From The Houston Chronicle: http://www.chron.com/opinion/article/Let-s-say-no-to-the-pipeline-that-threatens-U-S-2163626.php
By ROBERT REDFORD
Sept. 12, 2011
SUNDANCE, Utah – Few landscapes anywhere evoke the majesty of our country and the can-do spirit of our people like the sweeping great plains that form the nation’s broad girth.
Watered by some of our most storied rivers – the Missouri, Yellowstone, Arkansas and the Platte – millions of acres of rich black soils yield a bounty of wheat, corn and soy that has made this great region the breadbasket of America and granary to the world.
And yet today, these lands and all they support are threatened by Big Oil and its plan to run a pipeline straight through the vast plains of the American heartland.
The Keystone XL pipeline would transport the dirtiest oil on the planet from the Canadian province of Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries, wedding our nation’s energy future to the destructive ways of the past.
It would promote one of the most damaging industrial practices ever deployed, the strip mining and drilling of Canada’s boreal forest, to coax low-grade crude oil from tar sands.
And it would put at risk the farmers, ranchers and croplands upon which our nation depends, exposing them to the kind of ruptures and blowouts that in just the past year have brought environmental disaster to the Yellowstone River, the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
And for what? To extend the fortunes of the oil industry, which posted profits of more than $67 billion in just the first half of this year.
The State Department issued a final Environmental Impact Statement on the project last month, starting the clock on a 90-day window to determine whether this project is in the national interest.
It’s not. Instead of laying pipe across the plains, it’s time to draw a line in the sand. The Keystone XL is a bad idea that needs to be stopped.