Why We Must Stop the Flow of Tar Sands Oil

This dirty, dangerous oil, which is almost impossible to clean and affects the health of people, is bad news for our country—and the planet.

The following is a transcript of the video.

Anthony Swift, director, NRDC Canada Project: So right now, about two million barrels a day of tar sands oil is getting into the U.S., and most of it is coming in via pipelines.

The Canadian oil industry has plans to nearly double the amount of tar sands coming into the U.S.—by tanker, by barge, by rail, and by pipeline. These plans would be catastrophic for communities across the country, would increase the risks of tar sands pipeline spills and tar sands by rail spills.

We've seen even in our current situation over 400 spills on our pipeline system every year. That's over a spill a day.

Oil spills are always bad news, but many people don't realize that tar sand spills are even worse. When tar sands is spilled in water bodies, it will sink. Take, for example, in 2010, a pipeline ruptured and spilled a million gallons of tar sands into the Kalamazoo River.

Our responders found they didn't have the tools to clean or contain that spill, and the end result was a cleanup that cost over $1 billion, and over 40 miles of the river is still contaminated with tar sands, nearly six years after the spill.

Tar sands oil is some of the dirtiest oil in the world. One of the byproducts is petcoke, or petroleum coke. It's a coal-like substance that builds up in piles in refineries that process tar sands, and those petcoke piles pose major health risks to the communities that surround them.

We're finding tar sands also produces air pollution, which increases incidences of respiratory illnesses and asthma in communities that live around these tar sand refineries.

No matter what Big Oil says, the United States does not need more tar sands. Neither does Canada.

And you know, we've got new solutions that are cleaner for our communities and better for our climate.

If the public rallies together, we can stop these dangerous, dirty projects, and protect our future for decades to come.

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