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Move beyond tar sands

Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

To the Editor:

March’s ExxonMobil tar sands pipeline spill in Arkansas proves that it’s too risky to build another pipeline in the U.S.

The Canadian company TransCanada wants to build the massive Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline bisecting the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed Keystone XL would carry nine times more tar sands than the broken Arkansas pipeline, putting the health of every state and city in its path and millions of Americans at risk when a spill inevitably occurs.

The hallmark health symptoms of exposure to crude oil spills are respiratory problems, central nervous system problems, and blood problems. Tar sands is oil on steroids, containing potent carcinogens such as benzene and concentrated with aromatic hydrocarbons that pollute the air. And a barrel of oil refined from the tar sands produces three times more climate-disrupting greenhouse gas emissions than a barrel of conventional oil.

Instead of building more dangerous tar sands pipelines, we need to move beyond oil and invest in local clean energy and efficiency. President Obama must reject the Keystone pipeline. Americans need clean energy sources that don’t spill, pollute or explode.

We definitely don’t want another tar sands pipeline spill. Americans need to reach out to the president and Congress to stop this pipeline once and for all.

P. Denise Israel

Barrington Hills

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