Tar Sands Solutions Network

Join Us On:

Keystone XL

The Keystone XL pipeline poses tremendous risks to people and communities along its entire route through the heart of the United States. Inevitable leaks of tar sands crude would pollute important water sources, including the Ogallala aquifer, one of the most important sources of water in the Midwest.

More importantly, building Keystone is an integral part of the oil industry's reckless expansion of the tar sands, and commits us to 50+ more years of fossil fuel dependence that will cause climate catastrophe. A recent analysis indicates the pipeline would be responsible for emissions comparable to more than 37.7 million cars or 51 coal-fired power plants.

Learn More

A new, 850,000 barrel per day pipeline from Alberta to Texas
Key Problems:
- Pipeline crosses numerous waterways
- Export only pipeline creates little benefit or jobs for Americans
- Unlocks massive growth of tar sands, exacerbating the risks associated with climate change  
Current Status:
- President Obama's decision delayed while Nebraska courts decide the fate of the pipeline's proposed route

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

Neil Young, Willie Nelson and 8,000 in Nebraska stand up to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline


Susan Casey-Lefkowitz | NRDC - September 29th 2014

Blog Post: Under a warm September sun, thousands spread out across the cornfield on the Tanderup family farm in Neligh, Nebraska and sang along with Neil Young and Willie Nelson to honor the beautiful Nebraska farms and ranches threatened by the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This concert comes at a time when the fight against tar sands is gaining momentum and showing real results on the ground with postponement and cancellation of tar sands projects.

Willie Nelson, Neil Young to play benefit concert in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline


Editors | Tar Sands Solutions Network - September 26th 2014

Blog Post: On Sept. 27, music legends Willie Nelson and Neil Young will perform in a benefit concert to support the ongoing fight against the Keystone XL pipeline and help fund Bold Nebraska, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and the Cowboy & Indian Alliance, as well as a number of small, community-based clean energy projects on farms and tribal lands. The concert will take place on a family farm that sits on the proposed pipeline route, as well as crossing the historic Ponca Tribe “Trail of Tears.”

People’s Climate March images for your use and enjoyment

September 26th 2014

Visual: TSSN is a service to the movement, so we sent a team of media makers to the People's Climate March to capture images for you. Have a look at these albums for photos capturing a few major events over the course of last weekend in New York. If you ever need an image for a blog post, social media graphic, press kit, etc. and so on, please use these freely!

Keystone XL: The last six years, by the numbers

September 18th 2014

Blog Post: As supporters of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline mark the six-year anniversary of the pipeline proposal by touring the proposed pipeline route and whining about the fact that their dangerous, polluting project has not been approved, now is as good a time as any to take a look at some of the numbers associated with the last six years the project has been on the table.

Climate film gets activists pumped for NYC march


September 11th 2014

Visual: When’s the last time you saw people lining up on the street to watch a commercial? How about an hour-long commercial about climate change? That’s what happened Sunday night for the New York premiere of “Disruption,” a documentary film promoting the People’s Climate March on Sept. 21. The screening is one of several pre-events that will peak on Sept. 12. “We’re going to make sure people in New York City can’t go anywhere on Sept. 12 without hearing about [the march],” said one of the organizers.

Why Canadian youth are participating in the People’s Climate March


Kelsey Mech | National Director, Canadian Youth Climate Coalition - September 9th 2014

Blog Post: On September 21, in New York City, tens of thousands will converge to take a stand for our climate and our futures. We will come from diverse backgrounds, from diverse movements, from all walks of life and all generations. Now, youth are preparing to take the energy and collective power we've been building at home to the People's Climate March. As one of these youth, I am going to New York to support this growing movement of young people, to stand behind Indigenous communities, and to call for an end to the destruction and injustice of dirty energy expansion. And I am not alone.

Activists promise biggest climate march in history


Adam Vaughan | The Guardian - September 9th 2014

Press Clipping: The Guardian reports that hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of New York, London and eight other cities worldwide on September 21 to pressure world leaders to take action on global warming, in what organisers claim will be the biggest climate march in history.