Letter: Keystone XL for toxic tar, not crude oil

The XL does not transport crude oil as most of us are familiar with. It transports tar that is burned from the sands of Alberta Canada using one of the most toxic, polluting methods in the industry. The tar is then mixed with other toxic material, heated and pushed through the pipeline under high pressure. When there is a leak this toxic tar will explode out over the land, unlike crude oil that will be absorbed to some degree by the soil the tar sinks. The tar sinks into the groundwater faster.

I went to the Cowboy and Indian Alliance rally held in Art Tanderup’s corn field near Neligh, Neb., in 2014. The Keystone XL pipeline would travel over the Ogallala Aquifer. The Canadian tar would contaminate one of the most important aquifers in the United States. I talked to many farmers and ranchers at the rally. One conversation stands out. The rancher I talked to turned down $238,000 to have the XL transport tar across his ranch. “This pipeline could destroy our way of life for generations.”

Gov. Burgum, why are you promoting tar from Alberta, Canada? If companies are buying Canadian tar, they are not buying North Dakota crude. Premier Trudeau called President Biden and voiced disapproval of revoking the permit for the XL pipeline. If it is such a great job producer, why isn’t Trudeau building it across Canada? Is it because the other provinces in Canada do not want the toxic tar crossing their land?

Collin Evenson, Devils Lake


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