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Pipeline Opponents Tell State Department: Keystone XL is All Risk, No Reward

Contact: Jeff Gohringer, (202) 454-4573 or

April 18, 2013  

GRAND ISLAND, NE - One thousand pipeline opponents—far outnumbering TransCanada supporters—packed into the hearing room in Grand Island, Nebraska to tell the State Department that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is all risk, no reward. “All Risk, No Reward” Coalition Chair and Nebraska landowner Randy Thompson gave an impassioned speech against allowing a foreign company to transfer Canadian tar sands oil through this country so it can be shipped overseas.

“Families from Nebraska, Arkansas, and Michigan have joined with pipeline, water, and land experts to speak in unison: Keystone XL is all risk and no reward.” said Thompson. “We were loud and clear today to tell President Obama and Secretary Kerry that the tar sands pipeline is not in our national interest.”

Residents of Michigan and Arkansas, who have experienced tar sands spills firsthand, joined Nebraska landowners and water and pipeline experts at the hearing. They traveled to Nebraska to remind the State Department of these spills and to send the message that American families should not be subjected to the risks of another tar sands oil spill.

April Lane and Glen Hooks from Arkansas and Susan Connolly from Michigan told of the local devastation caused by tar sands spills—and described the serious risks to communities and important bodies of water. Evan Vokes, a TransCanada whistleblower, traveled from Canada to detail safety violation. The Keystone XL pipeline would carry almost nine times as much tar sands oil as the Pegasus pipeline that ruptured in Mayflower, AR.

In 2010, TransCanada built a different pipeline called “Keystone.”  In its first year, that pipeline experienced 12 separate spills in the United States – nearly one every month.  One of those spills alone released 21,000 gallons of oil. Between the U.S. and Canada, the original Keystone pipeline had “over 30 spills” in its first year, according to a report by Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute.  These spills came after TransCanada’s CEO pledged the pipeline would “meet or exceed world-class safety and environmental standards.”


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