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Keystone XL Pipeline and the Presidential Election

The Keystone XL tarsands pipeline could become a point of contention during the presidential debate in Denver this Wednesday at 8pm CT/ 9pm EST. Mitt Romney has pledged that he would approve the pipeline on Day 1 of his administration, opening the spigot for 900,000 barrels of the world’s dirtiest oil–tarsands–to flow down through the country’s breadbasket to the Gulf for the export market. This oil would not stay in America.

President Obama has not ruled out approving or denying the pipeline. Last year, he discussed the pipeline with KETV and he ordered a Supplemental Environmental Impact Study to be done on the risks presented by the pipeline, and the State department is again evaluating a route proposed by TransCanada, the pipeline’s owner and operator. Nebraska is also reviewing a new route, one that still crosses sandy soil and the world’s largest underground source of water–the Ogallala Aquifer.

Gov. Romeny has proven himself to be superficial and his approach to energy and the pipeline are not only superficial but reckless. We don’t need any more climate extremists in DC, we need solutions like the fuel efficiency standard and denying the Keystone XL pipeline so we can protect land and water and finally get on a path to clean energy.

Tweet This:
Help us push back on the talking points we all know are covering up the basic facts–tarsands is bad for our land, water, property rights and clean energy future. Tweet these messages during the debate tonight starting at 8pm CT/ 9pm EST.

Keystone XL sham. Pipeline is merely a talking point. Fact check shows it’s all risk, little reward http://bit.ly/P6ODUz #nokxl #debate Facts: http://boldnebraska.org/kxl_facts

Gas prices go up, risks to water go up, climate degrees go up. Down w/ KXL. http://priceofoil.org/2012/05/22/keystone-xl-gas-price-myth-busted/ #nokxl #debate Facts: http://boldnebraska.org/kxl_facts

Landowners against it. Tribal communities against it. Oil industry for it. #nokxl #debate Facts: http://boldnebraska.org/kxl_facts

Obama fuel efficiency for cars saves more oil than Keystone XL could pump. #nokxl #debate Facts: http://boldnebraska.org/kxl_facts

Romney will build Keystone w/ his own hands. No surprise since he’s acting like Big Oil’s puppet. #nokxl #debate Facts: http://boldnebraska.org/kxl_facts

Romney and Obama on Pipeline:

“We want to make sure we’re taking the long view on these issues…There’s a way of doing that and making sure the health and safety of the people of Nebraska are protected. And that’s how I’ll be measuring these recommendations when they come to me.” -Pres. Obama to KETV

“Folks in Nebraska, like folks all across the country, aren’t going to say to themselves, ‘We’re going to take a few thousand jobs if it means our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health.” -Pres. Obama to KETV

“Me doubling fuel-efficiency standards on cars ultimately will save the average consumer $8,000 at the pump [over time] when it takes full effect a decade from now, because everybody’s going to be getting 55 mpg on their car. And that savings is equal to what would be pumped through the Keystone pipeline for 45 years.” -Pres. Obama to AARP

“I will build that pipeline if I have to do it myself.” -Gov. Romney to GOP in Arizona

Press Contacts:
Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska, @janekleeb, jane@boldnebraska.org, 402-705-3622
Laura Meusch, Nebraska Landowner, 402-925-8886
Daniel Kessler, 350 Action Fund, @danieljkessler, daniel@350.org, 510-501-1779

Photos/Video:
Nebraska Landowners and Citizens pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boldnebraska
Tarsands Action in DC pics: http://www.tarsandsaction.org/press/photos/
Tarsand pics and broll: http://dirtyoilsands.org/visuals
Videos of Nebraskans in action (including Fischer/Kerrey ad): http://www.youtube.com/boldnebraska
The Ogallala Aquifer and the pipeline (image): http://boldnebraska.org/uploaded/footerimages/theaquifer&thepipeline-1.jpg

Key Facts:

Keystone XL and climate change: If we want to stay below a 2 degrees C temperature rise (we are already at .8 degrees C) we can burn 565 gigatons of carbon by mid century. The tar sands of Canada, which the KXL pipeline would unlock, holds about 240 gigatons of carbon–almost half the budget. We are already feeling the effects of climate change. June broke over 3,100 temperature records. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 2.73 x 10-98, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe. Climate change is real and burning extreme forms of fossil fuels–like tar sands–is directly related. Click here for report. Click here for Dr. Hansen on pipeline.

Opposition to Keystone XL in Canada and the US: There are only two paths to get tar sands oil to the export market–the US and Canada. KXL’s supporters claim that if the US doesn’t take the oil, China and other countries will, however China is an end user whether pumped thru Canada or the US. The “Northern Gateway” pipeline, which would stretch from Alberta to Canada’s west coast, is not likely to be built anytime soon. The elected leadership of British Columbia, native communities along its path, and years of litigation stand in its way. With no pipeline to the west, the only route to get the tarsands to the export market, for countries who use this type of heavy oil like Brazil and China is through the US. The Keystone XL pipeline is also a flashpoint in the US, resulting in the largest civil disobedience on the environment in a several generations, the 2-week sit-ins at the White House in August of 2011 and rural conservative landowners suing TransCanada over eminent domain and speaking out against the destruction of farm land. Click here for video of Nebraskans in action.

Keystone XL and gas prices: There are two reasons KXL wouldn’t reduce gas prices. The first is attributable to a surplus of oil in the Midwest. The pipeline would divert oil from refineries in the Midwest and therefore drive prices up–TransCanada itself admits that the KXL pipeline would likely raise gas prices by 15 cents per gallon in the Midwest. The second reason is that the oil is earmarked for export. Some of the refineries in the Gulf have already entered into contracts to export the oil after it has been refined. The communities there would get the pollution, but not the oil. Worse, one of the refineries set to get the oil is Motiva, owned by Saudi Arabia and got an American tax-break of $1 billion to upgrade their refinery to handle tarsands. Click here for report.

More Resources:

Bold wrote a “RNC Listening Guide” with input from national and local groups right before the Republican convention, it has many more points and facts.

NWF has a blog post up on the Keystone XL Myth Machine and how Romney keeps telling lies about this risky project.

Media Matters has lots of fact sheets on the pipeline from inventing job numbers, press giving more airtime to pro-pipeline folks, to the top five stories not told about the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline.

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BOLD Nebraska
208 S. Burlington Ave., Ste 103, Box 325, Hastings, NE 68901