MEDIA ADVISORY: Houston Air Quality Forum, Thursday,
June 10 For more information, Contact: Ian Davis, 512.476.2053 w., 512.466.6939 c.
Dirty Tar Sands Threaten Health, Safety and Economic
Development in Texas
Route Crosses East Texas to Port Arthur and
Houston map provided by TransCanada
WHO: Houston Air Quality Forum hosted by the Houston
Sierra Club Group
Matthew Tejada, Air Alliance Houston (featured speaker)
WHEN:> Thursday, June 10,
7:00 PM - Social, 7:30 PM – Program
WHERE: St. Stephen's Episcopal Church - Pecore Hall, 1805
West Alabama, Houston, Texas
WHAT: Recently, the Department of State released
its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
for the massive Keystone XL tar sands pipeline
operated by TransCanada designed to carry tar sands
oil from Canada into the United States. This pipeline
threatens our country's burgeoning clean energy
economy and represents a return to our highly destructive
and damaging addiction to fossil fuels.
The proposed pipeline, if built, would run across
sensitive east Texas wildlands and end at two terminals
on the Texas coast – one in Port Arthur,
the other in Houston. Hearings were held in east
Texas towns but no hearing has been held in Houston.
The tar sands pipeline should
concern all Houstonites
because this dirty fuel would be refined in Houston
and cause worse air quality problems for our region.
Over its lifecycle – the synthetic crude
oil produced from tar sands emits 20% more global
warming pollution than conventional oil. Furthermore,
because tar sands oil is a heavier crude, the U.S.
refineries that process it, will produce higher
levels of pollutants leading to more smog, haze
and acid rain.
Replacing 900,000 barrels per day of conventional
oil with tar sands oil – the amount this
pipeline would carry - would result in approximately
38 million metric tons of additional greenhouse
gas emissions per year, equal
to adding over 6 million cars to our roads. The U.S. transportation
sector already accounts for one third of our global
warming emissions. We cannot afford to increase
these emissions through the importation and use
of tar sands oil.
The pipeline is designed to cross 554 acres of
wetlands and 91 streams that support recreational
or commercial fisheries; 32 of those streams are
in Texas! The State Department’s document
addresses the potential for spills saying, “The
locations of greatest concern for potential oil
spills would be in sensitive environmental areas,
especially wetlands, flowing streams and rivers,
and water intakes for drinking water or commercial/industrial