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March 01, 2012

We Will Continue Fighting TransCanada & Keystone XL

PipelineThis week TransCanada announced it would circumvent U.S. environmental review and move forward with plans for the Oklahoma to Texas coast section of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. The company will also restart the permit application for the rest of the pipeline stretching from Alberta, Canada, to Oklahoma.

In the month since President Obama denied the permit the company has undertaken an unprecedented lobbying and public relations effort to gain approval for the pipeline.

This bad idea is TransCanada telling the American people that it is above the law, that its desire to bring the world’s dirtiest oil through America to foreign markets is more important than our safety, more important than our water, more important than our right to our private property.

This project will fail any unbiased test of the ‘national interest’ because it flies in the face of the interest of the American people:

1) This pipeline will raise oil prices in 16 Midwest states. American families and farmers will see the gas prices rise, while Canadian oil companies collect billions more in profits.

2) TransCanada has a dismal safety record, averaging a spill a month on their first tar sands pipeline.

3) The tar sands crude isn’t coming to America, it’s coming through America. The primary purpose of Keystone XL has always been to export Canadian tar sands to Latin American and Europe. American communities will have to live with poisoned air and water where it is refined.

4) TransCanada continues to threaten landowners with eminent domain in order to take their property for this pipeline. For just one example, look at Julia Trigg Crawford, a Texas rancher who is fighting to keep TransCanada from taking over the land that her grandfather bought in 1948.

Sierra Club is not going to give up on any of the ranchers and farmers who don’t want TransCanada trenching and burying a dangerous pipeline through their property.

We’re going to fight for the safety of drinking water for the millions of Texans who live downstream of this pipeline. Over and over again, for three years since this pipeline was proposed, we’ve heard TransCanada declare victory on this pipeline. But the more American’s hear about this tar sands pipeline, the less they like it.

Sierra Club and a broad national - and international - coalition will demand a thorough, scientific and legal environmental review of this project.

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