Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

Grassroots Keystone Letter

July 8, 2013


Dear President Obama,

My faith calls me to protect creation and the most vulnerable, including future generations. I was heartened that you spoke about the need to protect future generations from climate change, one of the greatest challenges facing God’s people and all creation today.

I was hopeful to hear that you are considering rejecting the Keystone Pipeline if it contributes to carbon pollution. Already, we know that Keystone XL will pump millions of barrels of oil into the U.S. that will sure contribute to our carbon consumption. I urge you also to consider the other repercussions of the U.S. extraction of oil from the Canadian tarsands. For each barrel of oil produced from the tar sands takes from 110 to 350 gallons of water (or 2 to 6 barrels) of water. Water is a gift from God that sustains all creation. We should use it wisely and not wantonly to produce toxic oil. Already the tarsands leave toxic pools near indigenous communities. Fish that the community depends on has abnormalities. Cancer rates and types of cancer are increasing.

The tarsands may also contaminate the Ogallala Aquifer that sustains human communities and creation in Nebraska. There are many examples of oil spills small and large and we cannot trust that the Keystone XL pipeline is foolproof.

Please protect vulnerable communities, God’s creation, and the U.S. reputation in the world by rejecting the Keystone Pipeline.