Dear Governor Romney,
At the town hall on October 17, you restated your firm commitment to the Keystone pipeline project: “We’re going to bring that pipeline in from Canada. How in the world the President said ‘no’ to that pipeline…I will never know.”
Here are a couple of things I urge you to consider.
You can take a look at the north end of the pipeline where tar sands oil is being strip-mined. As you flip through the photos, please try to grasp the scale. I thought I had it until I got to slides 48, 49 and 50…After you take a moment to catch your breath, you can go through again and look for that tire.
Just to be clear: These photos show only one little piece of the area that will be stripped to feed the pipeline. Remediation will never ever be possible. Please take a few minutes to hear why that should be an integral part of your decision-making.
At the town hall, you brought up the “all regulation is bad” idea. Here’s what you said: “So where’d the increase [in oil production under President Obama] come from? Well, a lot of it came from the Bakken Range in North Dakota. What was [President Obama’s] participation there? The administration brought a criminal action against the people drilling up there for oil, this massive new resource we have. And what was the cost? 20 or 25 birds were killed and brought out a migratory bird act to go after them on a criminal basis.” Do you really mean to make that your argument, your theme? Please look again at the short video about the forest. Maybe you’ll be swept up by its glorious complexity, and by how simple is the idea that Life itself depends on keeping the forest intact. It’s NOT 20 or 25 birds. It’s all the birds. And all the amphibians and all the insects and all the plants and all the fish and all the microbes and all the mammals…and and and all the organisms living in relationship on the land or in the water or flying in the air. What’s astonishing to me is that we’ve somehow constrained ourselves to the point that criminal action on behalf of 20 or 25 birds at a time is what it takes to stop us drilling there.
This can barely begin to explain why exploiting tar sands oil is a very, very, VERY bad idea, and why President Obama must make it clear that there’s no possible way he’ll approve the northern part of Keystone. I hope you will reach the same conclusion. Climate scientists are all but unanimous that anthropogenic climate disruption is real. Some of them put that into layman’s terms this way: EXPLOITATION OF ALBERTA TAR SANDS OIL IS GAME OVER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.