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Why PSR Opposes the Keystone XL Pipeline
combustion always involves some health and environmental costs. But tar sands oil is far worse than
conventional oil. Here’s why:
The pipeline poses grave dangers to America’s vital
- Tar sands oil is thicker, more
acidic and more corrosive than conventional crude. Transported under high pressure, it
poses a far greater risk of leaks along the pipeline route.
- Tar sands oil pipelines
are already leaking and causing serious contamination.
- Over the past five years,
pipelines in Midwestern states with the longest history of moving
Canadian tar sands have spilled three times as much crude per pipeline
mile as the national average.
- The Keystone I tar sands
pipeline was predicted to spill 1.4 times per decade, yet it spilled
fourteen times in its first year of operation.
- In 2010, an older
pipeline system spilled more than 800,000 gallons of tar sands oil
into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, causing health effects in a majority
of Calhoun County residents living adjacent to the river. At a cost of
over $725 million, this spill was the most expensive U.S. pipeline
accident on record.
addition to surface waters, the Keystone XL pipeline threatens vast
underground water supplies that, once contaminated, cannot be
cleaned. There’s no “away” where
toxic oil can go once it enters an aquifer.
It’s the most carbon-intensive source of
oil on the planet.
- The production process
alone generates three times as much global warming pollution as conventional
- The extraction of tar
sands oil is destroying important forest lands that act as a carbon
reservoir, further contributing to climate change.
- The Environmental
Protection Agency has estimated that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline
would contribute an additional 27 million metric tons of CO2 annually – or
the same amount of global warming pollution created by adding 4.8
million vehicles to the road.
accelerate the health impacts from climate change – heat waves, extreme weather,
expansion of disease ranges, crop losses and more – that are already occurring.
The pipeline would do little for our energy
- The main purpose of the
proposed Keystone XL pipeline is to make this oil available for export.
Keystone XL would divert Canadian oil from refineries in the Midwest to
the Gulf Coast.
- These refineries are in
Foreign Trade Zones where oil may be exported to international buyers without
paying U.S. taxes.
- Shunting oil
to refineries for export will actually raise gasoline prices in the
short, this pipeline is not and never was in America's national interest.
healthy, renewable energy and fuel efficiency is the path forward for health and
energy security in America
– not another tar sands pipeline.
Last Updated November 12, 2015
In the Spotlight
November 30, 2016
Eating for Climate and Health
PSR's new PowerPoint presentation on how climate change impacts food production, and agriculture's contribution to climate change.