Alberta Tar Sands & Keystone XL Pipeline
We discussed fossil fuels derived from the Alberta Tar Sands by TransCanada. Proposed to be pumped across the US for refining at facilities in southeast Texas, the Keystone XL Pipeline has become a very controversial topic and has been heavily pushed as a priority energy issue by citizen activists and environmental groups. This week’s expert panel included:
Chris Wynnyk Wilson is a 20-year environmental advocate and holds a dual degree in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry. She has worked for Union Carbide and Asea Brown Boveri as a process control engineer. Chris is a member of Stop Tarsands Oil Pipelines (STOP) and the Tar Sands Coalition that are fighting tar sands pipelines especially the Keystone Xl and Seaway. She is responsible for reseach, networking, and media outreach. Chris is also a Pipeline Safety Trust Advocate for Pipeline Safety. She has also formed and run Citizen Environmental groups in Arizona and Texas, fought and won an environmental permit case in the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings regarding an experimental domestic wastewater project next to her son’s elementary school; served on the Board of Texas Campaign for the Environment; has been involved in two cycles of Sunset Review of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and has been active in assisting other citizen groups with domestic wastewater permitting issues at the TCEQ.
David Daniel is a husband, father, and property owner near the east Texas town of Winnsboro. He became involved in the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline when he discovered it was slated to run the length of his land, cutting it in half. Daniel wasn’t told about the pipeline before survey crews showed up, but laws in Texas do little to protect landowners from corporations like TransCanada. Soon after the surveyors came through, Daniel received several intimidating letters from TransCanada. Then, land agents were sent to his home, pressuring him to sign contracts he was not given time to read. Fearing he would lose his land completely, Daniel eventually signed an easement agreement.Now, Daniel is worried about preserving his 20 acres of 100-year-old trees, wetlands, wildlife and spring-fed creeks.
John Bolenbaugh is a Keystone Pipeline whistle blower and has documented proof of a cover up of Enbridge’s huge tar sands spill in the Kalamazoo River. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled in a recent hearing that the pipeline needed more regulatory oversight.