The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jeff Gohringer, (202) 454-4573 or

House to Move Forward with Toxic Tar Sands Spill Approval Act


The House subcommittee on Energy and Power will move forward with legislation tomorrow to fast-track the risky Keystone XL tar sands pipeline despite the recent tar sands spill in Mayflower, Arkansas. The Mayflower tar sands spill has raised new concerns about pipeline safety and the risks associated with transporting tar sands, the dirtiest oil on the planet, near and through important bodies of water.

"This legislation should be called the 'Toxic Tar Sands Spill Approval Act'. Not only would Keystone XL transport the dirtiest oil on the planet, it would carry with it far too many risks for American families and threaten our waterways," said Nebraska landowner and All Risk, No Reward Coalition Chair Randy Thompson. "It's mind-boggling that some in the House of Representatives are trying to rush approval of this pipeline. The Arkansas tar sands oil spill was a signal to hit the brakes, not the accelerator."

The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would be nearly twice as wide as the one that ruptured in Arkansas, and would carry almost nine times as much tar sands oil every day. In 2010, the company behind the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, 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."

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is turning environmental values into national priorities. To secure the environmental future of our planet, LCV's mission is to advocate for sound environmental policies and to elect pro-environmental candidates who will adopt and implement such policies.