Tar Sands Coming Soon, to a Pump Near You?

Jan 31, 2014 by  | Bio |  1 Comment »


Could this be a scene in the US soon, bringing tar sands gas to tanks in New England?

Today the US State Department announced in its final supplemental environmental impact statement that the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would pump 830,000 barrels/day of high-carbon, dirty oil from Canada to the United States, would have a negligible impact on climate change. Seriously? Well, that’s what the document concludes. Though the State Department acknowledges that the construction and operation of the pipeline would boost the dirty tar sands sector and contribute to climate change, the scale of the impacts unfortunately is greatly downplayed.

So, what does this mean for New England? The risks to our region’s efforts to reduce climate pollution are very real. While the Keystone Pipeline would be physically located across the country and most of the tar sands-derived product it delivers would be exported, its impacts would be felt here. As detailed in NRDC’s recent report, What’s in Your Tank? Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States Need to Reject Tar Sands and Support Clean Fuels, if the Keystone XL pipeline goes forward, it is likely that some of the tar sands delivered to Gulf Coast refineries will end up being sent to the Northeast. Between Keystone and the proposed Portland-Montreal pipeline, the Northeast unfortunately is primed for high-carbon tar sands to enter our transportation fuel mix imminently. And if these projects move forward, as much as 18 percent of the region’s petroleum-based fuel supply could be derived from tar sands by 2020.

The New England states must heed this urgent wake up call – tar sands are coming, and if we do nothing the impacts will be devastating. To avoid backsliding from the important policy efforts to reduce carbon pollution reduction in place across New England, our policymakers must pursue clean fuels policies to hold the line against dirty tar sands fuel threatening our regional transportation energy mix and our clean energy future.

One Response to “Tar Sands Coming Soon, to a Pump Near You?”

  1. Mary Fish, MELP

    We need to voice our concerns about the Tar sands, and Northern Pass. We are not being heard. The NP uses testimonials of ignorant people who have not “done their homework”. Other ignorant people jump on the bandwagon, and believe the NP is the best thing for NH. The thought of Tar sands coming to NH is very disconcerting. I think we should launch a steady, consistent and firm advertising campaign to educate the people who do not consider the environment, or even care about it at all. In this day and age, we must take steps to end the use of fossil fuels. The dangers are real and people don’t believe it! It’s maddening.