From Left to right: Asher Platts (Chair, Maine Greens), Linda Thompson (Chair, Green Party of Connecticut), Jill Stein (Co-Chair, Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party), Tony Affigne (Chair, Green Party of Rhode Island)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Green Party of the United States is calling for the defeat of proposed tar-sands pipelines when the U.S. Senate votes on the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday and opposes alternative plans, including “Energy East,” that would route Canadian oil into the U.S. by pipeline or tanker.
Green Party leaders are encouraging the public to call on Senators to vote nay. If the Senate approves the pipeline, Greens urge President Obama to exercise his veto power.
The Green Parties of Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey have banded together against a proposed fossil-fuel pipeline through the region, calling themselves the Green Alliance to Stop the Pipelines, or GASP (https://www.facebook.com/StopThePipelines).
GASP opposes a plan by the six New England governors to spend $6 billion on the Kinder Morgan gas transmission pipeline, which would bring fracked natural gas to export terminals in Maine and Canada.
Greens criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to hold the vote on Tuesday to allow pro-pipeline Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) to participate. Republicans in the Senate are determined to approve the pipeline, regardless of Democrats’ positions. (See “Green Shadow Cabinet: Alert: Resist the Dems’ KXL Sneak Attack!”)
“Green Parties across the nation are battling plans for massive investments in fossil fuel infrastructure that, if approved, would sabotage efforts to avert the looming catastrophe of climate change,” said Jill Stein, 2012 Green presidential nominee and a member of the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party.
“Despite his opposition to the current bill, President Obama has consistently advanced the planning for both the Keystone pipeline and the expansion of fracking. Now the betrayal of the Senate Democrats is striking a devastating blow to our hopes for a sane energy policy. They’re pushing Mother Earth over the cliff to gain a temporary political advantage while pleasing the corporate lobbyists. There are no excuses that will justify this,” said Dr. Stein.
The pipelines would cross farms, parks, wetlands, forests, conservation lands, protected wildlife areas, as well as tribal lands. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) has called the U.S. House’s authorization of the Keystone XL pipeline an act of war and is united with other South Dakota tribes in opposition.
“The proposed New England pipeline has little to do with relieving the region’s alleged need for more natural gas. The main purpose of these pipelines is to carry natural gas to the coast, for export to Asian markets, enriching oil companies while imposing deep environmental and public health risks and worsening the climate crisis,” said Matt Funiciello, Green candidate for Congress in New York (District 21) in the 2014 elections. Outgoing Democratic Rep. William Owens, who will be replaced by Republican Elise Stefanik, voted for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Greens said that development of the tar-sands oil fields was one of several energy-industry projects that must be halted. Others include fracking, mountaintop detonation mining, offshore drilling in U.S. coastal waters, and “clean coal.” The Elk River chemical spill on January 9, 2014, which left 300,000 West Virginians without drinkable or usable water, revealed clean coal to be a public-relations myth.
Recent spills are irrefutable proof that pipeline safety cannot be guaranteed. Recent examples include the July 2011 ExxonMobil pipeline rupture that dumped 63,000 gallons of Canadian crude oil into the Yellowstone River and the March 2013 ExxonMobil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas. Railroad transportation also poses a danger. The derailment of tank cars carrying crude oil in July 2013 caused an explosion that killed 47 people in Lac Megantic, Quebec.