You may have seen TransCanada's wraparound ads on DailyKos this morning promoting the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline that would bring dirty tar sands oil from Canada into the U.S.
Here's what you need to know about these ads and this pipeline: Tar sands oil is not good for America or even Canada.
(See our revised version of the ad, telling you what it would say if it were truthful, to the right.)
The Keystone XL would carry over 900,000 barrels per day of the dirtiest oil available--oil from Canada's tar sands. Extraction of oil from the tar sands in Alberta may be the most ecologically destructive project ever undertaken, destroying forests, poisoning indigenous communities, and producing three times the carbon pollution of traditional oil.
The pipeline would cut a wide swath through the center of the country, endangering people and the environment from Montana to Texas, including the Ogallala Aquifer, from which millions of Americans get their drinking water. The safety risks of tar sands oil are many, from the threat of spills to increased air pollution from refineries, to the effects on people who live downstream. Not to mention the unprecedented destruction involved in simply removing the oil from the ground.
The pipeline would also not improve energy security (pdf). TransCanada's own assessment shows that this oil would mostly displace domestically produced supplies and have "only minimal" impacts on U.S. oil imports. If we want energy security, we're far better off investing in energy efficiency and clean energy sources including wind, solar, and geothermal.
There's a reason TransCanada is running these ads. It cannot build its pipeline without receiving signoff from the Obama administration, and with grassroots opposition growing, the prospects for pipeline approval have become shaky less than a year after they were viewed as a nearly sure bet. Across the United States, in the pipeline's path and in major cities, activists have been mobilizing against the project since last summer. Opposition is fierce, even in often oil-friendly Texas.
And now we have TransCanada's desperate response -- another in a line of misleading ads intended to make Americans believe that this pipeline would help our country. The ad claims that the Keystone XL would promote "energy security" in a "reliable" way and would be "working for America." Those claims could not be further from the truth.
TransCanada's other ads have misstated the impacts of the pipeline, playing down environmental damage and exaggerating economic benefits (Friends of the Earth and Corporate Ethics International challenged an advertisement containing deliberately false and misleading statements earlier this month.) By misleading the people it claims to be helping, TransCanada has clearly revealed it is only interested in TransCanada's profits.
The truth is, the only thing about TransCanada's record that is "reliable" is its pursuit of profits over safety. TransCanada claims that its pipelines are the "safest in the world," but the first stage of the Keystone pipeline had seven leaks in its first six months, causing members of Congress to press for stronger safety regulations. Tar sands oil is piped as diluted bitumen, an acidic, corrosive and unstable form of oil that eats away at the insides of pipes. Yet TransCanada continues to push ahead.
Don't let TransCanada mislead you. Make it regret its decision to run ads on DailyKos by taking action send a letter to President Obama and tell him you oppose this dangerous and destructive pipeline. We have TransCanada on the ropes -- now it's time to win this fight.