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Letter to editor: Is pipeline needed?

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Congressman Tom McClintock asserts that building the Keystone XL pipeline through the central U. S. is required to transport tar sands oil in Canada through Oklahoma to Gulf Coast refineries and that three years of rigorous study and review by the EPA and State Department found no valid reason to hold up the pipeline’s development. However, the State Department’s own environmental review states that pumping dirty tar sands oil via the pipeline will pollute our water. Additionally, the review concludes that “spills from Keystone XL are likely, estimating their frequency at about two spills per year throughout the pipeline’s 50-year lifespan.” The pipeline route crosses many iconic rivers as well as the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides fresh water for agriculture and millions of people. Tar sands development threatens to destroy an area of boreal forest the size of Florida, pollutes three barrels of freshwater for every barrel of oil, creates toxic sludge ponds so big they can be seen from space, and emits two to three times more greenhouse gases than conventional oil to extract and refine. Dale Peterson, Linc