Keystone Pipeline Could Push Endangered Whooping Crane Into Extinction
If you were to choose a route through which to move toxic, highly corrosive, sludgy crude oil, would you place it on the same narrow corridor used by one of the world’s most endangered birds? The Canadian energy company TransCanada did and the Obama administration is on the verge of approving that absurd proposal.
If approved by the administration, the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline will move a half million+ barrels daily of Canadian crude 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada to the Texas coast as soon as 2013. TransCanada would like the world to believe that their pipeline is relatively safe, claiming just one predicted spill in the first 7 years. Yet, TransCanada’s existing Keystone Pipeline has experienced 12 spills — in just 12 months of operation.
Whooping cranes follow the proposed path of the pipeline annually each spring, as they migrate from Texas to their breeding grounds in Canada. Along the way, they depend on the rivers, marshes, wetlands and streams for stopover and feeding habitat. Since the pipeline’s proposed route crosses many of these habitats–including the Platte River in Nebraska, one of the most important feeding and resting locations–miles of these critical stopping points would be at risk of being fouled with sludgy, toxic tar-sands oil every day of the year.
The tar sands themselves are also endangering the northern territory of the Whooping Cranes.