The 875-mile Keystone XL Pipeline, expected to carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast and thence abroad, will, if opened, be an environmental disaster. Refining and burning tar sands crude yields greenhouse gas emissions 17% higher than the already filthy crude oil used now in the U.S., while destroying forests and fouling streams. All this even as scientists are clamoring for global decarbonization to mitigate ever-worsening climate change.
And yet, Dutchess County keeps a $100-million account in TD Bank, the largest shareholder in Transcanada, which is the largest corporate lender for the pipeline project. Why?
We hear news about climate anomalies—melting permafrost in the Canadian tundra that is causing houses and roads to buckle/crumble, their foundations liquid; increased tornadoes, floods, fires, drought, crop failure; the loss of species due to changed habitat. We read about the huge cost of clean up/resettlement after each “once in a hundred years” storm, and know our future very uncertain. Why then is there no governmental determination to exert financial influence on this issue? Are they just not paying attention?
We must continue to petition President Obama to say no to the Keystone XL project. But it would be reassuring if our Legislature voted to close our county’s current $100 million account with TD Bank. Reassuring, helpful, and appreciated.