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Keystone XL

RIP Keystone XL pipeline.

On Friday, November 6, 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama denied TransCanada's application for a permit to build the most controversial oil pipeline in history. Now it's time to focus on stopping the construction of other tar sands pipelines and addtional infrastructure while building a 100% clean energy economy to replace them.

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An 850,000 barrel per day pipeline from Alberta to Texas that will never be built.
Key Problems:
- None  
Current Status:
- President Obama has denied the permit to build hte pipeline because it was not in the national interest

Hundreds of local, national and international environmental groups across North America, as well as scientists, politicians, ranchers and landowners, Native Americans and First Nations have come together to oppose the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Over one million comments opposing Keystone XL were submitted to the U.S. State Department in April 2013, added to the more than 800,000 signatures against the pipeline in 48 hours in 2012.

Why? Because building it creates enormous risks for people and communities in the United States without creating any identifiable rewards.

Even the New York Times editorial board has said, repeatedly, that, “A president who has repeatedly identified climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing dangers cannot in good conscience approve [the Keystone XL pipeline], a project that — even by the State Department’s most cautious calculations — can only add to the problem.”

Although the oil industry vehemently defends Keystone XL’s purported economic benefits, the numbers just don’t add up. Instead of enhancing energy security in the U.S. and reducing American reliance on Middle Eastern oil, it would simply facilitate oil exports to unsavory regimes like China. Rather than providing meaningful, long-term employment opportunities for the people who live and work along the route, it will create only 35 permanent jobs. 

And the risks are enormous. Catastrophic spills of tar sands crude in Mayflower, Arkansas and Michigan's Kalamazoo River illustrate just how risky tar sands pipelines are. The inevitable spills from tar sands pipelines poison waterways, disrupt communities, make residents sick, and decrease property values. The unique chemical makeup of tar sands oil causes it to sink in water, making it particularly difficult to clean-up. The spill that occurred in the Kalamazoo River three years ago still hasn’t been cleaned up, and the total cost of redressing the devastation will top $1 billion.

Given that Keystone XL runs right over the Ogalala aquifer, one of the most important sources of water in the Midwest, the risks of contamination are enormous. Just one spill from the Keystone XL pipeline could destroy a water source on which hundreds of communities and thousands of ranchers and farmers rely.

Rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline is a no brainer. It creates enormous social, economic and environmental risks and provides almost no benefits. It must never be built.

Keystone XL Updates & Resources

Eight incredible days for the climate

Jason Mogus | 100% Possible - November 13th 2015

Blog Post: I don’t know about you but after so many years of what felt a lot like banging our heads against the wall, the last eight days have been a completely mind-blowing turnaround towards climate action! Here are just a few highlights from Canada and around the world from the last week.

100 #noKXL victory thanks (out of thousands)


Duncan Meisel | 350.org - November 11th 2015

Blog Post: Shortly after President Obama announced his rejection of Keystone XL, we launched a “Thank You Card” to the #noKXL movement to thank everyone who made this victory possible. Thousands on thousands of messages have been sent — beautiful, heartfelt, and ready for more victories together. For instance, Maria M. from Arlington, MA: “Hope is a thing we build together. Thank you for your courage to build hope while others were trying to build pipelines. May this be just a beginning.” Here are 99 more. (And why not post your own?)

What critics of the Keystone campaign misunderstand about climate activism


David Roberts | Vox.com - November 9th 2015

Press Clipping: It is true that each individual fossil fuel project is only a tiny contributor to the totality of climate change. But the industry as a whole is a high-functioning, high-earning, high-influence death machine that is driving civilization toward disaster, knowingly so. Some sand has got to be thrown in the gears. That's what the Keystone campaign was, what all supply-side campaigns are: sand in the gears.

Exxon, Keystone, and the turn against fossil fuels


Bill McKibben | 350.org - November 9th 2015

Press Clipping: The fossil-fuel industry—which, for two centuries, underwrote our civilization and then became its greatest threat—has started to take serious hits. At noon today, President Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline, becoming the first world leader to turn down a major project on climate grounds. Eighteen hours earlier, New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he’d issued subpoenas to Exxon, the richest and most profitable energy company in history, after substantial evidence emerged that it had deceived the world about climate change. These moves don’t come out of the blue. They result from three things.

No to Keystone, yes to the planet

Editorial Board | The New York Times - November 9th 2015

Press Clipping: Nearly every mainstream climate scientist has said that a big portion of the fossil fuels now in the ground must remain there if the world is to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. That simple fact lay at the heart of President Obama’s decision on Friday to say no to the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. The decision, which ends seven years of legal and political wrangling, was correct, on moral as well as scientific grounds.

Canadians react to US rejection of Keystone XL


Editors | Tar Sands Solutions Network - November 9th 2015

Blog Post: Canadians across the country, including environmental groups, First Nations and scientists, are reacting to today's announcement by President Obama rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, and calling for Canada's new Liberal government to follow suit and take bold action on pipelines and protecting our climate.

Full text: President Obama’s remarks on the Keystone XL pipeline

President Barak Obama | POTUS - November 9th 2015

Blog Post: America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change. Frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership and that is the biggest risk that we face. Not acting. As long as I'm president of the United States, America's gonna hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we hold the rest of the world. And three weeks from now, I look forward to joining my fellow world leaders in Paris, where we've got to come together around an ambitious framework to protect the one planet that we've got while we still can.