If you’ve been following the news recently, you’ve probably heard about the Keystone XL pipeline (the KXL), and how it is supposed to transport tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in the United States. The passage above is from a blog post my friend Kristin Moe wrote about visiting Alberta, Canada, and experiencing an oil spill. I find her writing all the more poignant because the southern half of the KXL was recently approved for construction.
I’ve written a lot about the tar sands, and I was arrested last August during a tar sands protest in front of the White House. However, I became comfortable with my decision to be arrested only after reading pro-tar sands works, such as Ezra Levant’s Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands, in addition to the anti-pipeline articles written by colleagues and friends. In addition to peer-reviewed reports by scientists, I read the State Department’s Environmental Impact Statement, and listened to the testimony from the State Department’s public review hearings. The science was clear: extracting the tar sands is destructive and threatens the health and safety of people nearby regardless of the carbon dioxide emissions. The emissions and the greenhouse effect makes the use of the tar sands that much worse.