Sierra Club: Moving from Tar Sands to Clean Transportation in Wisconsin

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Information about Sierra Club: Moving from Tar Sands to Clean Transportation in Wisconsin

Published on March 5, 2014

Author: shahlawerner



Details Sierra Club's work to expose Enbridge's terrible track record of tar sands oil spills; and offers ideas on how we can block proposed tar sands expansions in the Great Lakes region and work for cleaner transportation alternatives (biking, walking, transit, and electric cars)

Protecting Our Great Lakes from Tar Sands Threats & Expanding Clean Transportation Shahla Werner, Director, Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter 222 South Hamilton St, #11, Madison, WI 53703 (608) 256-0565,

Structure of Presentation • • • • Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter Background Climate Change Update Tar Sands Oil Background Enbridge’s Environmental Track Record & Proposed Great Lakes Region Expansion • What You can Do to Drive Down Demand & Stop Tar Sands Expansions

The Sierra Club Founded in 1892 by John Muir, Sierra Club is the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. 1.4 million members & supporters Mission: To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.

John Muir Born in Scotland, grew up in Marquette Co, WI, attended UW - Madison; Founded the Sierra Club in 1892 One of America’s most influential conservationists: “Father of our National Parks,” “Wilderness Prophet,” and “Citizen of the Universe” Self-proclaimed “poetico-trampogeologist-botanist and ornithologistnaturalist!!!” Photo from Sierra Club Colby Library Created Sierra club to “make the mountains glad”

Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter 15,000 members & supporters in WI 6 local groups, Four Lakes, Fox Valley, Great Waters, Chippewa Valley, Coulee Region, Southeast Gateway 3 special activity sections: River Touring Section, Inner City Outings and Sierra Student Coalition Executive Committee: 15 elected volunteers (9 at-large, 6 group delegates) Staff: Director Shahla Werner Chapter Coordinator Jacinda Tessmann, Conservation Programs Coord. Elizabeth Ward Priorities: Reducing Climate Change threats through Clean Energy & Clean Transportation; Protecting Wisconsin’s Water; Maintaining Mining Safeguards

Clean Transportation Organizing • In the 2012-13 budget we blocked an attempt to strip collective bargaining rights from transit workers that would have cost $47 million in federal transit aid, and we stopped transit from being taken out of the transportation fund. But, transit aid was cut by 10%, and all of Wisconsin’s regional transit authorities were repealed. • In the 2014-15 state budget, we blocked a second attempt to remove transit from the transportation fund and got a 4% increase in funding for transit and local roads.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change: 2013 IPCC Report • Concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide are at highest levels in 800,000 years. • Each of the last 3 decades has been warmer than any preceding decade since 1850 • The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass over past 2 decades; sea level is rising; oceans acidifying

Local Climate Change Impacts Not just an environmental problem, but also an economic and public health issue Lautenbach's Orchard in Fish Creek reduced yields from 8-10 million pounds to 500,000 lbs in 2012 due to the extreme drought (Rick Evans) Gov. Scott Walker is seeking federal disaster aid for 11 Wisconsin counties after June 2013 flooding caused more than $9.2 million in damage to roads and infrastructure Early spring blossoms and late freeze caused WI apple crop to decrease by 31 million pounds in 2012

Climate Change: A note of Urgency ―We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions. If instead we follow an energy-intensive path of squeezing liquid fuels from tar sands, shale oil, and heavy oil, and do so without capturing and sequestering CO2 emissions, climate disasters will become unavoidable.” - James Hansen, Adjunct Professor, Columbia University, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences; Former Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Science

US Greenhouse Gas Sources Commercial and Residential 11.00% Agriculture 8.00% Industry 20.00% Transportation 28.00% Electricity 33.00% • Transportation is the 2nd Largest Source of GHG • In 2011, the US emitted 6,702 million metric tons of CO2 Equivalent (6.9% below 2005 levels) - EPA Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2011

Emissions by Transportation Category (2010) Rail, Freight 2.30% Shipping, Intern ational 3.60% Other 10.90% Air 9.00% Light Duty Vehicles 56.70% Freight Trucks 17.40% Passenger Vehicles (Cars & Trucks) Emit Most Transportation GHGs

The United States Uses 28,000 Barrels of Oil Every 2 Min US uses 19.6 million barrels oil / day (7,154 million barrels/year in 2010), 22% of the world’s total. (1 Barrel = 42 gallons)

Tar Sands Oil: Extraction & Dilution • Tar or oil sands are composed of clay, sand, water, and bitumen (a heavy, black hydrocarbon similar to asphalt). • Tar sands oil must be diluted with chemicals like carcinogenic benzene, before being transported. Diluted tar sands are called dilbit. • Tar sands are found beneath 54,000 square miles of pristine boreal forest in Alberta, Canada, habitat critical for wildlife and carbon sequestration. • Producing a barrel of tar sands oil generates 3x more carbon dioxide emissions than conventional oil. Oil companies want to Triple Production of Tar Sands Oil from 2 – 6 million bpd.

Tar Sands Extraction Destroys Vast Areas of Boreal Forest Habitat in Canada By 2022, mining and oil sands is projected to result in the loss of forest habitat the size of 34.5 football fields / day

Tar Sands Oil Extraction Harms Public Health & Wildlife • Tar Sands Wastewater Ponds are linked to deformed walleye, moose with high arsenic levels, and waterfowl mortality • Mining Tar Sands Can Contaminate Drinking Water with Arsenic & Mercury • Fort Chipewyan, located 100 miles downstream from tar sands development in the Athabascan River, has higher than expected levels of lymphoma and soft tissue cancers.

Tar Sands Extraction Threatens First Nations People

Enbridge is seeking to expand the capacity of their Alberta Clipper (Line 67) from 450,000 to 880,000 barrels per day Enbridge is seeking to expand the capacity of Line 3 from 390,000 bpd to 760,000 bpd (a net increase of 360,000 bpd) and repurpose the line to carry both conventional (light) and tar sands oil, all without a presidential permit. Enbridge has proposed expanding Line 61 (Southern Access Pipeline) of the Lakehead System across Wisconsin from 400,000 bpd to 560,000 bpd by mid-2014 Enbridge has already increased the capacity of Line 5, an aging 60 year old pipeline under the Mackinac Bridge near Lake Michigan from 20 – 22mgd. Enbridge has had 800 pipeline spills since 1999, spewing 6.8 million gallons of oil into our environment. Should we trust them with our Great Lakes and other water resources?

Calumet Specialty Products recently put their $20 million project to ship tar sands across Lake Superior “on hold” – but, they continue to apply for WDNR permits

Enbridge’s Track Record in the Great Lakes Region Map: National Wildlife Federation, Beth Wallace Enbridge has had 84 spills in the Lakehead System since 2002

Enbridge’s Kalamazoo River Disaster: The Largest Inland Oil Spill in US History The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Photo: Todd Heywood On July 25, 2010, Enbridge Pipeline 6B spilled over a million Gallons of Oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. Heavy rains caused the oil to travel 35 miles downstream. The National Transportation Safety Board stated: “for more than 17 hours they failed to follow their own shutdown procedures“ Three years later, the clean-up still isn’t finished

Low Penalties Won’t Cover Clean Up, Prevent Spills Graphic: National Wildlife Federation Enbridge’s fines are a drop in the bucket compared with revenue. In 2010, Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel made $8,055,856 Rather than using profits to clean up Kalamazoo, Enbridge took out full page ads in 2012 touting their “99.999% pipeline safety record” Enbridge staff contributed to Gov. Walker, Sen. Darling, Sen. Fitzgerald & Sen. Harsdorf in 2011-12.

Enbridge’s History of Failing Wisconsin In Jan. 2007, an Enbridge pipeline ruptured, pouring 29,000 gallons of crude oil onto a farm field in Clark County. In Feb, 2007 the existing pipeline ruptured, sending 176,000 gallons of crude oil into a Rusk County Farm Field. In January 2009, Enbridge Energy Partners paid $1.1 million to settle claims under Wisconsin’s waterway and wetland protection and storm water control laws. In July, 2013 a farm field in Grand Marsh, WI was covered by 1,200 barrels of oil after Enbridge pipeline (Line 14) ruptured there.

What’s at Stake in Wisconsin “Among the waters vulnerable to Canadian pipeline company Enbridge's ill-advised plans are Lakes Superior and Michigan as well as the Bois Brule, Namekagon, Chippewa, Wisconsin, Fox and Rock rivers. Profit and jobs would go to Canada. Crude oil would go overseas. Toxic risk would stay here, sprinkled throughout our region in the crude oil spills, air quality and public health impacts.” - Eric Hansen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 4, 2013

Speak Out Against Tar Sands Expansions in the Great Lakes Region • Urge Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama to deny the permit and require a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement for Enbridge Line 67 (Alberta Clipper) • Urge the President to require a Presidential permit for the proposed Line 3 expansion. • Urge DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to study corrosive effects of bitumen on pipelines • Urge Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp and other DNR officials to to deny the proposed expansion of Enbridge Line 61 in Wisconsin • Encourage local communities to strengthen zoning & right to know laws along the Line 61 expansion route, tar sands rail routes • Thank the Wisconsin DNR for denying Calumet Specialty Product’s proposal to ship tar sands oil across Lake Superior. • Volunteer with the Sierra Club: email

How Can YOU Reduce Tar Sands Demand? – Drive Less: Take Transit, Walking and Biking where you Can, Live Closer to Work and Play – Oppose unnecessary highway spending – Support Increased investments in public transportation – Support walking and biking paths and programs – Encourage the development of dense urban areas which are accessible without an automobile. – Drive an efficient car: support electric and hybrid vehicles, charging stations and low carbon fuels

Oppose Unnecessary, Costly Highway Spending

Ride the Bus, and Support Increased investment in public transportation

Bike when you Can, and Support bike paths, Bike Sharing & Rental Programs.

Walk, Support Safe Routes to School & Mixed Use Urban Areas that Reduce the Need to Drive

Some Good News: Vehicle Miles Traveled Are Already Decreasing VMT peaked in 2004 Source: FHWA and US Census Bureau

Young People Are Leading The Way Shift is due to environmental concern, social networking, higher gas prices, and wanting convenience. But we must do more! Source: Transportation and the New Generation, US.PIRG and Frontier Group, 2012

The Power of Transit to Reduce Oil Use If Americans used public transportation at the same rate as Europeans for roughly 10 % of their daily travel needs - the United States would reduce its dependence on imported oil by more than 40 percent or nearly the amount of oil we import from Saudi Arabia each year. - Dr. Robert Shapiro and Dr. Kevin Hassett in the report Conserving Energy and Preserving the Environment: The Role of Public Transportation

Drive An Electric or Hybrid, Carpool, Combine Trips, & Use Low Carbon Fuels New Standards Requiring Vehicles to Get at least 54.5 miles /gallon by 2025 will save about $1.7 trillion at the gas pump, cut US oil use by 12 billion barrels (504 billion gallons), and prevent emissions of 6 billion metric tons of carbon pollution

Clean Transportation Offers Environmental Benefits & More • • • • • • • • Fewer Climate Change Emissions Reduced dependence on Tar Sands and Offshore Drilling Reduced Need for Foreign Wars Cleaner air, More Walking & Biking = Healthier People (Less Asthma and Childhood Obesity) Stronger, More Stable, Local Economy Saving Money on Gas Less wasted time in traffic, Fewer car crashes Increased Mobility for Seniors: Allows Aging in Place

Clean Transportation Boosts Our Economy • Bicycling contribute $1.5 billion to Wisconsin’s economy annually, including $535 million in tourism revenues (Nelson Institute) • Every $1 spent on public transit provides a $3.44 economic return to the state (WisDOT)

Thank You! Let’s protect Wisconsin for future generations! Help us work for clean transportation today!

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