Tar Sands Oil Pipeline

September 1, 2011

Upcoming CCAO Events
September 10 Fall Intern Orientation
September 19 Columban Advocates Call
September 21 American University Internship Fair
September 25 Justice for Immigrants Pray for the DREAM day
September 26 George Washington University Internship Fair
September 29 University of Maryland Internship Fair

On August 29, 2011, the CCAO, along with hundreds of people, participated in an action at the White House, drawing attention to the Keystone Pipeline project and the dirty tar sands oil it is slated to carry. Monday’s action was part of a 2-week series of daily events, from August 20 until September 3. Each day included a sit-in, with dozens of people risking arrest. August 29 witnessed the inter-faith community coming together, sharing their prayers, songs and chants before sitting-in with others advocating for the denial of the pipeline permit. Catholics, Buddhists, Jews, Unitarians and Protestants were able to come together over our mutual concern for God’s creation and the destructive potential of the tar sands oil pipeline that will pass through six states on its way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Over 60 faith leaders were arrested, along with more than 80 others. You can see photos of the event here.

Tar sands oil is a particularly dirty form of oil and it requires energy and water intensive processes to be able to be used as fuel. The area in Canada where it originates is land used by First Nation people, and it is destroying their land and sickening their people. If the pipeline is approved, it will carry this oil over precious areas of the Midwest, including the Oglalla aquifer. Spills are not unusual for pipelines and a spill near the aquifer could potentially pollute the water supply of two million Americans. These facts and others can be found here. Read what Columbans have to say about the extractive industries and about climate change.

A broad spectrum of individuals, groups, faith communities and organizations have spoken out in opposition to the pipeline. President Obama has the authority to deny the permit for the pipeline, effectively stopping the project. Due to public and Congressional pressure, a series of hearings has been scheduled in potentially affected communities. These hearings will take place in late September. The dates and times for the hearings can be found here. If a hearing will be held near you, plan to attend and voice your opposition. In addition, write or call President Obama and ask him to deny the Keystone Pipeline project.