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To: Senator Bill Nelson, Florida

Sen. Nelson must vote NO on Keystone Pipeline

Sen. Nelson must vote NO on Keystone Pipeline

As Florida residents and environmentally motivated voters, we were shocked and deeply troubled to hear that you had voted previously to support Big Oil on the Keystone XL Pipeline permit, which would bring the filthiest and most toxic ultra-crude oil across the Canadian border into our beautiful USA. Florida calls upon you to publicly reverse your ill-advised vote in support of the Keystone XL extension border crossing permit.

Why is this important?

Let us outline seven reasons that make this pipeline so dangerous to global climate generally and to our treasured Florida specifically:

1) Ultra Toxic, Ultra-Crude Tar Sands “Oil”
2) Atmospheric CO2 is Already Unsustainably High
3) The Athabasca Tar Sands are a Carbon Bomb – Not Business as Usual
4) The Jobs Mirage
5) Losing Summer Arctic Sea Ice
6) Miami as World’s Most Vulnerable
7) Sea Level Rise Threatens Florida

1) Ultra Toxic, Ultra-Crude Tar Sands “Oil”
This stuff is heavier than water and sinks into the water table when spilled, so the oil companies have no method to clean it up. This ultra-crude is loaded with a secret cocktail of chemicals to make tar flow, similar to those used in fracking, which have been kept secret from public view.

2) Atmospheric CO2 is Already Unsustainably High
The last time we had the current level of 400 ppm (parts per million) of CO2 in our global atmosphere was millions of years ago, before the recent rhythm of the last 40 ice age cycles began. There were crocodiles swimming in the Arctic Ocean and global sea levels were about 71 feet higher than they are today. Most of Florida was underwater in this ancient hothouse world. This fate is the new equilibrium that our planetary spaceship is destined to achieve with the CO2 levels already emitted by our ancestors and us.

This procrastination has already proven to be extremely expensive. How much did the New Orleans levee rebuild programs by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cost? Miami Beach has a $20 million seawall and pump project to buy another 20 years of tourist income. Mayor Bloomberg has proposed $50 billion dollars to storm-hardened New York City, with a $10 billion down payment from the Sandy relief funds.

3) The Athabasca Tar Sands are a Carbon Bomb – Not Business as Usual
They have been safely sequestered under a beautiful Canadian boreal forest area the size of the entire state of Florida for tens of millions of years. This area has been populated by first nation Athabasca Indians over the last 8,000 years, since they walked over from Siberia. This single deposit contains 400 gigatons of carbon that would, if totally consumed, increase global CO2 levels by an additional staggering 200 ppm. It has a carbon footprint half again larger than conventional crude oil.

4) The Jobs Mirage
According to President Obama, there will be 50 permanent jobs with good pay to operate the completed pipeline and at most a few hundred short-term jobs – mostly in India making the pipe and a few U.S. construction workers driving highly mechanized installation machinery.

5) Losing Summer Arctic Sea Ice
There is half the volume of summer sea ice that there was 3 years ago, according to Prof. Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University. He believes that late summer sea ice will disappear entirely in the next few years for the first time in millions of years. This is a tipping point!

Unfortunately, the global models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have given false hope when compared to current observations. Glacial ice in Greenland and Antarctica are observed to be melting far faster than IPCC models, which will transform the rate of sea level rise from an inch per decade into a foot per decade by century’s end – unless we rapidly transform our carbon economy to a renewable energy economy.

6) Miami as World’s Most Vulnerable
A 2007 OECD report, Ranking of the World’s Cities Most Exposed to Coastal Flooding Today and in the Future, ranked Miami as #1 in the world, with the most exposed assets to flooding both today ($416 billion) and in 2070 ($3,513 billion). This ranking reflects the extremely low topography of Miami and the expected sea level rise plus increasing storm surge vulnerability.

7) Sea Level Rise Threatens Florida
The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact published “A Unified Sea Level Rise Projection for Southeast Florida” in 2011. This group settled on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers forecast curves for guidance, which did not include the impact of Keystone tar sands.

The relative sea level rise scenarios for South Florida show three curves. The lowest, Curve II, is an extrapolation of historical trends of last century, which includes none of the effects of global warming and which few climate scientist believe will hold in the future. Curve I assumes the world makes a maximum effort to reduce greenhouse emissions, which has not yet occurred but would be far cheaper than adaptation. Curve III is the curve for business as usual, showing a 2-foot rise in 50 years and a 6-foot rise in 100 years. That would reduce South Florida to an unlivable condition and cost over $3.5 trillion, according to the OECD.

If the Keystone/Athabasca Tar Sands were consumed, we would need to calculate a new, 4th curve much higher and much worse than the 3rd curve that effectively drowns South Florida.

Florida, United States

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Updates

2014-11-19 12:04:50 -0500

Victory, for now! Sen. Nelson voted NO and Sen Rubio voted YES. Patrick Murphy (District 18) was the only for Florida Democrat in the Senate or the House to vote for Keystone XL.

This petition will remain active, because new Republicans plan to force more voting in the new year. Don't back down now!

2014-11-18 14:25:09 -0500

50 signatures reached

2014-11-18 08:45:31 -0500

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/17/politics/landrieu-senate-keystone-vote/
Still not sure about Nelson's vote.

2014-11-18 02:58:09 -0500

25 signatures reached

2014-11-17 23:22:05 -0500

10 signatures reached