Sec. Clinton Has A Choice: Protect Americans or Profit The Kochs
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Tar Sands mining operations involve a vast drilling infrastructure, open pit mines, and toxic wasteland ponds up to three miles wide. The extraction process involves strip mining and drilling that injects steam into the ground to melt the tar-like crude oil from the sand and requires a massive amount of energy and water. See more info at Dirty Oil Sands.
In addition to pollution and harm to the environment, Keystone XL directly puts at risk the land of families across a full stretch of our country. The pipeline would cross through six states and several major rivers, in addition to the Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies clean water to two million Americans. The present Keystone pipeline has already experienced 7 leaks, making the question when, not if, Keystone XL will also have a disastrous spill. Read more here.
As if all of that wasn’t reason enough to call this a bad idea, Keystone XL would actually raise the prices of oil in the Midwest, and not bring it down in the rest of the country.
Secretary of State Clinton’s Decision, And The Pipeline’s Lobbyist – Questions Unanswered
What happens next rests with Secretary of State Clinton. And that’s where the power of wealth and connections continue to serve the rich. Just last week, environmental and ethics groups sued the State Department to gain access to possible communications between a lobbyist for Keystone XL and the State Department.
The TransCanada lobbyist in question is Paul Elliott. Elliott formerly worked as the national deputy director for Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Friends of the Earth, Corporate Ethics International and the Center for International Environmental Law filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year, seeking to uncover any possible communications between Elliott and the State Department, to review whether Elliott’s former position is resulting in bias in the granting of the permit for Keystone XL to be built.
The State Department initially refused to fulfill the request, before reversing that decision, and have delayed on releasing the information since then.
Meanwhile, farmers and ranchers in the pipeline’s path have criticized the rushed nature of the State Department’s review process for approving the pipeline. Hearings have not been held on the department’s latest draft analysis. And questions still have not been answered about why the State Department has refused to release their correspondence with the lobbyist, and what information is held within those records.
Americans Left In Limbo: How To Stop The Pipeline
As political battle among the wealthy continues in DC, landowners throughout our heartland wait to hear their fate.
Secretary of State Clinton has said that a final decision will be made on Keystone XL by the end of 2011.
The cards of power and access may be stacked against those concerned about the health of our country, but it is not too late to fight for the protection of Americans. Brave New Foundation has made the above video to raise attention to this call to action. We are also asking those who oppose Keystone XL to sign our petition to Secretary of State Clinton, expressing why they want her to say no to the Koch brothers and big oil, and to protect Americans who can’t afford lobbyists.
We need to keep the pressure on and get the word out. Secretary of State Clinton, the country is watching. And we’re not going to stop organizing around this issue until you side with the American people and say no to the Koch brothers.
Robert Greenwald is the director/producer of "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism," as well as many other films. He is a board member of the Independent Media Institute, AlterNet's parent organization.