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LETTER: Will we choose life?

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Dear editor,
One vote. That’s what it took to defeat the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline bill. Of course, this controversial issue is not going away.

Is anyone communicating with facts? Those who support the pipeline continue in mantra-like form to proclaim that the pipeline is good for the economy.

Is it really? The Courier-Journal reported that the creation of the pipeline would only produce 35 permanent jobs, another report indicated a maximum of 50 jobs. The pipe used in the pipeline would be produced in India, not in the U.S. The oil would go to other countries.

Of greatest concern is the danger of the tar sands. This sludge-like deposit of sand, oil and water in the ground is highly toxic and can cause grave environmental damage. If approved, it would carry 800,000 barrels a day.  

Volume plus toxicity spell danger to land, water, humans and wildlife.  
According to Frances Benecke of the Natural Resources Defense Council, this bill would bypass essential reviews, skip safety assessments, and fast track a dangerous product. Who wins? The oil companies.

It is important to examine the facts of recent oil spills. In July 2010, an underground pipeline carrying tar sands oil to refineries near Detroit ruptured near Marshall, Michigan. In a short time hundreds of thousands of gallons of thick oil seeped into the Kalamazoo River. To date, over $1 billion has been spent on cleanup of 810,000 gallons of oil spilled. Water, land and human health have suffered.

The Keystone Pipeline is a disaster waiting to happen. The greatest threat on the horizon is the threat to all life on Earth, for burning the fossil fuels from the Keystone and other tar sands oil pipelines will very likely increase the temperature on earth more than 2 degrees centigrade—the maximum the planet can sustain without irreversible catastrophe. Truly, a life or death decision for our future.

Sr. Judy Morris, OP
St. Catharine, Ky.