Fate of Tar Sands Pipelines Crucial for Climate Justice
President Barack Obama is facing a crucial decision that will define the U.S. position on climate justice. He can heed the advice from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and refuse a permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to refineries in Texas. Or Obama could agree with the petroleum industry lobby and approve the pipeline. With the EPA strongly opposed and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “inclined” to approve the project, the final decision will fall to Obama himself.
Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline violates the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent as enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a principle for which KAIROS has campaigned for many years. It also creates a situation in which tar sands production would need to be accelerated beyond projects currently approved. KAIROS has taken the position that there should be no further approvals of tar sands projects due to their projected carbon emissions, negative impacts on land and biodiversity and on the rights of Indigenous peoples.
If you would like to add your voice to the debate, you can visit http://www.tarsandsaction.org/obama-petition/ to sign a petition addressed to President Obama that says:
“The tar sands represent a catastrophic threat to our communities, our climate, and our planet. We urge you to demonstrate real climate leadership by rejecting the requested permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and instead focus on developing safe, clean energy.”
As of August 22nd 40,792 people had signed the petition. While the original goal had been to collect 35,000 signatures, the organizers are now aiming for 50,000 people to sign on.
To learn more about the climate justice and indigenous rights implications of the Keystone XL and Gateway pipelines, please visit read our new analysis, Fate of Tar Sands Pipelines Crucial for Climate Justice.