Keystone Tar Sands at the White House

by Gabe Wisniewski

August 20, 2011

Tar Sands

Today in front of the White House, dozens of people drew a line in the (tar) sand for the climate.

The same thing will happen tomorrow, and the next day, and for two weeks, in the hopes that President Obama will wake up to the reality of what’s happening.

The stakes? A 2000 mile pipeline that, if built, will carry the dirtiest fuel on earth from Alberta, Canada to Texas in the process bringing us closer to irreversible climate change.

The tar sands are huge deposits of bitumen, a tar-like substance that’s turned into oil through complex and energy-intensive processes that cause widespread environmental damage polluting waterways, lacing the air with toxins and turning farmland into wasteland.

Large areas of Canada’s Boreal Forest are being clearcut to make way for development in the tar sands region. The vast distance that would be covered by the pipeline means communities and ecosystems are sure to suffer the impact of spills and accidents. The
communities that would be home to tar sands refineries will fare no better, facing some of the most intense and toxic pollution of any industry.

And Dr. James Hansen of NASA has suggested that developing this fossil fuel could mean “game over” for the climate.

The good news is that the future of this destructive project is not certain. President Obama’s administration must grant a special permit for construction to go forward. That’s why, every day for two weeks, hundreds of activists are risking arrest in front of the President’s home. The stakes couldn’t be higher.

To find out more about what’s happening on the ground and to support the action, visit

Take action now: Tell President Obama to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

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