The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Keystone XL: The Last Six Years, By The Numbers


As supporters of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline mark the six-year anniversary of the pipeline proposal by touring the proposed pipeline route and whining about the fact that their dangerous, polluting project has not been approved, now is as good a time as any to take a look at some of the numbers associated with the last six years the project has been on the table:

2 billion: Number of metric tons of carbon pollution that will be left underground from the cancellation of two major tar sands mines in 2014 alone. Both mines were shelved in part because of delays in pipelines like Keystone XL.

The Keystone pipeline would create an estimated 1.2 billion additional metric tons of carbon pollution over its 50-year timeline, compared to traditional crude. That's equivalent to the annual carbon emissions produced by 315 coal fired power plants, or the annual emissions of 253 million passenger vehicles. It's also enough to effectively cancel out emissions reductions from some of the Obama Administration's most ambitious emissions initiatives.

500: Number of people evacuated from their homes just this week, after the latest in a series of leaks and spills from TransCanada's existing projects, in spite of their claims that they take pipeline safety seriously.

This is not the first safety issue TransCanada has had along its pipelines; regulators have also raised serious concerns about TransCanada, finding them to be guilty of multiple instances of regulatory non-compliance, including substandard welding and inspection practices.

TransCanada also has a history of having little regard for safety during the construction of their pipeline. Families living with TransCanada pipelines on their property are often left to deal with poor construction on their own, in some cases being forced to sue TransCanada in order to fix their destroyed homes and property.

2.5 million: Number of anti-Keystone public comments submitted in response to the State Department's oil-soaked analysis of the pipeline.

2,000+: Number of people who have been arrested in protest of Keystone XL and other tar sands projects in the United States.

Meanwhile, over 100,000 people are expected to march in New York City this weekend in what is expected to be the largest demonstration for climate action in history. Many of the marchers will be coming from across the United States and Canada to march in protest of Keystone XL and other tar sands expansion projects.

Opposition to Keystone XL and tar sands has not decreased over the last six years, it has increased exponentially, becoming a national movement that unites environmentalists, indigenous groups, farmers, ranchers, and landowners.

115: Number of landowners in America's heartland who have been bullied by TransCanada but refuse to give up their land and risk their water. These brave landowners would have been joined by hundreds more but TransCanada used eminent domain on many in South Dakota, Texas, and other states, pressuring family farmers and ranchers to sign away their land before they knew all the facts.

0: Number of legal routes for the pipeline through the state of Nebraska, where the Supreme Court is currently deliberating over an unconstitutional law pushed through by Governor Heineman and TransCanada, in an attempt to skirt the legal approval process which has only served to further delay the process.

6: Number of tribes in South Dakota who will file to be interveners as TransCanada tries to get their permit recertified in the state. Currently, as in Nebraska, TransCanada cannot build in South Dakota because they have no legal permit. The tribes plan to show evidence that the pipeline route crosses the Ogallala Aquifer, the Sandhills, and other cultural resources, without the proper consultation required by law.

Over the last six years, the evidence has only grown stronger that the Keystone XL pipeline is a bad deal for the American people, putting us at risk of catastrophic leaks and spills and threatening the climate, while offering no meaningful benefits. Six years is long enough; the time to reject Keystone XL is now.

350 is building a future that's just, prosperous, equitable and safe from the effects of the climate crisis. We're an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.