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Dear MIP&L members and friends,
If built, the Keystone XL pipeline would stretch 1,980 miles, from Hardisty, Alberta to Nederland, Texas. Climate scientist Jim Hansen has said that if the Canadian Oil Sands are tapped, it's "essentially game over" for any hope of achieving a stable climate. CO2 emissions from carbon intensive Keystone XL tar sands oil at the rate of 830,000 barrels a day, would be the annual equivalent of seven coal-fired power plants operating continuously or having 6.2 million more cars on the road for 50 years, according to EPA calculations. Another way to look at it is that the reductions in CO2 resulting from President Obama's pact with auto companies to raise fuel efficiency standards would be neutralized by emissions from the oil in this pipeline.
At full capacity, Keystone XL could carry up to 900,000 barrels per day of toxic tar sands oil across 6 states: Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The route goes through the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region of Nebraska, a decision opposed by Nebraska's governor, its two senators and even by some supporters of the pipeline.
Strong evidence indicates tar sands oil threatens pipeline integrity. Current pipeline regulations were issued long before tar sands oil production ramped up and don't cover the unique aspects of tar sands. Tar sands oil poses more acute risks than conventional fuels because the oil is a volatile mix of raw bitumen diluted with gas condensates. This mix, called "dilbit" is a, corrosive, toxic, viscous substance with the consistency of gritty peanut butter that is moved at much higher pressures and temperatures than conventional oil. Tar sands oil contains, on average, 11 times more sulfur, 11 times more nickel, 6 times more nitrogen, and 5 times more lead than conventional oil. The metals found in tar sands are neurotoxic.
Enbridge, the proponent of the pipeline had a major leak in Michigan in 2010 which leaked 19,500 barrels of dilbit – including spillage into the Kalamazoo river. At $1 billion, that cleanup is the most expensive for an onshore spill in US history. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that Enbridge ignored pipeline cracks for years and did not detect the rupture for more than 17 hours. In March, an Exxon pipeline carrying heavy Canadian crude breached in Arkansas spilling a yet-to-be-determined amount of crude into a residential neighborhood and almost entering a recreational lake.
Enbridge tar sands spill in Michigan:
In a recent blog post, the Mass. Climate Action Network persuasively argues that Keystone XL does not benefit the United States. Among the reasons:
MCAN concludes, "It isn't the United States' responsibility to ensure dirty Canadian oil can reach international markets . . . Keystone XL, which will spill, which will be an economic wash for the United States, and which will further the possibility of irreversible and damaging climate change, is not in our national interest."
The comment period for the Keystone XL Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) closes on: April 22, 2013.
To comment go to: http://bit.ly/Yc8p5T. Comments go directly to the U.S. State Department with a copy to President Obama.
To learn more about Keystone go to: http://www.usclimatenetwork.org/resource-database/keystone-xl-by-the-numbers-fact-sheet.
An Evening with Melina: Personal Experience with the Alberta Tar Sands
When: April 19th 7-9
Where: Lesley University Amphitheater, 1815 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
The National Wildlife Federation and 350MA, in conjunction with Lesley University, are pleased to present an evening with Melina Laboucan-Massimo. Melina is an indigenous and environmental activist from the first nation of the Lubicon Cree, and a member of the Nobel Women's Initiative. Melina grew up in Northern Alberta where industrial operations covering an area the size of New York State extract fuel from thick oily sands, known as tar sands. Melina has seen first-hand the impacts of tar sands development on her Nation's people, culture, and land. She now travels around the world to share her personal stories with the global community, including presentation of testimony to the U.S. Congress. If you are in the Boston area, come hear Melina's story, and meet Melina in person.
For more information contact: Carol Oldham National Wildlife Federation, firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Do the Math"
Sunday April 21, Earth Night
Follen Church, 755 Mass. Ave. Lexington
7-9 PM (downstairs in Marshman Center)
"Do the Math," a 42-minute film from 350.org, goes way above and beyond the presentation Lexington's Bill McKibben and team gave in 21 cities last year – from the Do the Math tour to 40,000 in the streets of DC to the tar sands of Canada. It's an inspiring, beautiful, and fast-paced story that shows the power of this growing movement to curb climate change.
Co-Sponsored by: Lexington Interfaith Environmental ACTION (LIFE) and Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition (LexGWAC).
Climate Revival 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013, 10am-4pm
Featuring national and international leaders
Come to Old South Church UCC and Trinity Church (Episcopal) on Boston's Copley Square
This event will be led by national and international religious and environmental leaders. Preachers so far include:
Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus South Africa and Bill McKibben, author and environmentalist will send video messages.
Come together for an inspirational day of preaching, worship, prayers, and music as we celebrate the splendor of Creation, mourn its desecration, and advocate for restoration and renewal. Led by national and international religious leaders, we will call upon the Holy Spirit as we rise up to stabilize the climate and to create a better future. Churches will have an opportunity to participate in an informational fair about their environmental work.
Location / Address:
Old South Church, UCC, 645 Boylston Street
Trinity Church (Episcopal), 206 Clarendon Street
Direct link to this page: macucc.org/climaterevival
10:00 AM: Old South Church, UCC – Preaching, worship, prayer, music
11:30 AM: Lunch break (bring your own) with information fair and press conference
1:30 PM: Trinity Church, Episcopal – Preaching, worship, prayer, music
3:00 PM: In Copley Square – Climate Justice Rally organized by Better Future Project & the Earth Stewards program
This event brought to you by NEREM (New England Regional Envrionmental Ministries). The event is being held as part of the United Church of Christ Mission 4/1 Earth: http://www.ucc.org/earth/.
Province 1 Episcopal Dioceses of New England
Environmental Ministries, Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ
Massachusetts Council of Churches
Earth Night 2013
Earth Night is ELM's annual environmental gala drawing 400 supporters from environmental organizations, government, corporations, foundations, and more.
Enjoy music, food, the Green Star awards presentation, and best of all, a chance to enjoy a good time with new and old ELM friends and allies (see photos from last year).
Go here for TICKETS and SPONSORSHIPS.
Vote on April 30th — US Senate Primary
This is how Rep. Ed. Markey and Steven Lynch, candidates for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate race voted on three climate change votes in 2012 & 2013:
On a House transportation bill, which would have legislatively approved the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline;
Lynch voted: Yes
Markey voted: No
On the Barrow Motion to Instruct House Conferees to insist on including approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline when negotiating a compromise version of transportation legislation:
Lynch voted: Yes
Markey voted: No
On the McClintock Amendment which would have reduced funding for fossil fuel research and development programs by $554 million:
Lynch voted: NO
Markey voted: YES
Don't forget to vote on April 30th!
Peace and blessings,
Your friends at MIP&L