“When the odds were ten to two, darling I went down and fighted for you. Though I’m leaving in the morning to meet the evil at our door, I will return to you my darling… You are the one I fight my battles for, you are the one that I adore.“
These are lyrics from my favorite song this summer, Battles by The Smart Brothers.
It’s a love song, but I also hear a call to action, a call to protect that which we care most about.
The Keystone XL pipeline, and the tar sands extraction it would spur, is so obviously one of the worst actions the United States could take with regard to climate change, not to mention all the communities along the pipeline route whose water and ecosystems would be threatened by crude oil spills. Today, leaders of the largest environmental organizations in this country united to release a letter calling on President Obama to block the Keystone XL pipeline. You know when Environmental Defense Fund teams up with Rainforest Action Network that something big is in the air.
The tar sands industry has been trying for years to send tar sands crude to American refineries, and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, in James Hansen’s words, would be game over for the climate. The predecessor to Keystone XL, the Keystone pipeline, has already had 15 spills in the United States and over 20 spills in Canada since it became operational last year. The Enbridge pipeline dumped 800,000 gallons of tar sands crude into the Kalamazoo River, and the pipeline that spilled 42,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River also carries tar sands crude (a full list of pipeline accidents can be found here).