Our relatives in Canada, and around the world, need our voices in the coming days as the fate of the Keystone Xl Pipeline is set to be discussed by the US Senate on Tuesday. The vote will be close. ALL of our voices are needed to call on your Senators to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Tar Sands are destroying the homelands, and poisoning the communities of our Cree relatives, and contributing to global warming. Those Red Lakers have been camping on top of a Tar Sands Pipeline that illegally crosses their territory for over a week now. We need to tell these senators to LISTEN to us. While the final decision is still in the hands of the State Dept and White House, we need our representatives to put the pressure on, and fairly advocate for us. Tar Sands Kill, Pipelines Spill! Call Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken today. Click here to get the number and make your call.
Last month I was honored to bring my two teenage sons and my lovely staff to DC to stand with Crystal Lameman, Melina Laboucan-Massimo, other great organizers who are working to fight the Tar Sands, including out friends t 350.org. Along with 45,000 other people, we had a demonstration calling for President Obama to say NO to the pipeline. No to blood oil. That was a great privilege, and there is a way for everyone who couldn’t travel to DC to be heard now too.
It’s time for our representatives in Congress stand with Canadian First Nations communities, to stand with Red Lake, to stand with their constituents across Minnesota, and with communities around the world that are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change as I type. They need to stop this pipeline, give Senator Klobuchar and Senator Franken a call and let them know.
Please feel free to use this letter to write to your Senators TODAY, while the final decision is still in the hands of the State Dept and White House, we need our representatives to put the pressure on, and fairly advocate for us.
Onaabani-Giizis, 18, 2013
Aaniin, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken,
Our relatives in Canada, and your constituents in Minnesota need your voices in the coming days as the fate of the Keystone Xl Pipeline is set to be decided by you and your colleagues in the US Senate on Tuesday. The vote will be close. I need you to do the right thing for the well-being of all of us.
Lobbyists have been working hard in Washington, I know this, but I need you to stand with your constituents, and with those communities dying and being poisoned by the Tar Sands operations in Canada. Stand also with communities experiencing the devastating impacts of global warming. Finally, do not buy the claims of jobs for our future. We need you to be courageous and move towards and economy for Minnesotan’s and for America which will be green, and will be sustainable, not an economy which wastes our precious financial, political, economic and ecological resources, for the benefit of a few.The best way to ensure National security is by voting NO on proposals like the Keystone XL Pipeline. Keystone XL will not lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil, but transport Canadian oil to American refineries for export to overseas markets.
U.S. demand for oil has been declining since 2007. In fact, the Energy Department report on Keystone-XL found that decreasing demand through fuel efficiency is the only way to reduce mid-east oil imports with or without the pipeline. Ina study funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, a group of retired four-star generals and admirals concluded that climate change, if not addressed, will be the greatest threat to national security due to it’s role in speeding up global warming, and increasing dependence on foreign oil sources.With Midwest and Minnesotan farmers already seeing increasing economic strain as record droughts occur in the Midwest, we can’t afford to drive fuel prices up for them – and that is just what this pipeline will do. According to an independent analysis U.S. farmers, who spent $12.4 billion on fuel in 2009 could see expenses rise to $15 billion or higher in 2012 or 2013 if the pipeline goes through. Independent analysis of these figures found this would increase per-gallon prices by 20 cents/gallon in the Midwest.In 2008, TransCanada’s Presidential Permit application for Keystone XL to the State Department indicated “a peak workforce of approximately 3,500 to 4,200 construction personnel” to build the pipeline. These figures draw form a 2011 report commissioned by TransCanada that estimates 20,000 “person-years” of employment based on a non-public forecast model using undisclosed inputs provided by TransCanada.
According to TransCanada’s own data, just 11% of the construction jobs on the Keystone I pipeline in South Dakota were filled by South Dakotans–most of them for temporary, low-paying manual labor. A few temporary,low-wage jobs is not a good exchange for the devastation this pipeline will wreak on, indeed, the sustainability and health of our Midwest economies. But don’t just take it from me. Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) both oppose the pipeline.
Their August 2011 statement:
“We need jobs, but not ones based on increasing our reliance on Tar
Sands oil. There is no shortage of water and sewage pipelines that need
to be fixed or replaced, bridges and tunnels that are in need of emergency
repair, transportation infrastructure that needs to be renewed and
developed. Many jobs could also be created in energy conservation,
upgrading the grid, maintaining and expanding public transportation—
jobs that can help us reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and
improve energy efficiency.”
TransCanada predicted that the Keystone I pipeline would see one spill in 7 years. In fact, there have been 12 spills in 1 year. The company was ordered to dig up 10 sections of pipe after government-ordered tests indicated that defective steel may have been used. KeystoneXL will use steel from the same Indian manufacturer. And this pipeline is to cross through the Ogallala aquifer, and wildlife habitat, though waters where my people harvest fish and rice?
Those Red Lakers have been camping on top of a Tar Sands Pipeline that illegally crosses their territory for over a week now. We need you to tell these President Obama to LISTEN to us. That Red Lake pipeline has already leaked more than once. We’ve already seen drought cross our land and impact our agriculture in the Midwest. You would be acting in the best interest of your constituents, by responsibly responding to our call to say NO to the Keystone XL pipeline.
I need you to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline. I’ve seen the devastation this causes, and I will not participate in the eradication of the communities and cultures in Northern Alberta Canada for temporary profit and job creation. I’ve worked hard for over 20 years in my community of White Earth to build a sustainable food and energy economy, to show Tribal government, and State Govt, and National Govt what wealth looks like. What long-term, sustainable, sound economy planning looks like. What honoring the Earth, and Indigenous cultures looks like. And I need you to do this with me.
Last month I was honored to bring my two teenage sons and my lovely staff to DC to stand with Crystal Lameman, Melina Laboucan-Massimo, other great organizers who are working to fight the Tar Sands, including out friends t 350.org. Along with 45,000 other people, and many more across the United States, we had a demonstration calling for President Obama to say NO to the pipeline.
The State Department Environmental Impact Statement fails to adequately analyze lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by the pipeline. The EIS estimates that the additional annual GHG emissions from the proposed pipeline could range from an additional “12-23 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent… (roughly the equivalent of annual emissions from 2 to 4 coal-fired power plants)” over conventional crude oil from the Middle East. This will have devastating impacts on our atmosphere in a time when we are ALREADY experiencing the impacts of global warming. Minnesotans and Indigenous communities were two of the largest groups represented at this rally. We need our elected officials to stand behind us.
It’s time for our representatives in the Senate to stand with Canadian First Nations communities, to stand with Red Lake, to stand with their constituents across Minnesota, and with communities around the world that are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. To secure a sustainable future for the next generations, and for our generation.