Tell the White House to Cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline
RE: Docket number, DOS-2014-0003-0001
Dear President Obama: (copy to State Department)
We, the undersigned U.S. businesses, strongly urge you to oppose construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As proposed, this dangerous pipeline would transport heavy crude oil from the Canadian tar sands to the Texas Gulf Coast, spanning 1,700 miles. As business leaders, we see no viable business case for this pipeline.
Canadian tar sands oil is considered the dirtiest oil on earth and bringing nearly a million barrels per day into the U.S. would have negative economic, environmental, health, and security consequences for our nation.
In business terms, it is our view that the market would not be able to bear the true public cost of the pipeline without major government subsidies. If the private sector were to internalize the full cost, including the setting up of a fully adequate sinking fund against damage from spills, land despoliation, water clean-up, medical costs, carbon emissions, and other damages, it would not be economically feasible.
The impacts of climate change (such as droughts, floods, and extreme weather), oil spills, worker and community health problems, and environmental degradation are bad for business. This is especially true for the small to mid-size businesses that create the most jobs in our country. Cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline and moving toward a clean energy economy would be a multiple “win”—a win for our businesses, farms, the environment, public health, and our long-term energy security.
As business leaders we believe our country needs to move swiftly toward the development of clean energy technologies and away from fossil fuel dependency that is damaging to human health, the environment, the economy, and our global leadership.
As pressure to address climate change mounts, it is inconceivable that we would increase oil extraction specifically from the tar sands where greenhouse emissions would be 82% greater than the greenhouse gas emissions from conventional U.S. well-to-tank refining, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Moreover, the first Keystone Pipeline already faces serious, recurring leakage problems, dumping thousands of gallons of oil on our environment. The pipeline poses a significant risk to the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides fresh drinking water for millions of Americans as well as irrigation water.
In closing, we urge you to withhold the executive permit required for this destructive project to move forward. For the reasons outlined above, and for the sake of future generations, we urgently recommend that you lead our country toward the clean energy development we desperately need. Rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline creates a huge opportunity to refocus our nation’s attention on building our clean energy future.