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Elizabeth Shope’s Blog

Over 2 Million Comments Ask for Rejection of the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

Elizabeth Shope

Posted March 7, 2014 in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil, Solving Global Warming

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Opposition to Keystone XL across the country and the world continues to grow, with more than 2 million comments calling for rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline delivered today. Today marked the end of the 30-day public comment period that helps to inform President Obama and Secretary Kerry about whether or not the risky tar sands pipeline is in the national interest. The answer has been a resounding “NO,” with members and activists affiliated with NRDC, Sierra Club, 350.org, CREDO Action, Avaaz, the Energy Action Coalition, and many other organizations submitting more than 2 million comments calling for a rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Keystone XL would transport up to 830,000 barrels per day of carbon intensive tar sands from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, from where tar sands-derived fuel products could be sent anywhere in the world. Keystone XL would cause an expansion of tar sands production, and of the associated greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore fails the climate test that President Obama set for the pipeline. Tar sands also causes pollution of land, air, and water; threatens public health in the areas around where it is extracted, transported and refined; and is risky to transport. So it’s no wonder that people across the country and the world have sent such a strong signal to President Obama and Secretary Kerry calling on them to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The big sign in the video was made before we knew that there would be not just 1.5 million comments, but over 2 million comments!

This is not the first time people have spoken out on this issue. There have been many public demonstrations and comments sent to the White House and State Department over the last several years, but over the last month, the intensity of opposition has escalated. Just days after the final environmental review was released, there were more than 280 vigils organized in almost all 50 states that drew more than 10,000 people. Last weekend, 398 students risked arrest in front of the White House to make their voices heard.

The comments delivered today included more that 1.1 million comments from people in the United States, and more than 900,000 comments from around world -- including more than half a million comments from European countries that could see an increase in tar sands-derived fuels coming to their countries if Keystone XL is approved. Concerned citizens of Indonesia -- where Secretary Kerry recently referred to climate change as the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction -- also added their voices to the outcry against Keystone XL.

As NRDC President Frances Beinecke put it:

This new outpouring of public opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline demonstrates yet again that the more Americans learn about this project the more we want the Obama Administration to reject it. Instead of embracing the dirtiest oil on Earth, let’s put America squarely on the path to a cleaner energy future. This tar sands project would only aid and abet our oil addiction and worsen climate change. It is not in America’s national interest.

Rev Yearwood Speaks at KXL NID Comment Delivery Credit Rocky Kistner NRDC.JPGIn front of the State Department, Reverend Lennox Yearwood addresses the crowd who came to help deliver the 2 million comments calling for a Keystone XL rejection. Photo Credit: Rocky Kistner, NRDC.

In addition to the roughly 90,000 comments from NRDC members and activists, NRDC and other organizations are submitting detailed comments to the State Department today about why the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in the national interest and should be rejected.

It’s not too late to add your voice – ask President Obama to reject Keystone XL at www.stoptar.org.

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Comments

Sandra StephensMar 7 2014 09:49 PM

Most of this oil will be exported. If people actually knew that, they would never support it.

Why are we being exploited in the same way that third world countries are? This is the nation's bread basket. This is downright insulting!!!!

Patricia LennoxMar 8 2014 10:30 AM

What in the world is Canada thinking? Why do we still have Harper as Prime Minister here when he has done so much already to sell our country out and undermine the wishes and rights of individuals and our nation? although we are screaming our agreeing votes to you from Canada, this is not only Obama's administration issue! Let's go to Canada's "Harper administration" on this as well! It's not too late- we can work from both sides of the border even more effectively!

Catherine GrossMar 8 2014 01:51 PM

I believe it is destruction to the earth and our live are being put at stake so someone can make a dollar. The animals are endangered the Rainforest is gone now we must lose our water and earth? No, No, No to the XL Pipeline.

Dana Jablonski Mar 8 2014 02:37 PM

Please Mr President do not sign this bill . I want clean water and air not only for myself but my family in the future . No oil soaked land ,please do not sign this bill . Stop the pipeline .

Robert FossMar 8 2014 10:50 PM

I fear for my country and my planet, if KXL is approved. Please, say no to Tar sands putting America at risk.

Elizabeth ShopeMar 10 2014 06:17 PM

Thanks, all, for the great comments! You can ask President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline at www.stoptar.org.

Comments are closed for this post.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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