By Tom Steyer
Battle lines are being drawn. A foreign oil company TransCanada is spending millions of dollars trying to convince U.S. policy makers that their Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is a good idea for this country and for our people. I disagree.
Just over three weeks ago, I launched a digital campaign to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and work to fight for forward looking climate change policies.
Since then, almost 300,000 Americans from across the country have joined in the effort. Our Facebook community is already 120,000 strong and growing. We’ve joined with Mayflower, Arkansas resident Genieve Long to launch a Change.org petition that has already gathered more than 150,000 signatures from Americans demanding that Keystone XL be stopped for good. We are also just one of a number of large organizations including Sierra Club, NRDC, 350.org, Environment America, National Wildlife Federation, League of Conservation Voters, and others who are working hard to stop the pipeline from being built on our land.
Many, like me, are supporters of President Obama. We believed when we elected him twice that he is a leader who would make policy decisions based on facts and not special interests.
The fact is, building the Keystone XL pipeline is bad policy for several reasons. Here are just two of those reasons.
- The true goal of multinational oil companies and Canadian politicians backing the pipeline is to reach export outlets outside the U.S. for tar sands oil and refined fuels, which would drive up the oil’s price.
- Drivers, especially in the Midwest, would pay 20 cents to 40 cents more at the pump if the disputed pipeline were built, as the current discount of up to $30 a barrel for Canadian oil disappears.
Secondly, if it gets built, the Keystone XL pipeline will leak. We need only to look at the recent tar sands oil spill in Mayflower to illustrate the dangerously serious consequences of building a tar sands oil pipeline through America’s heartland and see what that would mean for other small towns in the pipeline’s path.
We cannot sit back and let that scenario come true. Please join me and thousands of other Americans committed to sound, forward looking environmental policies. Together, with President Obama on our side, we can stop Keystone XL once and for all.