The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would transport raw, toxic tar sands oil right through the American heartland — from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas — and threatens to wreak environmental havoc on both sides of the border.

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The Keystone XL pipeline would have transported toxic tar sands from under Canada’s Boreal forest 2,000 miles to the Gulf of Mexico to be refined and exported. Approving the pipeline would bring increased production of one of the dirtiest, most polluting forms of oil over the coming decades.

Tar sands oil is not only difficult, costly and energy-intensive to produce but also dirtier and more corrosive than conventional oil. Leaks and spills threaten rivers, aquifers and communities all along the route.

Killing more jobs than it creates

Enbridge pipeline rupture

photo: NTSB The tar sands pipeline that spilled a million gallons of toxic heavy oil into Michigan's Kalamazoo River last summer illustrates the dangers this type of uniquely corrosive oil will bring along the Keystone XL route.

According to the U.S. State Department the pipeline would create at most 6,500 temporary construction jobs, and would leave only "hundreds" of permanent jobs, according to TransCanada, the Canadian company that wants to build the pipeline. Claims that the pipeline would employ tens or even hundreds of thousands of people are simply not true. A Cornell University study concludes the pipeline would kill more jobs than it would create, by reducing investment in the clean energy economy.

Tar Sands oil is the dirtiest oil on the planet

Producing synthetic crude oil from tar sands generates three times the global warming pollution of conventional crude production. Extracting tar sands bitumen – a low-grade, high-sulfur crude oil that must be extensively refined to be turned into fuel – uses vast amounts of energy and water.

Canadian tar sands oil would be exported

Keystone XL would have diverted Canadian oil from refineries in the Midwest to the Gulf Coast where it could be refined and exported. Many of these refineries are in Foreign Trade Zones where oil may be exported to international buyers without paying U.S. taxes.

The facts reveal this pipeline was never in America's national interest. Clean energy and fuel efficiency is the path forward for economic and energy security in America – not another tar sands pipeline. By rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama is helping move America down a cleaner, safer path.

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