Friday, February 1, 2013

Join us in D.C. for the largest climate rally in U.S. history!

On February 17, 2013, NRDC, Sierra Club, 350.org and partners will be leading the “Forward on Climate” rally in DC to call on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and set carbon standards for dirty power plants!

Watch this video on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and march with us on February 17 – sign-up today!

Sunday, November 4, 2012
TransCanada’s record presents a strong case for rejecting Keystone XL tar sands pipeline (again)
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline raises a variety of complex and significant issues, including the environmental impact of tar sands development, the risks associated with transporting it and the greater impact of tar sands spills. However TransCanada’s performance over the last few years introduces a much simpler question – should we trust this company to build and operate any kind of pipeline, anywhere?  Read more.
Photo: TransCanada’s Bison Pipeline Explosion, July 20, 2011

TransCanada’s record presents a strong case for rejecting Keystone XL tar sands pipeline (again)

The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline raises a variety of complex and significant issues, including the environmental impact of tar sands development, the risks associated with transporting it and the greater impact of tar sands spills. However TransCanada’s performance over the last few years introduces a much simpler question – should we trust this company to build and operate any kind of pipeline, anywhere?  Read more.

Photo: TransCanada’s Bison Pipeline Explosion, July 20, 2011

Monday, October 15, 2012
That Pipeline through New England? It’s (Mostly) Owned by Exxon. And They Want to Transport Toxic Tar Sands Oil through It.
Last week, ten national and local Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire organizations including NRDC released a fact sheet exposing Big Oil’s stealth campaign to bring extra dirty tar sands to New England.
What exactly is so troubling about the idea of Exxon’s pipeline companies and Enbridge transporting tar sands through Eastern Canada and New England? To name just a few reasons for concern:
Tar sands is a dirty fuel – extra damaging and risky to the environment and public health throughout its entire lifecycle of extraction, pipeline transport, refining, and combustion. An area of Alberta’s Boreal forest the size of Florida could eventually be decimated if industry is allowed to continue expanding their extraction efforts. The damage from tar sands extends globally, as it causes 20% more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil, taking us in the wrong direction when the world needs to transition to clean energy.
Tar sands pipelines pose greater safety risks to the land and water along their path. Diluted bitumen – raw tar sands mixed with a diluent so that it can be transported via pipelines – is more corrosive and abrasive than conventional oil, creating a greater spill risk. And, when tar sands pipelines do spill into rivers, rather than floating on the surface, the diluted bitumen separates – with the diluents evaporating and the bitumen becoming submerged and impossible to fully clean up.
Exxon and Enbridge already have a bad track record with tar sands pipelines. ExxonMobil, the company responsible for the disastrous Valdez oil spill that rocked the world in 1989, was also responsible for the July 2011 Silvertip Pipeline spill that dumped 42,000 gallons of oil into the pristine Yellowstone River in Montana. While that oil spilled happened to be conventional crude oil, the pipeline is also used to move corrosive tar sands “diluted bitumen.” Enbridge’s best-known pipeline spill was the million gallon tar sands spill into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in July 2010. Just last week—more than two years after the spill – the Environmental Protection Agency told Enbridge that they still need to keep cleaning up the river.
Read more.

That Pipeline through New England? It’s (Mostly) Owned by Exxon. And They Want to Transport Toxic Tar Sands Oil through It.

Last week, ten national and local Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire organizations including NRDC released a fact sheet exposing Big Oil’s stealth campaign to bring extra dirty tar sands to New England.

What exactly is so troubling about the idea of Exxon’s pipeline companies and Enbridge transporting tar sands through Eastern Canada and New England? To name just a few reasons for concern:

  • Tar sands is a dirty fuel – extra damaging and risky to the environment and public health throughout its entire lifecycle of extraction, pipeline transport, refining, and combustion. An area of Alberta’s Boreal forest the size of Florida could eventually be decimated if industry is allowed to continue expanding their extraction efforts. The damage from tar sands extends globally, as it causes 20% more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil, taking us in the wrong direction when the world needs to transition to clean energy.
  • Tar sands pipelines pose greater safety risks to the land and water along their path. Diluted bitumen – raw tar sands mixed with a diluent so that it can be transported via pipelines – is more corrosive and abrasive than conventional oil, creating a greater spill risk. And, when tar sands pipelines do spill into rivers, rather than floating on the surface, the diluted bitumen separates – with the diluents evaporating and the bitumen becoming submerged and impossible to fully clean up.
  • Exxon and Enbridge already have a bad track record with tar sands pipelines. ExxonMobil, the company responsible for the disastrous Valdez oil spill that rocked the world in 1989, was also responsible for the July 2011 Silvertip Pipeline spill that dumped 42,000 gallons of oil into the pristine Yellowstone River in Montana. While that oil spilled happened to be conventional crude oil, the pipeline is also used to move corrosive tar sands “diluted bitumen.” Enbridge’s best-known pipeline spill was the million gallon tar sands spill into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in July 2010. Just last week—more than two years after the spill – the Environmental Protection Agency told Enbridge that they still need to keep cleaning up the river.

Read more.

Monday, September 24, 2012
Pipeline leak detection systems miss 19 out of 20 spillsAn investigation of pipeline accident reports from the last ten years has revealed that the much touted leak detection systems employed by pipeline companies only catch one out of twenty spills. The InsideClimate New article by Lisa Song illustrates an alarming disconnect between industry rhetoric and reality when it comes to detecting leaks on pipelines. Not only do pipeline leak detection systems miss nineteen out of twenty spills, they miss four out of five spills larger than 42,000 gallons. Understanding the limits of current leak detection technology has never been more important. As companies like Enbridge and TransCanada propose pipelines moving large volumes of tar sands across sparely populated areas, through rivers and aquifers, it’s critical that the public consider what’s at stake with open eyes. Particularly after learning from Enbridge’s Kalamazoo tar sands pipeline spill how much more damaging tar sands can be.  Read more.
Photo of Kalamazoo River cleanup, courtesy of Mic Stolz

Pipeline leak detection systems miss 19 out of 20 spills
An investigation of pipeline accident reports from the last ten years has revealed that the much touted leak detection systems employed by pipeline companies only catch one out of twenty spills. The InsideClimate New article by Lisa Song illustrates an alarming disconnect between industry rhetoric and reality when it comes to detecting leaks on pipelines. Not only do pipeline leak detection systems miss nineteen out of twenty spills, they miss four out of five spills larger than 42,000 gallons. Understanding the limits of current leak detection technology has never been more important.

As companies like Enbridge and TransCanada propose pipelines moving large volumes of tar sands across sparely populated areas, through rivers and aquifers, it’s critical that the public consider what’s at stake with open eyes. Particularly after learning from Enbridge’s Kalamazoo tar sands pipeline spill how much more damaging tar sands can be.  Read more.

Photo of Kalamazoo River cleanup, courtesy of Mic Stolz

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bob Bandaret, a farmer near Cogswell, ND, describes the tar sands blowout he witnessed near his land in 2011.

The tar sands blowout that Banderet witnessed is particularly relevant today, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has just given TransCanada the green light to begin construction of portions of the “southern leg” of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf, where much of the heavy crude will be refined and exported.

Voices Against Tar Sands is a website devoted to people’s stories about the fight against  dangerous tar sands oil mining and pipeline projects in North America. 

(Source: switchboard.nrdc.org)