To the Reader's Forum:
The production of tar sands oil is extremely degrading to the environment and should be prohibited world wide.
The United States, by allowing the import of tar or oil extracted in this manner is condoning actions that are criminal to all the present and future inhabitants of our fragile earth. Its extraction permanently scars the environment and is extremely water and energy intensive. With easily extracted oil gone, mankind is scraping the bottom of the barrel with this technology.
While our climate rages with extreme events worldwide, from scorching drought in California and Australia, frighteningly warm winter weather in Alaska and wild winter weather across the eastern United States, our government continues to deny the reality of manmade climate change due to the burning of fossil fuels and the release of other greenhouse gases such as methane. An overwhelming majority of scientists worldwide are convinced that climate change is happening, is manmade, and requires effective resolute action now to halt the magnitude of the increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouses in the atmosphere which are condemning the world's population to colossal cataclysmic disruptions from loss of glacier fed water supplies, sea level rise coupled with storms destroying coastal population centers, and crop failures. Add to that, the acidification of the world's oceans are now impacting the shellfishing industry as the first indication of the potential collapse of ocean food webs and valuable fisheries.
The world is becoming an ever more dangerous place, with more humans, less habitable land and more conflict, as a result of climate change. Yet, our Congress, blinded by cash from the fossil fuel industry and its carbon-dependent industrial partners, clings to a creed of denial held only by an infinitesimal minority of scientists. Mr. Krauthhammer had it all wrong in his column on the Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline would, if approved, be responsible for at least 181 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) each year, comparable to the tailpipe emissions from more than 37.7 million cars or 51 coal-fired power plants (Oil Change International, April 2013). The world cannot afford the environmental impacts of this destructive tar oil, nor should the United States condone anything but leaving this dirty material in the earth where it belongs.