• Increase the United States and Canada’s already unacceptably high greenhouse gas emissions. These massive pipelines would threaten communities across the west and midwest, and be part of an industrial fossil fuel infrastructure that would increase greenhouse gas emissions by 17% over other types of oil fuels. NASA climate scientist James Hansen has said that if the tar sands are fully developed, it will be “essentially game over” for the climate. On top of our historical responsibility and ongoing disproportionate contribution to the causes of climate change, the planet can simply not afford for the U.S. to give the green light to such a damaging project.
• Threaten the land, water and cultural resources across a broad range of the United States, affecting family farmers and the broader population that relies on them for food. Dena Hoff, a farmer in Montana and leader within the National Family Farm Coalition and La Via Campesina, explains, “Some claim that TransCanada will use the safest technology available in Keystone XL’s construction. However, there have been 12 oil spills in their Keystone 1 pipeline during the year it has flowed through eastern North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Many of us living near the affected waterways are very dubious of TransCanada’s efforts to build a safe pipeline. Like the Exxon Valdez spill and the BP explosion in the Gulf, these preventable accidents have a way of harming water, land, and life far beyond anyone’s imagination.”
• Promote further damage of indigenous lands. Keystone XL fails to take seriously the potential damage to Native Nations and their members in Canada and the States of Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. These damages could threaten, among other things, water aquifers, water ways, cultural and historically significant sites, agricultural lands, animal life, public drinking water sources and other resources vital to the Indigenous peoples of the region in which the pipeline is proposed to be constructed. Lack of adequate consultation has been a consistent concern expressed by Native Nations and members that have not been thoroughly informed of the potential effects of this pipeline. Kandi Mossett, Indigenous Environmental Network Tribal Campus Climate Challenge organizer shares: "I live in North Dakota where the Keystone I pipeline still runs through and still has the potential to continue to leak and perhaps even be expanded. We will not become complacent nor quit speaking out against the Canadian tar sands until they are shut down permanently. When we begin to hear the U.S. Administration talking about alternatives to the fossil fuel industry instead of alternatives to pipeline routes it will truly be music to my ears."
The choice remains in your hands - you have the power to stop this and other tar sands pipelines. This may be one of the most crucial decisions you make for both the United States and the planet as a whole. Will you make a decision to approve
the pipeline, or will you stand with us and the signers of the Mother Earth Accord to say no to this path of destruction and yes to the rights of Mother Earth and the possibility of a positive future?
[members and supporters of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, La Vía Campesina North America, Grassroots International, and Energy Action Coalition]