Kristina Johnson, Sierra Club (415) 977-5619
State Department Approves Pipeline Carrying Dirty Tar Sands Oil from Canada
Environmental, Indigenous Groups to Challenge Decision
OAKLAND - Today, the State Department issued approval for a controversial pipeline designed to carry the dirtiest oil on earth from Canada into the United States. A coalition of groups, including Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Indigenous Environmental Network and Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy have strongly opposed the tar sands pipelines and plan to challenge the decision in court.
"This decision, if it is not reversed, would contradict the president’s promise to cut global warming pollution and end America’s addiction to oil," said Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope.
The State Department decision will allow construction of Enbridge Energy’s Alberta Clipper pipeline across northern Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin and the Southern Lights pipeline to carry hazardous waste back to Canada.
Tar sands development in Alberta is creating an environmental catastrophe, with toxic tailings ponds so large they can be seen from space and plans to strip away the forests and peat lands in an area the size of Florida. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands production are three to five times that of conventional crude oil.
"Importing dirty tar sands oil is not in our national interest. It threatens our rural communities and our energy independence," said Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope. "At a time when concern is growing about the national security threat posed by global warming, it doesn't make sense to open our gates to one of the dirtiest fuels on earth. This pipeline will lock America into a dirty energy infrastructure for years to come. This is exactly the kind of project the State Department should be protecting us from."