4 Animals Explain Why the Keystone XL Pipeline Would be Terrible

The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would carry heavy, toxic tar sands oil thousands of miles from Alberta, Canada down to the Gulf Coast in Texas. The pipeline is very important to the expansion of the tar sands production, and without it, many tar sands mines would not move forward. Tar sands mines are destroying critical wildlife habitat in Canada, and spills from tar sands pipelines, like Keystone XL, threaten communities and wildlife—and the habitat these species depend on—along the route. Tar sands refining and burning also poisons our air and water, worsening climate change and harming communities that live next to these facilities. We hope President Obama will say no to Keystone XL and the dirty tar sands oil it would deliver.


Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Maggie Bond.
Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Maggie Bond.
Tar sands developments are an affront not just to me and my ducklings, but to all birds, everywhere! These destructive mines are so terrible, they’re transforming our habitat so fast that more than 30 million birds will be lost over the next 20 years due to tar sands developments.  And this doesn’t even account for the impact tar sands have on our climate; in fact, producing a barrel of tar sands generates three times as much carbon pollution as one barrel of conventional oil. This means tar sands oil is exacerbating the biggest threat all wildlife face: climate change. Climate change-induced droughts, floods, and wild fires are wreaking havoc on wildlife, like us ducks, and the places we live. Reject Keystone XL, for me and my bird brethren, the world over.


Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Eilish Palmer.
Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Eilish Palmer.
As one of more than 4,000 wolves who still call Alberta home, I am outraged at the horrific impact the tar sands developments have had on my birthplace – and I’m even more aghast at the Canadian government’s proposed solutions to our shrinking habitat. Rather than addressing the root of the problem – the fact that tar sands mines are eating up the Boreal Forest and transforming it into toxic sludge pits – they’re proposing killing my wolf family members, to control the size of our populations. This would mean government-sanction poisoning, via strychnine, and shooting at us from helicopters.  Harper should stop these atrocities and instead focus on habitat restoration and protection, to protect wolf populations and other wildlife species that depend on the land being destroyed by the tar sands.

Whooping cranes

Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Jane Becker.
Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Jane Becker.
Electrocution by power line – not something any of us ever want to experience! And yet, if Keystone XL is approved, this is exactly what it may mean for me and my family. Because tar sands sludge is so heavy and sticky, it requires lots of power to pump it through a pipeline – which means Keystone XL comes with thousands of miles of new power lines.  And power lines account for 40 percent of juvenile whooping crane mortality. Teenage whooping cranes deserve better – let’s say no to KXL and no to these power lines! Help protect whooping cranes and our critical habitat!


Caribou. Photo by Patrick Freeny. National Wildlife Photo Contest donated entry.
Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Patrick Freeny.
Tar sands mines aren’t just hurting caribou, they’re threatening our very existence. If current tar sands expansion plans continue, woodland caribou are expected to completely disappear. Although we once roamed over half of Canada, today we remain only in northern Boreal forest and wetlands – in the past century, over half of our historic habitat has been destroyed.  Without improved efforts to make the Boreal forest livable for Caribou and to help restore our numbers, many caribou populations face extinction. Keystone XL would worsen this situation by sending the green light to investors that tar sands mines are a good investment, triggering massive expansion and even more destruction of our little remaining habitat. President Obama should reject Keystone XL and help protect our dwindling caribou population!

Say No to Keystone XL

Take Action ButtonNow we’re calling on President Obama and Secretary Kerry to reject Keystone XL. The decision is in their hands—this pipeline will harm wildlife and exacerbate climate change. Tell them to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline!