In this video made by Greenpeace, you will see the contrast between the beautiful Boreal Forest and the Tar Sands strip mining for bitumen.
Professor Andrew Weaver Deputy Leader of the Green Party of British Columbia, Canada
The Keystone XL pipeine is owned by TransCanada, a US/Canadian Company with pipelines all over the continent. The dilbit that will be in the pipeline comes from the Alberta Tar Sands that is operated by a multinational conglomerate, Syncrude. Even so, the KXL is identified as a Canadian pipeline. 42% of Canadians are solidly against this pipeline and many environmental activists are letting it be known. Among those activists is Andrew Weaver above and award-winning author Andrew Nikiforuk.
Andrew Nikiforuk's Twelve Steps to Energy Sanity in Canada
from his book TAR SANDS: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent.
1. Admit the magnitude and the complexity of the energy crisis.
2. Slow down tar sands development and cap production at 2 million barrels a day.
3. Establish a national strategy for energy security and innovation.
4. Impose a carbon tax with a 100% dividend.
5. Challenge the first law of Petropolitics.
6. Challenge continental energy integration.
7. Relocalize food production.
8. Abandon economic dead-end activities such as carbon capture and storage.
9. Orient all rural and urban planning to renewable energy
10. Pick the lowest hanging fruit first. [conservation]
11. Don't wait for government.
12. Re-negotiate NAFTA.
The tar sands bitumen is extracted after the boreal forest is clear cut and the wetlands are scraped off. It is an extremely destructive process of an ecosystem that took 5,000 years to develop. As an intact ecosystem it is an enormous carbon sink.
The Boreal Forest is the single-largest terrestrial carbon storehouse in the world. The Canadian Boreal Forest alone stores 186 billion tonnes of carbon – equivalent to 27 years of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels.
Thousands of miles of Canada's boreal forests are being destroyed by the 24-hour-a-day strip mining for bitumen. That bitumen is then diluted with chemicals to form dilbit the product that will be flowing in the Keystone XL pipeline at the rate of 830,000 barrels a day.
The Keystone XL pipe line begins at Hardisty, Alberta Canada, the hub where all the pipelines from the tar sands deposits in Alberta meet. It is south of Fort MacMurray, Alberta the center of the Canadian tar sands mining. Blocking the KXL will discourage investment and slow down the destruction of the boreal forest. No matter what the oil industry says, the forests, the wetlands, rivers and lakes cannot be reclaimed.
From Hardisty, Alberta the pipeline will slither down to Steele City, Nebraska. It is 36" wide and requires a right-of-way from 60 to 125 feet. It's 1179 miles long (from Hardisty, AB to Steele City, NE) and that's a lot of US real estate.
A spill of tar sands dilbit looks like this:
Mayberry, Arkansas Dilbit Pond
There is still time to write your comment to the President on his pending decision regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. The dirty fuel extracted for this pipeline will contribute to green house gases at the extraction point and during the refining and burning. Refusing to green-light this pipeline will preserve Canada's Boreal Forest and the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska.
Mammals of the Boreal Forest