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

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North Carolina Leaders Urge Action on Climate Change

As public officials concerned about our constituents’ well-being, we thank you for your leadership to date on addressing climate change.  We enthusiastically support the Climate Action Plan you have put forward.  Climate change threatens the health of our families, our communities and the ecosystems on which we depend, and we are ready to work with and support you and your Administration.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

North Carolina Leaders Urge Action on Climate Change

Thirty-four concerned public officials from across North Carolina urged the federal government Tuesday to take bold steps to reduce global warming pollution.

In an open letter to President Barack Obama, local officials from Buncombe County to Morehead City expressed support for the president’s climate action plan, and asked for continued action to reduce the pollution that is causing global warming, which is already impacting communities throughout North Carolina.

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Report | Environment North Carolina

NC small businesses challenge Hagan, Burr to stand with EPA on clean air standards

Being able to innovate is an essential characteristic for a small business owner such as myself. I make an effort to keep up with new technologies and opportunities that might help my business run more efficiently and effectively, and maybe even help me grow. That’s why clean and renewable energy is important to me, and should be for our nation. Carbon pollution and energy efficiency standards help drive innovation and create market opportunities for small businesses, and they’re a key component to progressing toward a clean energy economy and to creating jobs.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

NC small businesses challenge Hagan, Burr to stand with EPA on clean air standards

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Nearly 100 North Carolina small business leaders are urging Congress to usher in a new era of American innovation with policies that limit carbon pollution and increase energy efficiency.

In an open letter Thursday, 95 North Carolina entrepreneurs called on Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for limiting carbon emissions from new coal-fired power plants, despite the attempts of several lawmakers to repeal EPA’s authority to regulate those emissions – a move that would undermine the Clean Air Act.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

Three of America’s fifty dirtiest power plants, including the Marshall Plant, call North Carolina home

Charlotte, NC – On the heels of recent flooding in Charlotte and throughout the state, a new report from Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center ranks power plants across the country for carbon pollution, a leading cause of global warming. Three of the nation’s 50 dirtiest power plants, including the Marshall Plant just north of Charlotte, are located in North Carolina, according to the study. Overall, power plants are the state’s largest single source of the pollution that has been linked to extreme weather like droughts, more intense hurricanes, and flooding.

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