Redford to Obama: Stand up for America, Say No to Keystone XL

Robert Redford just posted a video op-ed for the New York Times criticizing the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed 2,000 mile-long conduit for toxic tar sands oil from Canada.

Tar sands oil is the dirtiest oil on the planet. Strip mining and producing tar sands oil creates three times more global warming pollution than conventional crude. Burning it releases even more. If this pipeline moves forward, there is no way America can meet its commitment to reduce greenhouse gases. We would be exposing ourselves to more floods, fires, and punishing storms—like the ones that have devastated hundreds of communities across the nation in the past few months.  

It is not in our national interest to hasten climate change by encouraging production of the world's dirtiest oil. Nor is it in our interest to help a Canadian company pipe its dirty oil 2,000 miles through America's backyards and over the Oglalla Aquifer, a critical source of water for millions of Americans.

From the Gulf of Mexico to the Yellowstone River, we've seen communities and ecosystems devastated by recent oil spills. Yet we continue to swallow the oil industry spin that safety is paramount. (Redford, an NRDC board member who worked as a roustabout for Standard Oil as a teenager, says this rhetoric makes him "want to throw up.")

Let's be honest. The Keystone XL pipeline is an accident waiting to happen. This past spring, two pipelines operated by TransCanada, the conglomerate behind Keystone XL, ruptured. In the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, all it would take is a leak the size of a pinhole—which TransCanda admits could go undetected for weeks—to ooze tens of thousands of gallons of low-grade crude into our drinking water.

What is the rationale for taking such immense risks, to our drinking water, to communities along the pipeline, to the climate, and to our energy future? Much of the tar sands oil could be shipped overseas. Cornell University says the pipeline, which would be built from foreign steel, may actually destroy more jobs than it creates. It would increase gas prices in the Midwest by diverting oil from that region to the Gulf Coast. And perhaps its most insidious effect would be to further ensnare us in the deadly trap of oil addiction.

There's only one reason to build this disastrous pipeline, and that's to enhance the profits of Big Oil.

We should be encouraging clean energy in America, not risky pipelines that boost the production of the world's dirtiest oil and release a new source of global warming pollution that our climate simply cannot absorb.

Building the Keystone XL pipeline would be a major step backwards for this country. Americans from all walks of life -- farmers, business leaders, ranchers, veterans, native groups -- know this, and are not prepared to accept liability for Big Oil's Canadian pipe dream. Click here to tell President Obama you oppose Keystone XL too.