Thursday, August 20, 2009

Breaking: State Department Issues Permit for Alberta Clipper Pipeline

450,000 Barrels/day of Dirty, Climate Destroying Oil to Flow Into US

The decision sat on Clinton's desk for months, and with a stroke of the pen, she could have denied this expansion of dirty energy infrastructure. But today, the State Department issued the permit, committing the US to more CO2 emissions from oil, and committing Canada to more destruction of indigenous lands and Boreal forest. We brought the Tar Sands Monster (see image above) to Clinton's doorstep, generated thousands of phone calls and emails, but Clinton failed to make the right decision.

From the State Department:

By Executive Order, the State Department has been delegated authority from the president to receive applications for the construction, connection, operation and maintenance of facilities at the borders of the United States, including petroleum pipelines, and to issue or deny Presidential Permits for such facilities upon a National Interest Determination. A Presidential Permit application triggers an environmental review of the proposed project, under applicable environmental laws and regulations.
Yet they insist that the US and Canada are committed to finding climate solutions:
The State Department will continue to work to ensure that both the United States and Canada take ambitious action to address climate change, and will cooperate with the Canadian government through the U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue, the pursuit of comprehensive climate legislation, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Avaaz Action Factory will deliver this letter to the state department tomorrow. Please help us by sending them an email using this as a starting point. secretary@state.gov

Dear Secretary Clinton,

We are very upset about your decision, announced today, to approve the Clipper pipeline that will carry dirty tar sands oil from Alberta into the US. If you and the president are truly committed to "reducing overall emissions and leading the global transition to a low-carbon economy," as mentioned in today's release, then this decision is entirely hypocritical. The use of tar sands for energy in the US will certainly increase, not reduce, our overall carbon emissions.

A few weeks ago, we let you know about the problems associated with the construction of the Alberta Clipper Pipeline. We urged you not to approve the destruction of indigenous lands and increased carbon emissions that this pipeline will bring. Hopeful that you would make the right choice, we acted out a skit in front of your office at the State Department, where you rescued Canada, America and the rest of the world from the filthy, evil Tar Sands Monster. We filled up your voicemail box numerous times with phone calls from across the country, and we sent you over 10,000 emails urging you to deny this permit.

Today's statement asserts that this permit approval sends a "positive economic signal." We can't afford to send any more positive economic signals to dirty energy corporations; instead we must only send positive signals to those who are creating green economic prosperity. We have been encouraged by the administration's rhetoric that economic growth and fighting climate change are not in fact mutually exclusive, but this decision does not reflect that perspective.

This oil pipeline will only extend the US’s dependence on dirty fossil fuels for decades to come instead of reversing global warming and putting the US on a low-carbon track towards green economic prosperity. We're watching your decisions. We are aware of the contradictions between your words and actions, and we are disappointed.

Signed,

Avaaz Action Factory

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