Image: Wikimedia Commons

Two weeks ago, I wrote to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to urge him to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.  

In the letter I was clear about four Keystone XL facts:

– Keystone hurts the Canadian economy: The Keystone pipeline — along with the other proposed pipelines across the country — would carry unrefined bitumen mixed with “diluents” (dilbit). These projects would make Canada’s economy even more dependent on the export of unprocessed fossil fuels, leaving us in a vulnerable position when the carbon bubble bursts.

– Keystone doesn’t promote North American energy security: As proposed, the diluents which are added to make dilbit would come from Saudi Arabia,  so dilbit would not be the 100 per cent Canadian product being advertised. Since the diluents which are added to make dilbit would come from Saudi Arabia, shipping raw bitumen by pipeline would do nothing to unplug North American from Middle East energy dependency.

– Keystone won’t replace rail transportation: Let’s do the math — if Stephen Harper succeeds with his plan to increase oil sands production to 6 million barrels per day (mbd), then even with Keystone’s capacity of 0.8 mbd and Enbridge’s 0.5 mbd we would be well short of transporting it all by pipeline. In fact, bitumen transport by rail would have to increase, creating an even larger load on our already struggling rail infrastructure.

– Keystone limits our ability to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: There is no doubt, based on the U.S. State Department’s report, that Keystone will lead to growth in the oil sands. And that is what this issue is about. Reaching Stephen Harper’s goal of 6 mbd is simply not possible without Keystone XL. At Copenhagen, Canada promised to reduce CO2 emissions from our 2005 level of 737 megatons (MT) to 607 MT by 2020. Under Stephen Harper’s leadership our emissions are on track to be 734 MT — all progress on emission reduction at the provincial level is being wiped out by oil sands growth.

Canada needs a domestic energy strategy and a real climate plan that makes sense.

The Green Party has a plan to do this by adding value to Canadian resources in the short term while we focus on becoming world leaders in renewable energy and Green technology. We will implement a federal framework in which we transition away from fossil fuels and become a responsible global leader in averting climate catastrophe.

Stand with me today and add your name in support of my letter to John Kerry. Together we can send a message to the Obama administration that this pipeline is in neither of our countries’ best interest.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May is the Leader of the Green Party of Canada and one of our country’s most respected environmentalists. She is a prominent lawyer, an author, an Officer of the Order of Canada and a loving...