Carbon-Intensive Keystone

PA IPL Board member Joy Bergey has been researching the Keystone Pipeline.  While an oil pipeline from the tar sands of western Canada to Texas seems very far from Pennsylvania, the impacts reach beyond the extraction and transport of the fuels.  This fuel is very carbon intensive.

Below is Joy’s list of reasons (initially written to appear in a non-faith-oriented context, as was the contact information) that this pipeline is ill-advised.  Let’s use this as a call to use only what we must, and to do so efficiently.  Let us also use this as a starting point for thinking about the extraction and transportation of fossil fuels generally.  How we might create capacity based on fuels that have a much, much smaller lifetime impact on God’s earth, peoples, and creatures?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Keystone XL pipeline is a really bad idea whose time should never come. Here’s why:

  1. The Keystone XL pipeline would carry toxic tar sands oil 1,700 miles from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico to be refined and exported.
  2. Tar sands are the most carbon-intensive source of oil on the planet — just the production creates three times as much global warming pollution as conventional crude oil.
  3. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the pipeline would add 27 million metric tons of heat-trapping CO2 annually.
  4. The pipeline would do little for our energy security or our domestic economy. Its main purpose is to make this oil available for export.
  5. The refineries on the Gulf Coast at the end of the pipeline are in Foreign Trade Zones where oil can be exported to international buyers without paying U.S. taxes.
  6. The pipeline threatens America’s water resources. Tar sands oil is more acidic and corrosive than conventional oil and is transported under higher pressure, posing a far greater risk of blowouts in the pipeline.
  7. Over the last five years, pipelines in Midwestern states with the longest history of moving Canadian tar sands have spilled three times as much crude per mile as the national average.
  8. These tar sands pipelines are not environmentally safe. The Keystone I pipeline was predicted to spill 1.4 times per decade, yet spilled 14 times in just the first year of operation.
  9. In summer 2011, an older tar sands pipeline spilled more than 800,000 gallons into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River — at $725 million, the most expensive U.S. pipeline accident on record.
  10. We cannot ensure the security of the nearly 2,000 mile pipeline, making it a target for terrorists.
The facts are clear: This pipeline is bad for our environment, our economy, and our security.

We need clean energy, used wisely and without wasting it, to build our 21st economy.

The Senate could vote on the Keystone pipeline soon!
Call our senators right now:
Sen. Casey (202) 224-6324
Sen. Toomey (202) 224-4254

Tell them to “Vote No on the Keystone pipeline.”

It’s fine to leave a message on voice mail; just be sure to include your name, municipality and zip code. Thank you.