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Success Stories
Mercury Controls at Last
Campaign Update
A Boom in Fracking Threatens Communities Across America
Feature Stories
Big Oil Won't Let the Tar Sands Pipeline Die
NRDC, Redford Challenge Shell
Don't Frack the Catskills!
One Woman, Fighting for Justice, Turns Tragedy into Inspiration
Oil Companies Hijack Canadian Energy Decisions
NRDC Sues to Protect Whales from New Sonar Deployment
In The News
Cleaner Future for Cars
Online Features
Green Burials
This Green Life's Nature Map: Share Your Favorite Places!

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Photo of the Clearwater River, Alberta
Feature Story
Big Oil Won't Let the Tar Sands Pipeline Die

Just days after President Obama rejected a permit for the destructive Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill made clear that they would do everything in their power to raise this nightmarish project from the dead. As we go to press, they are threatening to hold hostage key legislation -- like the payroll tax relief bill or the transportation bill -- unless it contains a provision to approve the pipeline. The House has already passed legislation in committee to require approval of the project in 30 days. "It's no surprise they keep bringing this energy zombie back," said NRDC president Frances Beinecke. "The lawmakers behind it have collected millions in campaign contributions from Big Oil."

The Keystone XL would carry close to a million barrels a day of toxic tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf coast of Texas. The production of tar sands oil, the world's dirtiest, spews three times more global warming pollution than does the production of conventional oil. The project would deliver billions in profits to the oil giants while threatening the American people with poisoned water, contaminated land and an overheating planet. Despite oil industry claims to the contrary, most of the tar sands oil would be exported from the United States, and a recent Cornell University study concludes that the pipeline could wind up killing more jobs than it creates.

For the second time in two months, NRDC has been waging a round-the-clock battle on Capitol Hill to stave off the oil industry's all-out attempt to resuscitate the Keystone XL. Last December, after President Obama decided not to approve the pipeline, Congress passed a measure forcing the president to decide the project's fate within 60 days, without the benefit of a full environmental review, and called in the oil lobby's biggest PR guns to ratchet up the pressure. Responding to a popular outcry, however, President Obama faced down the oil giants and rejected the pipeline's permit. It was a major victory for NRDC Members and online activists, who for years have fought the Keystone XL -- a victory that must now be defended all over again.

Above: Clearwater River, Alberta. It winds north through the tar sands, where forests like this are transformed into industrial wasteland.


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