Dear President Obama:
We stand with millions of Americans concerned about the strength of our economy, gas prices, and the safety of our water supply in urging you to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
When you strip away the rhetoric, the facts are clear: Keystone XL will export Canadian oil through our country -- not to our country. As an export pipeline, Keystone XL does not reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It does not protect American families from increasing gas prices or price spikes on the global market. The history of tar sands pipelines is full of failed promises, difficult cleanups and environmental damage. Tar sands crude is both more toxic and more difficult to clean up than conventional oil. A 2010 spill involving tar sands crude on the Kalamazoo River has still not been remedied.
The climate impacts are perhaps even greater than the immediate damage to water sources, and will be felt by every American for decades to come. The State Department's conclusion that we might as well approve Keystone XL because the tar sands will inevitably be burned is not only untrue, it is a stunning breach of our national security. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is hardly alone in the military community in declaring that climate change "has a dramatic impact on national security."
Keystone XL will increase global demand for tar sands, which produce far more climate-heating emissions than conventional oil. There is a better way forward, and we call on you to continue leading the way. The only way to reduce high gas prices is to use less fuel. We applaud your administration's historic efforts to increase vehicle fuel efficiency, your investments in sustainable technologies, and your inspiring call in the State of the Union Address to fund research to move our vehicles away from oil altogether. Rejecting Keystone XL should be another part of your positive environmental legacy.
Efforts already under way are saving Americans money at the pump and creating new engineering and manufacturing jobs. Approving Keystone would put many of these advances in jeopardy. It would mean a return to the dirty economy of the past rather than a step toward the clean economy of the future.
The costs of approving Keystone XL far outweigh any benefits. The American people are depending on your leadership. This dirty pipeline is not in our national interest, and we urge you to reject it.