The largest tar sands reserves in the world are located beneath the beautiful boreal forest in Alberta, Canada. This forest provides critical habitat for about 50 percent of North America's migratory birds and some of the world's largest populations of wolves, grizzly bears, lynx and moose.
Oil companies are digging up this pristine forest to extract the tar sands, leaving behind huge toxic wastelands. To remove the thick black oil from the sand, they heat it using natural gas and wash it using enormous volumes of freshwater. This process creates toxic lakes that are so large they are visible from space. In 2008 alone, 1,600 migrating ducks drowned after landing in the toxic sludge.
Production of tar sands oil causes at least three times more global warming pollution than conventional oil. And now, oil company TransCanada is pushing hard for the rights to build an extensive pipeline network that would deliver this dirty fuel from Canada to every corner of our nation.
TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline would move up to 900,000 barrels of tar sands oil every day across 2,000 miles of farmland and forests, and across waterways from Montana to Texas. Unless we stop it, this pipeline would effectively open the entire U.S. market and international markets to this environmentally damaging and high-carbon fuel.
Please send your own message to President Obama, urging him to stand up to Big Oil's plans and stop the Keystone XL pipeline from ever being built.
Tar sands oil production is incredibly toxic and puts American communities and wildlife populations at risk, while setting us back from our goal of transitioning to clean renewable energy sources.
The BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the recent oil spill in Michigan's Kalamazoo River show us that our dependence on dirty fuel can have dangerous consequences. Tying our future to toxic tar sands will never be in our national interest.
I'm shocked that you would think to allow such a dangerous and destructive pipeline to cross into the U.S., and I urge you to stop the Keystone XL pipeline from being built.