Ruth Hopkins: Keystone XL poses big risk in Indian Country

Ruth Hopkins on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline:
TransCanada wants to build Keystone XL to transport around 830,000 barrels of diluted tar sands bitumen crude to Texas refineries. Canadian tar sands are speculated to contain over 2 trillion barrels of oil. As you can see, TransCanada stands to profit immensely from this venture- especially since it appears that the final destination for much of the oil produced from tar sands would be overseas.

Sadly, wildlife, Native lands, fresh water, and the health and welfare of future generations will be the ultimate cost of Keystone XL. The injurious effects of tar sands extraction are already evident. Canadian forests have been laid waste to make way for it. By the time it’s all said and done, an area larger than the state of Florida will be completely leveled and left in ruin by Big Oil in the name of greed.

Extracting oil from tar sands is an extremely wasteful process. It takes three barrels of fresh water to make one barrel of oil. This means that tar sand oil production is using about 400 million gallons of water each day. Once used, this water, polluted with ammonia, cyanide and other toxins, is dumped into “tailing ponds,” utterly spoiled and unusable for consumption by humans and other living organisms. Also, tar sands oil development produces three times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions than other types of oil, thereby speeding up climate change all by itself.

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Ruth Hopkins: Keystone XL Equals Death (Indian Country Today 4/30)

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