Building Keystone hits the accelerator on global warming

The planet is heating up. Since 2000, we've experienced 16 of the 17 hottest years on record and this past year was the hottest. Scientists say there’s a limit to how much carbon we can add to the atmosphere before global warming spirals out of control. We’re starting to bend the curve of rising emissions, but not quickly enough.

In other words, we have to put the brakes on global warming pollution. Building Keystone puts our foot on the accelerator.

Specifically, building Keystone XL would add 27.4 million metric tons of carbon pollution to our atmosphere every year. That's the equivalent of putting another 5.7 million cars on the road. 

Tar Sands Oil Field

A threat to America’s heartland and the great boreal forests

While burning this oil would heat up the planet, it’s not the only reason building Keystone is a bad idea. Pumping it through the U.S. would threaten America's water. The 1,700 mile pipeline would cross 1,073 rivers, lakes and streams as well as one of the world’s largest and most important aquifers, the Ogallala, the irrigation source of America's agricultural heartland. We’ve seen what happens when tar sands pipelines spill, and it ain’t pretty. A 2011 tar sands pipeline blowout contaminated 38 miles of Michigan’s Kalamazoo River — the cleanup cost more than a billion dollars and it still isn’t done yet.

Kalamazoo River Oil Spill 

Beyond our borders, but still on our planet, extracting the oil from the Canadian tar sands will further damage the great boreal forest that spans much of Northern Canada, converting what was once pristine wildlife habitat into an apocalyptic landscape of mines, roads and waste pits so large they can be seen from space.

Boreal Forest in Canada

Our shared victory is in jeopardy

We've been here before. As part of a coalition of ranchers, farmers, Native Americans and others, we spent years working to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. In 2015, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL. President Trump's executive order once again puts Keystone XL on a fast track to construction. He also signed an order advancing the Dakota Access pipeline.

No one thought we could stop the pipeline the first time. The oil industry promised jobs and cheaper oil. That's a tough argument to beat -- even though the facts didn't back it up.

But together with our allies, we made a strong moral case for action -- and we won. Our challenge this time is even greater, and we need to be able to count on you.

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