The International Energy Association (IEA) has warned that we have less than 5 years to change the global fossil fuel infrastructure or we will 'lose for ever' the chance to avoid dangerous, irreversible climate change.
Anything built from now on that produces carbon will do so for decades, and this "lock-in" effect will be the single factor most likely to produce irreversible climate change, the world's foremost authority on energy economics has found. If this is not rapidly changed within the next five years, the results are likely to be disastrous.The New York Times makes it's opinion known:"Mainstream scientists are virtually unanimous in stating that the one sure way to avert the worst consequences of climate change is to decarbonize the world economy by finding cleaner sources of energy while leaving more fossil fuels in the ground. Given its carbon content, tar sands oil should be among the first fossil fuels we decide to leave alone."
In their avarice and greed for money the fossil fuel industry is risking the health and safety of the species that inhabit our planet including our own. There are few restrictions on their activity. They currently can transport most any type of product through their pipelines without reporting the contents. There is no independent review process for pipeline companies' oil spill response plans for tar sands diluted bitumen;the type of more corrosive, heavier Dilbit crude that would flow through the KXL pipeline
The fossil fuel industry flies by the seat of their pants with only profit being their guide. We saw that in the BP Gulf oil disaster. BP did not have a clue as to the best way to clean up their oil gusher and the consequences for the Gulf are still in question 3 years after the BP oil disaster. They are still working to clean up the 2010 Michigan Dilbit spill which fouled the Kalamazoo River.
The dilbit that spilled in Michigan contained a mixture of oil-thinning chemicals, which soon evaporated, and heavy bitumen, which gradually sank. Much of the bitumen accumulated in the riverbed, where cleanup techniques used for spills of lighter, conventional oil weren't effective.As disastrous as the BP oil gusher was for the Gulf; one can only imagine in horror if the spill had been the heavier Dilbit crude.
Now we have the Arkansas Exxon Pegasus Dilbit crude gusher which has evacuated a neighborhood and fouled the water in Lake Conway. Exxon has restricted the damaged area to the media but reports are now surfacing that the gusher was worst then originally thought and that residents of the damaged area are beginning to report negative health effects and documents released by Exxon state that the oil spilled in Mayflower 'may cause cancer'.
The XL pipeline would go across the Ogallala/High Plains aquifer, one of the nation's most important sources of drinking and irrigation water and it seems that TransCanada, the company that would own and is proposing the pipeline has not even committed to the latest in oil spill technologies.
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Credit:War on Error
The leak detection technology that will be used on the Keystone XL, for instance, is standard for the nation's crude oil pipelines and rarely detects leaks smaller than 1 percent of the pipeline's flow. The Keystone will have a capacity of 29 million gallons per day—so a spill would have to reach 294,000 gallons per day to trigger its leak detection technology.The XL pipeline will leak, it's just a question of when. Indeed, a spill of the XL pipeline would be another disaster with the oil industries Keystone Cops style bumbling antics we have seen in their response to the other oil catastrophes mentioned above.
Clearly, The KXL pipeline is not in the interest of the US. The pipeline would run through the US to be sent to global markets. The US would assume all the risks; including spills, increased air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
We can have a hand in making sure the KXL pipeline doesn't happen. See below for 3 sites which can take your comments. They will make sure that the comments are delivered to the State department and that there is a record of comments available to the public. Thank you.