Recently, there was a victory for environmentalists and anti-Tar Sands activists.  Instead of letting the big oil companies push the permit through, President Obama and the State Department sent the Keystone Pipeline proposal back for a thorough independent re-review.  Now, the Keystone Pipelineis back on President Obama’s desk for immediate decision.  We sent a clear message to the White House so what’s next in the anti-tar sands movement?

from The Chicago Tribune

 While, Congress battledthis out in Washington, just like business as usual, Tar Sands oil IS already being refined in US refineries.  Don’t be fooled. Just because the oil companies hit a snag in their fast-tracked plan to send 900,000 barrels of heavy crude DAILY from Canada all the way to Texas, doesn’t mean they weren’t successful in getting Tar Sands oil into places along the Canadian/US border, like Detroit, Whiting and Toledo.

from Informed Vote

Refining tar sands heavy crude oil is far more environmentally destructive, producing two to three times more carbon than conventional oil and using vast amounts of fresh water to extract.

So while the residents living along the proposed pipeline route might be able to breathe a little easier, the fight is not over for the communities living on the fenceline along the US/Canada border.

Global Community Monitor has been working with communities living on the fencline of oil refineries for over ten years so it’s no surprise we were ready to go and jump started the campaign with a recent trip to Toledo, Ohio in order educate the local community about tar sands and how it will affect them locally.  BP/Husky, located in Toledo, OH is slated for a $2.5 billion expansion, but has not made public a date and time when the tar sands expansion will happen.

Global Community Monitor’s Bucket Brigades have been launched in 27 countries, allowing residents to sample their own air to answer the question, ‘What’s in the air that we are breathing?’  

Even if we do win, and the Keystone pipeline is defeated, we still need to work to stop tar sands oil from and to protect communities like Toledo, OH, Whiting, IN and Detroit, MI.  Why should those communities live with the increased risk of reproductive harm, cancer and other diseases while the oil companies rake in big profits?  These families are already overburdened with toxic emissions from the polluting refinery next door, it would be an extreme injustice to even think of expanding it to create even heavier toxic emissions.