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Keystone XL pipeline will do serious harm

The Feb. 4 Another Voice by the Canadian consul general reported on his forum on Canadian oil sands development. Attending were 200 business people who heard his promises of increased sales, jobs, tax revenues, energy independence and export opportunities for Western New York, working together with Canadian energy companies. And, to answer any concerns about environmental effects of oil sands extraction, he reassured his audience that Canada is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts, and to renewable energy.

David Robinson’s story reported on some of the businesses represented and how they could be affected. He also noted the U.S. State Department’s conclusion that crude oil from Canadian oil sands would increase greenhouse gas emissions by about 10 percent over the Venezuelan and Mexican oil it would replace. In neither article was there mention of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that Canada wants, to carry Canadian oil over America’s breadbasket and largest fresh water aquifer, to southern ports.

Here are facts about Canadian oil sands development:

Oil sands extraction produces three times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil.

Oil sands extraction produces lakes of toxic sludge, leaking into the groundwater. The toxic tailing lakes in Alberta are among the largest human-made structures in the world.

Some deny that humans produce heat-trapping carbon dioxide causing climate change. Others have chosen the immediate gratification of jobs and profits over their children’s future. The rest of us can only continue to reject the Keystone XL pipeline across America’s agricultural heartland.

Professor James E. Hansen of Columbia University, who brought climate change to the nation’s attention in 1988, said recently, “If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.”

Janet M. Goodsell

Grand Island