The Keystone project is the planned pipeline that will run through 1,700 miles of space, from Alberta, Canada to refineries in the Texas Gulf Coast.
Groups fighting the Keystone Pipeline will march to the Senate today to deliver thousands of messages to stop it from voting for the project's continuation, following an earlier denial from United States President Barack Obama.
The Keystone project is the planned pipeline that will run through 1,700 miles of space, from Alberta, Canada to refineries in the Texas Gulf Coast. Its purpose is to transport up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day to those refineries. It will take about $7 billion to build.
Last month, United States President Barack Obama denied the project. But the same month, a bill authored by Senators John Hoeven, Richard Luger and David Vitter was filed in the Senate to authorize project owner TransCanada to proceed.
According to the environment groups, the Senate could vote as early as today to overturn Mr. Obama's rejection of Keystone XL last month.
The signature drive is a nationwide effort to get half a million signatures to be sent to U.S. Senators. The campaign began on 12 noon of Monday and will last 24 hours.
A broad coalition of environment groups which includes The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters and Friends of the Earth, among others is seeking signatures. Each has devoted space on its own Web page for the signature campaign.
Seven hours into the petition drive, Sierra Club announced having reached the goal of sending the Senate over 500,000 messages opposing Keystone.
"If approved and built, this pipeline, Keystone XL, would carry one of the most carbon-intensive sources of oil on the planet," a message from the Climate Reality Project signed by Al Gore states.
Defenders of Keystone argue that the project will provide jobs, while some suggest that an inclusive strategy of utilizing varied energy resources will benefit the U.S. in a time when renewables are still only emerging as a major energy source. (See a related exclusive EcoSeed
But groups like Friends of the Earth are quick to emphasize the costs. "The pipeline would endanger people all along its path, while benefiting Big Oil alone. Every single oil industry claim about positive economic impacts has been proven false by independent review."
Mr. Gore, meanwhile, said stopping the pipeline and the fuel that it will carry is the same as caring about the climate.
"After extensive research, the E.P.A. estimates that annual carbon pollution from the Keystone XL pipeline could be at least 82 percent higher than average crude refined in America - if not more. That's the same amount of pollution as adding 4.8 million cars to our roads: an additional 27 million metric tons of carbon pollution," Mr. Gore said.
The signature campaign will last until 12 noon, Tuesday. At 3:00 p.m., environmental groups will deliver boxes containing the 500,000 plus signatures directly to Senators Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, and Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, in Washington D.C. (Eric Dorente)