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Forum Post: Fight the use of tar sands. Fight the destruction of our world.

Posted 5 years ago on Oct. 27, 2012, 1:01 p.m. EST by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

We have five days to get 10,000 more signatures against the tar sands.

We've been fighting Keystone XL -- but Line 67 is just as bad!

Take Action

Susan Connolly and her family live in Michigan -- just two miles north of the biggest tar sands pipeline spill in history.

Susan didn't even know the pipeline was there until Canadian oil giant Enbridge's horrific accident gave her two-year old daughter a strange rash, made her four-year old son throw up, and forced the family dog to become violently ill.

It's been over two years since that Kalamazoo River spill, and the EPA says Enbridge still hasn't completely cleaned it up.1 Now, despite their incompetent track record, they want to expand another risky tar sands pipeline.

It's up to Sierra Club activists like you to stop the dangerous "Line 67" tar sands project, before it can hurt more families like Susan's. We have five days to gather 10,000 more signatures -- will you sign today?

Line 67 (also known as "Alberta Clipper") carries tar sands through North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Now Enbridge wants to drastically increase the pipeline's capacity, putting thousands of Americans at even greater risk of a disaster like the one in Michigan. And according to NASA's leading climate scientist, it's exactly this kind of tar sands expansion that could mean "game over" for the climate.2

Here's the good news: Just last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged to make clean energy an important part of the State Department's mission.3 We're grateful to Secretary Clinton, and our petition will make sure her staff knows that risky Canadian tar sands projects are inconsistent with her vision.

Enbridge should have no legal right to get away with this risky expansion -- it is beyond the scope of their original permit. Americans need the State Department to require a new review, and then ultimately say no to the expansion. By letting the State Department know we've got their backs on clean energy, we will help them stop both Enbridge and the tar sands.

We simply can't trust Enbridge's irresponsible record of failure and incompetence. Sign our petition today, and help urge the government to require a new permit for this risky tar sands project!

Studies have shown that tar sands pipelines may be far likelier to rupture than ordinary pipelines4 -- and it's even worse when Enbridge is in charge. They ignored warnings about the Kalamazoo spill for five years, failed to fix 14,000 problems, and declined to warn residents about the spill's dangers, including cancer-causing toxins.5 Why should we believe Line 67 will be any different?

I'll say it again: We can't trust Enbridge. Not when the climate, clean water, and health of families like Susan's -- and yours -- are at stake.

We've been fighting TransCanada's Keystone XL for months, and now we need to stop Enbridge's Line 67 expansion. Take action now and help boost our petition to 10,000 signatures before October 31!

Thanks for all you do for the environment,

Michael Marx Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign Director

P.S. After you take action, be sure to forward this alert to your friends and colleagues -- five signatures will have even more impact than one!

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[1] "EPA: More Work Needed to Clean up Enbridge Oil Spill in Kalamazoo River." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 3 October 2012.

[2] Hansen, James. "Game Over for the Climate." New York Times. 9 May 2012.

[3] Friedman, Lisa. "Hillary Clinton puts clean energy, climate change on State's marching orders." ClimateWire. 19 October 2012.

[4] Swift, Anthony et all. "Tar Sands Pipelines Safety Risks." Natural Resources Defense Council et all. February 2011. (PDF.)

[5] Olive, David. "Enbridge, TransCanada pipeline safety is a pipedream." Toronto Star. 13 July 2012.

What I added to the letter

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[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (22863) 5 years ago

Great post, DKA, on an important issue. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Hey - thank you BW. These things need to be kept in circulation - kept out in front of the public.

[-] 2 points by Nevada1 (5843) 5 years ago

Good work DKA.

Canadian tar sand should stay in Canada.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Tar sand should remain wherever it is - undisturbed. Same with shale oil and lng.

[-] -2 points by andover4 (-33) 5 years ago

god bless the people who devised fracking.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

I think Satan did that blessing.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

If you really want tar sands oil to stay in Canada, don't create a demand for it in America. Ride a bike instead.

[-] 5 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

The US economy is built around consumption of oil.

A third of a million barrels per day are required to keep the war machine moving.

Riding a bike will affect this how exactly?

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

It's not about war. A third of a million barrels a day is just .37% of world demand. Our consumption of oil and related products is what creates the demand for it. Saying it's spoiling the environment is fine, but if you are part of the demand, you are part of the problem.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

I drive to town twice a month for supplies I can't grow or make.

If the local train track could be repaired economically, I'd only drive to the local rainforest creek once a month to collect drinking water. Seeing as how it rained the last two nights in a row, I'll be okay for water for a few months.

Can you point me to a graph that shows that a third of a million barrels of oil is 0.37% of world consumption per day?

I can do the math, but I'd rather you look at the figures, and tell me where those billions of barrels per day are coming from.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

World oil consumption is roughly 90 million barrels a day.


Divided by 1/3 of a million equals 270. 100% divided by 270 equals .37% for those can't do the math.

Congratulations on your lack of consumption. Are you off the grid as well?

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

I'd done the math and was surprised to find you're right.

Yeah, I'm off the grid, personally. The property I live on is on the grid, but has 22 solar panels, in a feed-in tarrif arrangement. I occasionally use their washing machine, but it's summer here, so I don't mind handwashing a few clothes.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

So you have a rain collection system as well? Cool. A feed-in tarrif arrangement. Does that mean no storage batteries?

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

Yes, no storage on the main house. Inverter and feed-in metre to the grid.

I have a mobile setup; 240 watt panels, one 400 amp hour gel acid battery @ 12 volts, running an inverter putting out 600 watts @ 240 volt. Powers my laptop, cameras, chargers for my contstruction tools, and water pumps.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago


[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Unless you advocate for changes in industry - so that you can have clean energy and clean plastics but you are alone in your advocacy and the people in business say fuck you. Then perhaps you get together with other people and you protest and you campaign - um kinda like what goes on here and out in the streets - all across the country and around the world.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

There is no clean energy I know of that can be relied on for all of our needs at our enormous rate of consumption. Industry meets our demand for goods. If we cut our demand, industry will cut it's demand for energy. The people have more power by how they spend or don't spend their dollars than any legislation.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Have you seen thorium reactor information? have you seen the amount of energy avaialable by recycling of landfill gasses and sewer gasses? Did you know that with the few wind farms in Minnesota to this point in time that we have lowered our power plant ( fossil fuel ) load by 10 - 15 % Do you see the population getting smaller? Do you see everyone living on a bus line to work? Do you see the need for less housing and subsequent heating and cooling? WTFU.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

I don't see our energy problem as one of supply, but of incredible inefficiency. We could easily cut our demand in half by more wisely choosing the cars, lighting, and appliances we buy, and by cutting down the excessive size of our homes. The average size household is 2.8 people, but they live in a 4 or 5 bedroom two story house of 2000 sq. ft.

[-] 3 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago

You're conflating two statistics. The average household size and the average "house" size. A "household" is considered any individual dwelling unit-whether it's an apartment or a house or a trailer. It can be rented or owned, and have any number of bedrooms.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago
[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago

Ok....I agree I worded that poorly. You made it even more clear. The average household lives in dwellings that are apartments, houses, trailers etc. The "average household" number of 2.8 people has nothing to do with the size of their dwelling being 2000 sq ft.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

The point made was that as the average household has decreased over the years, currently 2.7, the size of their housing has increased. It peaked at over 2500 sq.ft. in 2007 for new housing.

This requires more resources and more energy to continue this lavish lifestyle. While some complain of the environmental destruction caused by the extraction of tar sands and other forms of energy, our demand for ever larger houses, and ever larger vehicles, is at the root of this destruction.

Tar sands are not the problem. Over consumption is.

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago

Consumption is what drives our economy. Consumption is what gives people jobs, puts food on the table (which is consumed), generates life itself. Consumption is a natural process of energy exchange.

Again, the average of one given category (household size) does not necessarily carry over to the average in another category (house size). You cannot just assume that 2.7 people live in every average sized house and therefore every average house=over consumption.

I'm not debating that it happens at all. I'm debating your direct correlation, or at least the appearance of correlation, of those two statistics alone as the only support for your conclusion.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

Here's a link to combined house, apartment, and mobile home square footage. Over 2000 sq. Ft in 2001.


The conclusion that as the number of people per household declines, and the size of their housing increases, the fact that they are building, cooling, and heating more space per person is obvious.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Ummm I don't know where you live - but around me? people are living 4 - 6 or more in two bedroom apartments.

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

See the links in the reply above you. I live in socal. My house is only 900 sq. ft. with between 1 an 6 people living here over the years, but most newer homes here are well over 2000 sq. ft.

Go to google earth and take a look. Some housing developments here have as little as 6-8 feet between houses.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Out of 300,000,000 people living in the USA - how many are in a home as compared to in an apartment? How many living in a home are sharing that home? How many couples have their own 2000 plus square foot home?

For me to consider housing to be average - something like at least 75% of the population would have to be living in it.

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

I haven't seen the split between apartments, houses, and trailers, though the info is probably out there. But back to the original post.

We consume tremendous amounts of resources in this country. Every form of energy that turns those resources into products has a negative aspect. If we want to minimize the negative aspects of various types of energy, we should consume fewer products.

[-] -1 points by andover4 (-33) 5 years ago

the left has always been delusional.AND , being delusional , they don't know that they are.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Hey bendover4 - I believe you R mistaken/confused delusional(?) - progressives are looking to the future and are trying to get there in a healthy and prosperous manner - for ALL. I think you meant hard core conservatives ( you know - the ones digging their heels into the ground and tossing a fit about making positive clean change ).

[-] -1 points by andover4 (-33) 5 years ago

dickie, progressives are always looking backward.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Ya think that might be to remember the past history and not repeat it's mistakes? You know like the Great Depression and the causes for it. Hard Core conservatives have apparently forgotten.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

How so, and who's dickie?

I don't see progressives suppressing the vote.

I see conse(R)vatives doing that.

[-] -2 points by andover4 (-33) 5 years ago

shitz, you dont see anything beyond your fantasy world. that's why your a loser.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

What fantasy world?

You sure do come up with BIG piles of bullshit.

It's you who lives in a fantasy filled with shitz and dickies, not me.

What did I lose anyway?

[-] -1 points by andover4 (-33) 5 years ago

the fantasy world that your small mind unhabits. what did you lose? your grip on reality.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

So, reality is a world filled with shitz and dickies then?

Have you considered doing a screen play on that?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

The exact same thing could be applied to conse(R)vatives!

Perhaps even more so! ( Forcing teachers to teach creationism).

Talk about denialism. Wow! that's a BIG one.

So where does that leave us?

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (5843) 5 years ago

We drive as little as possible, and when we must--car gets 35mpg. House at 50-55F in winter, no air conditioning for summer. Hike for recreation. Have vegetable garden.

Americans are spoiled. Drive and fly too much. Super commuter thing must end. Change in community design and habits needed.

Saw a huge, long, heavy, tall, wide, kingcab, 4 rim real axle pickup, pull into shop center. Bed empty. One person in cab. Driver struggles to park. A lady falls out, and goes into nail salon.

Builder makes a good point. The wars must stop. The corporate/economic foundation must change. Unfortunately, USA is now exporting fossil fuel. No effort by just us people can be enough.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

Good for you. My car get's 35mpg too. I can't match you winter temp though. A 5000 pound SUV or truck as a commuter car just makes no sense.

Our war demand for oil is just .37% of world supply. Our 25% commercial demand of world supply is what counts. Although I don't support the war in the least, the bulk of oil demand needs to be cut by consumers.

[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 5 years ago

Energy Consumption is new subject or me, so checked Wikipedia:

Electricity = 40%
Transportation = 28%
Industrial = 20%
Residential = 7%
Commercial = 4%


I'm not really sure if that helps me or not.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

What I meant by commercial demand was all non military energy. The U.S. is just 5% of the world population, but uses 25% of the energy.

[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 5 years ago

Yeah, I got 20% by 20/93 I think I get Rate of Change mixed up with a simple division problem. But I was with you on that. I read something that Buildings and contruction are the biggest cause of energy loss. Maybe that is the focus here.

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

The average new house is 2200 sq. ft. but the average household size is 2.7 persons. They're heating, and cooling a lot of unused rooms.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

Screw the heating and cooling.

A small box fan at the head of the bed works just fine.

[-] 0 points by Middleaged (5140) 5 years ago

Looking to move overseas, I think I see 30 Sq meters as a low. Apartments and houses are smaller if we look to other cultures.

[-] 0 points by Nevada1 (5843) 5 years ago

Thank you jr for info.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Good comment.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Some photos from the gates of hell, along with some actions that match them.

You will need to clink the links to see them, but I think you will find it tweetable and worthwhile.


[-] 1 points by Karlin (350) from Nelson, BC 5 years ago

Righ on DK - It is INSANE that so much money is being invested in the dirtiest of all energy sources - Tar Sands - instead of renewables.

The pipelines that carry tar sands heavy oil ["bitumen"] are actually TWO pipes side by side, the 2nd one to take the solvents needed to make that heavy oil flow in the pipeline. The "diluted bitumen" is called "Dilbit" [funny, but not a joke]

It is that solvent that made the Kalamazoo spill so toxic. That woman Susan you mentioned, if it is the same one, says she was told by Enbridge that it was just regular crude oil, and so the fumes are not toxic, despite the smell in the air. Susan was fighting cancer at the time.... it was one year after the spill at Congressional hearings into the spill that she learned that pipeline was carrying Dilbit - a mixture of benzene and methane and other toxins.

Her dog died of cancer a month after those hearings, probably from exposure to those toxic fumes [although difficult to prove for sure].

Don't trust Enbridge. Our experience here in Canada with them is lies upon lies.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Well you know damn well they are not gonna tell the truth - that would make them even more liable from the get go - let alone years later as people start showing up with cases of cancer.

[-] 1 points by Karlin (350) from Nelson, BC 5 years ago

Sometimes they get trapped - Enbridge is putting on a public relations campaign in Canada [for their project of sending Tar Sands to the west coast to load onto Oil Tankers headed for China] and they keep getting caught telling lies about that project...

For Example - Enbridge erased 1000 square kilometres of Islands from the Douglas Channel in its Northern Gateway pipeline public safety videos to convince the public that its tanker route is safer than it really is.

Obviously, this is not creating much trust. I would oppose anything they suggest now...

The joke is on you Enbridge - ya lyin' cheatin' scoundrels.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

I love it when they get caught lying. Now lets hope that we can start really using it against them.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

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