Union Opposes Keystone XL Pipeline

The Southwest Workers Union recently came out against the Keystone XL pipeline. All Texans, including union workers, will be negatively affected by tar sands oil.

STATEMENT AGAINST KEYSTONE PIPELINE

September 24, 2011

Southwest Workers Union represents nearly 3,000 low-income workers, families and youth in South Texas. We denounce the Keystone XL Pipeline and the transport of dirty tar sands through our communities. The Keystone XL would carry 900,000 barrels of tar sands – a fuel that is even dirtier than conventional oil – so that it can be refined in the already disproportionately impacted community of Port Arthur.

All along its route, the pipeline threatens community health and safety. First Nations downstream from the tar sands extraction sites are suffering high rates of rare cancers, renal failure and lupus. In the lakeside village of Fort Chipewyan, 100 of the town’s 1,200 residents have died from cancer.

Spills and leaks are also business as usual for oil pipelines. TransCanada’s existing Keystone I pipeline leaked 14 times in its first year of operation. Keystone XL threatens to contaminate the Ogallala Aquifer, which is the main source of fresh water for the Great Plains.

But the impact isn’t just to local communities. Tar sands production causes more than three times he greenhouse gases of conventional oil, and approval of Keystone XL will accelerate deadly climate change. As a state that has suffered a season of deadly drought and wildfires, we say no to investments that recklessly mess with our climate.

Keystone XL is exactly the wrong kind of energy investment our nation needs to be making now – one that locks us into a dirty form of energy that will negatively impact generations to come. Rather than increasing our energy dependence, the Keystone project will increase our reliance on unsustainable, toxic fuels and further delay investments in truly sustainable technologies.

We urge Texans and President Obama to say no to Keystone XL. This is the time to invest in real, distributed energy solutions that are renewable, clean, and will put people to work in their local communities.

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