Northeast Conservation Leadership: 39 Groups Oppose Dirty Tar Sands Project

A tar sands oil field

Without conservation-minded Northeast residents and elected officials, this country would have never stopped the destruction of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, protected the old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest, or won countless other victories on behalf of nature and the American public.

This legacy is alive and well. What makes it so amazing is that most Northeast residents are not going to see caribou migrating across the Arctic (I haven’t been to Alaska), or see a salmon struggling up a small stream in the redwoods in northern California (I did see that), but our collective wisdom and thoughtful actions have made all these things possible.

Northeast residents stood up, sent letters to their elected officials, made charitable donations to conservation organizations and supported conservation-minded elected officials at the ballot box.

If you want to see amazing proof of the importance of the Northeast congressional delegation and its lasting conservation impact, check out the Alaska Wilderness League’s “Artic Heroes” list. It is full of former and current Northeast Congressional members, from Republicans like current Representative Charlie Bass (R-NH) to former Representatives Tom B. Evans (R-DE), to current Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lieberman (I-CT).

The $7 Billion XL Dirty Tar Sands Pipeline Is Wrong for America

Today, the Northeast needs to assert itself once again. We need to stop the proposed Keystone XL dirty tar sands pipeline.

The short story is that TransCanada, a Canadian oil company, has proposed to build a pipeline called Keystone XL, which would carry up to 900,000 barrels of dirty fuel per day from operations in Alberta, Canada, more than 2,000 miles to refineries on the Gulf Coast. At the cost of approximately $7 billion, the Keystone XL pipeline will create the infrastructure necessary to transport this dirty fuel for 50 years.

Producing just one barrel of tar sands oil requires:

  • Extracting at least four tons of earth, half of which is tar sands.
  • Contaminating two to four barrels of freshwater to separate the oil from the sand.
  • Releasing at least three times more global warming pollution than conventional oil.
  • Creating toxic tailing ponds that are considered one of the largest human-made structures in the world. The ponds span 50 square kilometers – about twice the size of Manhattan – and can be seen from space.

For more information on tar sands, check out this 3-minute YouTube video:

[youtube width=”550″ height=”350″][/youtube]

To view some of the key Department of State documents, please click here.

Curtis Fisher speaking at a Tar Sands press conference
Curtis Fisher, Regional Executive Director, speaks at a Boston press conference in front of the Canadian Consulate with Environment Mass's Ben Wright

39 Northeast Conservation Organizations Take Action

On Monday, the National Wildlife Federation’s Northeast Regional Center worked with 38 other organizations to file formal comments opposing the proposed Keystone XL dirty sands pipeline.

Signers to the letter include national, regional and state organizations from the Audubon Society to the Maine League of Conservation Voters. The list stretches from outstanding conservation organizations from Maine to Pennsylvania that represent approximately 1 million Northeast residents.

This Northeast initiative is part of a national effort to stop this destructive project that has resulted in more than 100,000 comments against the project.

This effort is paying off great dividends. Last week, 34 members of the House of Representatives sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter raising significant concerns about the XL pipeline.

Related Links