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

September 14, 2010

Contact: Kristina Johnson (415) 977-5619

Sen. Baucus Calls for Hasty Approval of Dangerous Oil Pipeline
Proposed Tar Sands Pipeline Threatens Water, Air, Farmland, Health

This week, Montana Senator Max Baucus asked the U.S. State Department to speed a decision on whether or not to approve a massive new pipeline designed to carry the world's dirtiest oil from Canada into the United States.

The Keystone XL pipeline would crisscross Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, putting drinking water at risk for thousands of Americans and threatening one of the most important sources of agricultural water in the United States. The U.S. State Department is currently considering whether or not to grant a permit for the pipeline, and has received tens of thousands of comments from Americans urging that it not be built.

Senator Baucus' letter to the State Department falls in the midst of a series of oil pipeline disasters that underscore the risks the Keystone XL project would bring.

Statement of Sierra Club Dirty Fuels Campaign Coordinator Kate Colarulli:

It's disappointing to see Senator Baucus stand on the side of Canadian oil companies rather than protect the health and well-being of Americans.

In recent months we've seen just how dangerous oil pipelines can be. Disasters in Michigan and Illinois have polluted our rivers and soil with more than one million gallons of oil and have put American families at risk.

Now a Canadian oil company wants to build a massive pipeline that would carry the world's dirtiest oil into America, jeopardizing the health of millions of residents.

The Keystone XL pipeline would bring toxic tar sands oil into America's heartland, putting drinking water and farming at risk. Worse, dirty oil from the pipeline would end up in refineries in American cities, ratcheting up cancer-causing air pollution.

If ever there was a time to proceed with caution, it is now. We shouldn't put American communities at risk from toxic pipelines just because the oil industry is eager to turn a profit.

Tens of thousands of Americans have called on the State Department not to approve this dangerous pipeline.

The very least our leaders can do is answer basic questions about the safety of this project before exposing Americans to the risk.

The State Department needs to take a good hard look at the facts about pipeline safety and tar sands oil. This summer's oil disasters have taught us just how high the cost of oil can be.

Instead of putting our communities in harm's way from a toxic pipeline, we should be investing in the kind of clean energy that will end our dependence on oil, create good, safe jobs, and infuse new life into our economy.


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