Building Keystone hits the accelerator on global warming

The planet is heating up. Since 2000, we've experienced 16 of the 17 hottest years on record and this past year was the hottest. Scientists say there’s a limit to how much carbon we can add to the atmosphere before global warming spirals out of control. We’re starting to bend the curve of rising emissions, but not quickly enough.

In other words, we have to put the brakes on global warming pollution. Building Keystone puts our foot on the accelerator.

Specifically, building Keystone XL would add 27.4 million metric tons of carbon pollution to our atmosphere every year. That's the equivalent of putting another 5.7 million cars on the road. 

Tar Sands Oil Field

A threat to America’s heartland and the great boreal forests

While burning this oil would heat up the planet, it’s not the only reason building Keystone is a bad idea. Pumping it through the U.S. would threaten America's water. The 1,700 mile pipeline would cross 1,073 rivers, lakes and streams as well as one of the world’s largest and most important aquifers, the Ogallala, the irrigation source of America's agricultural heartland. We’ve seen what happens when tar sands pipelines spill, and it ain’t pretty. A 2011 tar sands pipeline blowout contaminated 38 miles of Michigan’s Kalamazoo River — the cleanup cost more than a billion dollars and it still isn’t done yet.

Kalamazoo River Oil Spill 

Beyond our borders, but still on our planet, extracting the oil from the Canadian tar sands will further damage the great boreal forest that spans much of Northern Canada, converting what was once pristine wildlife habitat into an apocalyptic landscape of mines, roads and waste pits so large they can be seen from space.

Boreal Forest in Canada

Our shared victory is in jeopardy

We've been here before. As part of a coalition of ranchers, farmers, Native Americans and others, we spent years working to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. In 2015, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL. President Trump's executive order once again puts Keystone XL on a fast track to construction. He also signed an order advancing the Dakota Access pipeline.

No one thought we could stop the pipeline the first time. The oil industry promised jobs and cheaper oil. That's a tough argument to beat -- even though the facts didn't back it up.

But together with our allies, we made a strong moral case for action -- and we won. Our challenge this time is even greater, and we need to be able to count on you.

Campaign Updates

News Release | Environment North Carolina

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Yesterday evening on the Senate floor, North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan made an impassioned speech on the threat of global warming to North Carolina’s future. Dave Rogers, Field Director with Environment North Carolina, issued the following statement in response:

“Sen. Hagan showed yesterday that she understands the urgency of addressing global warming. She understands what failing to act could mean for North Carolina’s famous coastline and our agricultural heritage. Given the PR campaign by the dirty energy industry to spread junk science and deny climate change, we thank the senator for standing up with science and speaking the truth.”

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News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Clean Energy is Cutting Carbon, But North Carolina Could Do More

Raleigh, NC – With extreme weather now becoming a common event throughout the state, North Carolina is proving that there are solutions to climate change. Clean energy policies, such as North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Portfolio, have allowed the state to cut emissions of carbon pollution—the leading cause of global warming—according to a new report by Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center. The report, “Moving America Forward,” showed that even as North Carolina has made significant progress in developing clean energy, the state could be playing a much larger role in reducing carbon pollution.

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Report | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Moving America Forward

American leadership in the fight against global warming is crucial. America is the world’s largest economy, the second-largest emitter of global warming pollution, and the nation responsible for more of the human-caused carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere than any other. Without prompt action by the United States and others to reduce global warming pollution, catastrophic impacts – from coastal flooding to food system disruptions – could become unavoidable.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

Global Warming has Winter Games Skating on Thin Ice

Raleigh, NC – As the world turns its attention to the Sochi Olympic Games, Environment North Carolina revealed a summary of global warming impacts on Winter Olympic sports, and highlighting the need to act urgently to reduce the carbon pollution fueling global warming.

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Report | Environment North Carolina

Skating On Thin Ice

Every four years, the world’s finest winter athletes gather for the top competition on snow and ice. But even as we celebrate competition and athleticism, global warming is undermining the climate conditions that make the Winter Olympics possible. Nine of the hottest years ever recorded on Earth have happened since 2000. Winter average temperatures across the contiguous United States have warmed more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970. The primary cause of this warming is human use of fossil fuels and we need to act now to prevent the worst from happening.

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