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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

June 24, 2009

Kristina Johnson, Sierra Club (415) 977-5619
Lisa McCrummen, (206) 321-9461
William Craven, Forest Ethics: (415) 407-3426

Groups Urge Secretary Clinton: Stop Stealth Dirty Oil Pipelines
Massive Canadian Project Would Lock U.S. into Reliance on World's Dirtiest Oil

Washington, D.C. - Today, an international network of environmental groups is launching a North American campaign urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to deny permits for a series of pipelines designed to bring dirty tar sands oil into the United States from Canada. One pipeline—the Alberta Clipper—could move forward as soon as July 4 or thereabouts. The Alberta Clipper pipeline is part of a massive, yet largely overlooked super project that would bring enormous amounts of dirty tar sands oil into the United States via a sprawling spider web of thousands of miles of pipeline, 33 new and retrofitted refineries and tanker traffic.

"This massive project is sneaking into the U.S., pipeline by pipeline, refinery by refinery, permit by permit," said Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope. "This is really one single, unified project planned and executed by Big Oil and the Government of Canada. Secretary Clinton now has an opportunity to show that America is a global leader in the clean energy economy. It's simply not in our national interest to allow this project to move forward."

The tar sands project threatens the Great Lakes, and would crisscross the Northern Plains and Native American reservations. Proposed pipelines would run through the Dakotas, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin.  Farmers, ranchers, tribes and Midwestern landowners have all opposed the pipelines, citing risks of oil spills and water and air pollution.

"If allowed to move forward, this massive pipeline network would undermine America's global climate leadership, as well as perpetuate our addiction to oil, pollute air and water," says Lisa McCrummen, Dirty Oil Sands Campaign spokesperson. "It would lock us in to a dirty energy infrastructure for decades to come, just when we are finally moving to the new energy economy.”

Despite the significant threats this project poses to our national interest and economy, to date no national department has ever reviewed the full scope or long-term impacts of creating a permanent continental-wide infrastructure to accept Canada’s dirty oil sands. Instead, this decision has been left to local jurisdictions to review, pipeline by pipeline, refinery by refinery, permit by permit.

“Every American who cares about a sustainable future should care about stopping the expansion of Canada’s dirty Tar Sands,” says Todd Paglia, executive director of Forest Ethics.

In recent months, the Government of Canada has ratcheted up their multimillion dollar public relations and lobbying efforts to support expanded production of Alberta dirty oil sands.

Scientists continue to point to the devastating impacts of tar sands expansion. Producing oil from tar sands emits three to five times the global warming pollution as conventional oil, requires excessive amounts of energy and fresh water, and destroys huge swaths of the best carbon protector on the planet, the boreal forest.
Leading up to Clinton’s decision, environmental groups will conduct a wide variety of outreach,including running newspaper ads, launching a new website, and asking tens of thousands of Americans, Canadians and Europeans to sign letters and petitions calling on Secretary Clinton to deny the permit. The campaign kicks off with an ad in Roll Call, a prominent Capitol Hill newspaper in Washington D.C.

More information, including a list of campaign partners, photos, B-roll video and other campaign materials are available on The site provides  a one-stop place for policy makers, citizens and media to learn more about why expansion of dirty oil sands has no place in a clean energy economy.


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