Coalition to President Obama and Secretary Kerry: Pipeline is Not in National Interest

Washington, DC (April 8, 2013) - The “All Risk, No Reward Coalition” launched today as a new national group that will educate the American people on the ‘all risk and no reward’ of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to reject it. The coalition brings together a unique group of national and state organizations, is very focused in its messaging on national interest, and is using paid media in a way that has never been part of the anti-Keystone movement.

The coalition was up on the major Sunday news shows yesterday with a TV ad (available at www.allrisknoreward.com), which will be on the air again next week and in an additional dozen markets targeting the Democratic base. The coalition will continue to run national and state-based advertising and earned media, including a youth mobilization effort. 

“With the tar sands oil spill in Arkansas, there’s a growing mountain of evidence of the dangers that would come with a pipeline spanning some of the most sensitive areas of our country.  This coalition is set to educate the American people about the dangerous climate, environmental and political implications of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline,” said Bill Burton, LCV Senior Advisor.

The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will run through America, but does not benefit America.  Based on the State Department’s Environmental Impact Statement, the pipeline will create only 35 permanent jobs. It would also put American communities at significant risk of oil spills like the recent tar sands spill in Arkansas. The pipeline will not reduce dependence on Mideast oil because Keystone XL products will likely be exported overseas, including to China and Venezuela.

Randy Thompson, “The All Risk, No Reward Coalition” Chair officially announced the launch of the coalition with an op-ed in the York News Times, a Nebraska newspaper along the pipeline route. Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ), published a column in The Hill’s Congress Blog about the risks of the Keystone pipeline, as evidenced by the tar sands spill in Arkansas.

“As a Nebraska landowner on the front lines of the Keystone XL battle, I know firsthand the tremendous risks that Americans would face if President Obama approved the tar sands pipeline,” said All Risk, No Reward Coalition Chair Randy Thompson. “This pipeline is clearly not in our national interest, since American citizens like me would be taking on all of the risk so that Big Oil and foreign countries could get the reward.”

“Given that the oil carried by Keystone XL would not be mined, refined, or consumed in the United States, why would we accept the transit risk associated with a pipeline project of this magnitude?” said Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. “Why would we want to expose thousands of towns up and down the United States to the same risks faced so catastrophically in Mayflower?”

“Nebraska Farmers Union is 100 years old this year,” said Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen.  “We shudder to think about the risks our landowners will face for the next 100 years as the result of TransCanada’s dangerous and irresponsible route.  We call on President Obama and the State Department to reject TransCanada’s permit.” 

"The League opposes the Keystone XL pipeline proposal because it puts enormous and unacceptable risks on the American people," said Toni Larson, Advocacy Chair for the League of Women Voters of the U.S. in her remarks to the press. "It threatens clean water and public health, makes climate change worse, and sends our nation’s energy policy in the wrong direction."     

The coalition includes the following state and national organizations:

National Groups:

-        League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

-        League of Women Voters

-        Indigenous Environmental Network

State Based Organizations:

-        Bold Nebraska (NE)

-        Keystone XL Truthforce (OK)

-        League of Women Voters Nebraska

-        STOP Tarsands (TX)

-        Sandhills Beef (NE)

-        Nebraska Farmers Union

-        Interfaith Power and Light  (NE)

-        Dakota Rural Action

For more information, including an All Risk and No Reward white paper, please visit www.allrisknoreward.com.

Contact: Rachel Wolf, 202.331.2120

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