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

July 2, 2009

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

Tens of Thousands Tell Clinton: Stop Dirty Oil Pipelines
Massive Canadian Project Would Lock U.S. into Reliance on World's Dirtiest Oil

Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of Americans have contacted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the past week, urging her 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 in the next few weeks, unless the State Department denies its permit. 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. Producing oil from tar sands emits three to five times as much 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.

An international network of environmental groups kicked off a campaign last week asking Clinton to stop the project. The groups launched a new web site,, ran newspaper ads, and sent emails asking citizens to weigh in. Already, more than 18,000 people have written Clinton.

"Americans understand that clean energy is the key to jumpstarting our economy and creating good, lasting jobs. Importing dirty tar sands oil doesn't fit into the picture," said Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope. "Tar sands oil will lock us into a dirty energy infrastructure for decades to come. Tens of thousands of Americans have sent a clear message to Secretary Clinton that tar sands oil is not in our national interest."

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.

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.

“A robust clean energy economy has no room for pipelines funneling the world’s dirtiest oil into our country," said Aaron Sanger of ForestEthics. "Americans, like the thousands who emailed the State Department last week, are ready to strengthen our economy and our international standing by stopping these pipelines at the border.”

“In  less than a week nearly 20,000 Americans have asked Secretary Clinton to recognize America’s clean  energy  future is at risk if  she approves the expansion of the  world’s dirtiest oil into the U.S.,” said Dirty Oil Sands campaign spokesperson Lisa McCrummen.

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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