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The Keystone Oil Pipeline Controversy: What Hollywood Is Saying

Mark Ruffalo, Robert Redford and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are among the notable names speaking out against the proposed tar sands oil pipeline.

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The controversial Keystone XL Pipeline has garnered a slew of high-profile stars speaking out in opposition to the proposed project that will transport crude oil 2,000 miles from tar sands in Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

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Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Kyra Sedgwick and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are among the actors in opposition to the project. Environmental activists who are fighting it say that it will increase America's dependence on fossil fuels and, because of the possibility of leaks, endanger groundwater supplies in the Midwest where the pipeline will run. It will run through the huge Ogallala Aquifer and Nebraska's Sandhills wetland ecosystem.

On Sunday, Nov. 6, more than 10,000 protestors, including Ruffalo, created a human circle around the White House. Over the summer, actresses Daryl Hannah and Margot Kidder were arrested protesting the pipeline. Approval of the pipeline does not require actions of Congress, only the signature of President Obama, who has not signaled how he will act. He recently said: "My general attitude is, what's best for the American people? What's best for our economy both short term and long term? But also what's best for the health of the American people?"

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Here’s what Hollywood is saying about the Keystone XL:

Mark Ruffalo: The days of just sticking a straw in the ground and having beautiful concentrated carbon-based energy bubble up to the surface so easily are over. We're entered this era of just really radical and environmentally harmful forms of extractions, tar sands, hydro-fracking, mountain top removals and even nuclear. All of these things destroy water. They destroy fresh water, each and every one of them.  … Our politicins aren't necessarily looking out for the 99 percent's best interests. … We invite the President to make good on his promises about a real renewable policy for the United States, ending our addiction and tyranny to carbon-based fuels. If he doesn't do it, he will be left in the dustbin of history.”

Robert Redford: The Keystone XL pipeline would carry the dirtiest oil on the planet from Canada to America's Gulf Coast refineries and ports. It would firmly wed our energy future to the destructive ways of our past. It would promote one of the most damaging industrial practices ever devised to coax low-grade crude oil from tar sands. In piping tar sands across our country, it would expose Americans to the kind of ruptures and blowouts that in just the past year have brought environmental disaster to the Yellowstone River, to the North Sea, to the Gulf of Mexico. And for what? The enriching of the oil industry, that's what. They posted profits of more than $67 billion in the first half of this year.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Remember when President Obama said, 'Let us be the generaetion that ends the tyranny of oil.' Man, that was great except I just checked and big oil is still pretty much running the show. But Mr. President, you've got a fabulous chance to turn that around and make good on your word. As we speak some very greedy guys are trying to make some very big bucks building a very, very dangerous pipeline that would carry an especially dirty form of oil called tar sands oil from Canada right through the heart of the United States. … Who can stop this mega-stupid mega-pipline? You can President Obama. … See an international pipeline like this one needs a permit directly from you, the President of the United States. Denying the permit for a brutally stupid money grab like the Keystone XL pipeline is a no brainer.”

Darryl Hannah: It's just unbelievable that it’s even in consideration. It's coming from the Canadian tar sands, which are recognized as the world's largest and most hideous environmental atrocity. Not only did they deforest an entire section of the boreal forest, but they've left behind a fifty-mile-wide toxic slurry pond that's so large it can be seen from outer space. I feel that if Obama approves this pipeline that he is sentencing us to our dependence on fossil fuels. It's just insanity because the pipeline, it’s not a possibility it might spill, it's inevitable that they have spills. We need that money and those jobs that are gonna go toward this pipeline to go toward real solutions, American U.S.-made community-based energy like solar, like wind, like geo-thermal. These things are happening, are already available.

Kyra Sedgwick: Every day, I take it for granted that when I turn on the faucet, clean water will come out. But the tar sands pipeline threatens to change that in America's heartland. Just like the BP oil spill, one glitch in the tar sands pipeline could destroy our clean water source possibly forever. Please join me and nine Nobel Peace Prize winner including the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in asking our President to do what we voted him into office to do, protect our resources and us.

David Strathain: President Obama is hearing voices, a lot of voices every day. For the most part they are the voices for the common good but sometimes they are the wrong voices like the voices of big oil companies that produces the dirtiest of dirty oil, tar sands oil. … Presidnet Obama ran for office speaking of the dangers of our fossil fuel addiction, promising to fight climate change and to fully embrace a clean energy future. The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is a dangerous step away from that commitment. This is President Obama's decision to make yes or no.

Margot Kidder: It's bound to leak, there's no way it’s not going to. … They always assure us those things are safe, and they never are.

 

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