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Texas Landowners Being Abused by TransCanada Tar Sands Giant?
Reports of landowner abuses by tar sands pipeline oil giant Transcanada are well documented in Nebraska. But some reports of abuse are popping up in Texas, including alleged instances of illegal trespass on private property.
The proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, will carry the world’s dirtiest tar sands oil across six states to the Houston Ship Channel. Despite the recent Gulf Coast oil spill and Michigan pipeline disaster, and opposition from over ten thousand citizens and 50 members of Congress, Secretary Clinton and the State Department are considering approval of the risky Keystone XL project.
The Keystone XL pipeline will traverse sixteen large rivers in Texas, including several rivers listed as sensitive and protected such as Big Sandy Creek, Angelina River, Neches River, and the Pine Island Bayou. It will also cross rivers and drainages feeding 21 lakes and municipal reservoirs, including the Pat Mayse Lake, Lake Tyler, and Lake Cypress Springs. These water resources support robust fishing and tourism industries as well as drinking water for thousands of Texans. If Keystone XL is built, they all face contamination from the world’s dirtiest oil.
The Houston/Port Arthur region is the final destination for 90 percent of the Keystone XL’s highly toxic tar sands crude. This region already suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the state, with twelve hazardous air pollutants including eight known carcinogens present at unsafe levels—in some cases, twenty times higher than any other city in the US. Tar sands oil contains higher concentrations of toxins than conventional crude oil, and will exacerbate Houston’s air quality and public health crisis. The incidence of diseases like asthma, lung diseases, cancer, leukemia would likely increase.
The Keystone XL pipeline poses a serious threat to Texas’ water and air quality and Texans are starting to stand up and fight.