It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating the State Department’s decision to reject TransCanada’s request for a permit to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But true to form, Big Oil and their hired politicians are already threatening to shove the Keystone XL pipeline down the throats of the millions of Americans who have spoken out against it.
On Tuesday, a House committee passed a bill mandating federal approval of the Keystone XL within 30 days of receiving a proposal for it. Now, the legislation heads to the full House, where it will be attached to a $260 billion transportation bill backed by House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio).
Assuming that House Republicans pass it without hesitation, the bill will then head to the Senate where Democrats have the majority.
If approved, the 1,700-mile pipeline would transport up to 35 million gallons of tar-sands oil — one of the dirtiest energy sources in the world — from Canada to refineries in Texas every day. Once there, much of it would be exported to global markets, contrary to Big Oil’s claims that it will reduce dependence on foreign oil.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the Keystone XL pipeline would not only increase U.S. fossil fuel dependence but also directly threaten at least 20 imperiled species, from the whooping crane to the pallid sturgeon. Its projected 100 spills would contaminate pristine wildlife habitat and freshwater supplies for millions of people.
In a recent congressional hearing, a top State Department official said the GOP’s latest attempt to get the Keystone XL approved is irresponsible and legally questionable because it bypasses a final review of the pipeline route–something that’s essential to protecting American water supplies, as well as wildlife.
Millions of Americans, including many in the Care2 community, expressed their thanks to President Obama for standing up to the pushy tactics of Big Oil. Now, it’s more important than ever to let the White House know that you stand behind their decision to reject the Keystone XL.
Please help keep the pressure on in Congress to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. If you live in a state with Democrat or moderate-Republican senators, ask them to oppose this disastrous legislation. Use this Sierra Club tool to email your Senators directly.
And consider adding your name to the petition below, thanking President Obama for rejecting the Keystone XL the first time. The fight is far from over, and we must remain vigilant.
Image Credit: Flickr – fibonacciblue