Three (More) Reasons to Oppose the XL Pipeline


As the clock ticks down before President Obama’s final decision on whether to approve the controversial XL Pipeline, reasons to oppose the project continue to surface. Because it crosses the U.S. boundary with Canada, the process of approving (or not approving) the pipeline’s construction is run by the State Department, which will make a final recommendation to the President, reportedly by the end of this year.

The 1,700 mile long pipeline would run from the tar sands of Canada to refineries in Texas. Environmentalists oppose the project on the grounds that fuel’s extraction and transportation endangers the atmosphere, the ecosystems and the aquifers of the land it would cross. In addition to the environmental damage, critics are now calling out the validity of the approval process itself as well as whether the pipeline would actually reduce American dependence on foreign oil, which has been a major argument in favor of the project.

1. Lobbying As Usual

A series of emails requested by the NGO Friends of the Earth under the Freedom of Information Act shows a warm relationship between Trans Canada’s lobbyist and State Department officials. The New York Times reports that an official at State Department gave “Fourth of July party invitations, subtle coaching and cheerleading, and inside information about Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s meetings” to the Trans Canada lobbyist in Washington. An FOE spokesman claims the emails show “an absolute bias and complicity between the State Department and TransCanada, a company they are supposed to be acting as a regulator and an independent investigator on.”

2. State Department Hires Firm with Trans Canada Connections

The State Department was responsible for conducting Environmental Impact Statements and public hearings in the states where the pipeline would be built to gather public comment. The firm that State hired to conduct the environmental impact process, Cardno Entrix, lists Trans Canada as a client.

3. The Oil Isn’t Staying Here

The State Department is involved in the pipeline approval process because the project is ostensibly a matter of national security. Yet a new report from Oil Change International states that the oil from the pipeline, after being pumped 1,700 miles across North America, would  be refined in the U.S. and sold abroad and will do nothing to wean Americans off foreign oil dependence; its primary purpose is to give the Canadian producers easier access to overseas markets via a tax-free trade zone in Port Arthur, Texas. Oil Change International Executive Director Steven Kretzmann  states, “An honest assessment shows that rather than serving U.S. interests, Keystone XL serves only the interests of tar sands producers and shippers, and a few Gulf Coast refiners aiming to export the oil.”

U.S. national security depends on weaning the US and other countries off fossil fuel dependence. Caving in to  the interests of businesses like Trans Canada and oil refineries is merely delaying the inevitable shock of peak oil and diverting time and resources from the search for truly sustainable energy.

Take Action

A major protest is being planned for November 6 in Washington by Tar Sands Action.

Sign the petition.

Tell the State Department directly that the XL Pipeline is not in the national interest on their website here.


Related Stories:

Final Day of Keystone XL Protests: Over 1,000 Arrested

Proposed Keystone Pipeline Could Be Used to Remove Water

Keystone Pipeline Could Push Endangered Whooping Crane Into Extinction


Photo of XL Pipeline protest in Minneapolis, Sept. 26, 2011 by Fibonacci Blue, CC license via Flickr


Robin b.
Robin B6 years ago

The pipeline would be the final nail in our coffin.

Russell R.
Russell R6 years ago

~ Kimberlee W - I really don't think that I need to apologize to Zuzanna, at-least not for from way it comes across to me. I did get past the first line, and it is the first and last line ( All the signatures under this petition are just ....welll...a list of lobotomized people, perhaps? If you, environmentalists are so clever "satire" - Until then, keep extending your unemployment benefits, would you?) that brought me to the conclusion the she is an aristocrat in bed with big oil, or possible work in the many fields that will come with this pipe job. She put down environmentalist, which are on the list of lobotomized people, so it can only mean she for this 1,700 mile pipe job the American people are getting. The jobs that come with it are not worth the environmental havoc it will bring to the land it will cross. If I am wrong about the way I interpreted Zuzanna's posting, then I do apologize to her, but I really don't think that my interpretation is wrong!

Kimberlee W.
Kimberlee W6 years ago

@Robert O. - Hey guy, don't look now but your shiny new technology has already had some significant leaks including a huge one in the Kalamazoo last years. You may have missed it since they sent BP a thankyou card for scheduling their spill at the same time.

@Zuzanna - -I apologize for Russel R. He obviously didn't bother to read past your 1st line in your post or he probably would've realized he agrees with you!

Sonny Honrado
Sonny H6 years ago

They should not allow these pipes around us.

myra d.
myra d6 years ago

petition signed,

Carole R.
Carole R6 years ago

Noted. Thanks for the information.

Russell R.
Russell R6 years ago

~Oh! Zuzana, don't you cry for me! ~ "All the signatures under this petition are just ....welll...a list of lobotomized people" Zuzana, in case you don't know it, indirectly you added your name to the list of those lobotomized people. I do not want to deprive of your Pipe-dream, or the thrill you may receive from the Pumping Station, but my dear Zuzana, it is a 1,700 mile terror threat. A 1,700 mile National Disaster to our Environment and a 1,700 scar visible from the Space Station and beyond, crossing many areas of seismic activity. The best part of all, is that is does not help this country from depending on foreign oil. If the Canadians what access to the Atlantic Ports, then let them build a pipe line across Canada, which they would have done if it weren't so cold up there. You see, they would have put it underground to keep the the slop warm to maintain a constant flow. It is not cost effective to do and to maintain the integrity of the pipe line in case of a break, or link!
Oh! Zuzana, I pity thee!

Margaret P.

SHARE THIS FILM: The newly released documentary film; WHITE WATER BLACK GOLD exposes the huge environmental costs of Tar Sands. The film's distributor; Specialty Studios, is offering free downloabable Call to Action resources and publicity materials to use this award winning film to help raise public awareness about the Tar Sands devastating effects and build opposition to the Keystone Pipeline. Organize a house party or community screening. Invite your friends, neighbors, and others. Sign up or learn more at

Russell R.
Russell R6 years ago

1,700 miles of Canadian waste. A new scar to be veiwed from the Space Station. Start saving your photos, before they make the Cut!

pete M.
peter m6 years ago

This should be safe and for the benefit of the U.S.A. but as always it's due to Corporation greed and against the safety of the clean water & the environment.