Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is now accusing the Keystone pipeline of being a cancer risk.
Her first point was that the pipeline “will bring 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil into our nation every day.”
She then segued to point #2 by asserting that the heavy tar sands oil will put people who live near refineries at risk for cancer:
Significantly higher levels of dangerous air pollutants and carcinogens have been documented downwind from tar sands refineries, and in these areas people are suffering higher rates of the types of cancers linked to these toxic chemicals, including leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Boxer then cited examples of the danger, explaining that the tar sands oil will “flow to our Gulf Coast refineries, increasing the toxic air pollution that already plagues communities like Port Arthur, Texas.”
In neighborhoods in Detroit and Chicago, massive open piles of tar sands waste byproduct, known as ‘pet coke,’ have resulted in billowing black clouds containing concentrated heavy metals. Children playing baseball have been forced off the field to seek cover from the clouds of black dust that pelted homes and cars.
Boxer wants the Obama administration to put a hold on the pipeline until a study of its health effects can be conducted. She joined Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to ask for the move, which was endorsed by the National Nurses United union.
Boxer commented that the 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil would represent a 45 percent increase, and that “Canada is projected to raise tar sands production 300 percent by 2030.”
But the sales pitch to the public revolves around climate change. Boxer said:
We already know the Keystone XL pipeline would worsen climate change. But there has not been enough focus on the human health impacts of tar sands oil and the proposed pipeline. That is why Senator Whitehouse and I asked Secretary of State John Kerry to not make a decision on the pipeline until the Obama Administration has completed a comprehensive study on the human health risks.
Sen. Whitehouse is planning a trip through some of the Southern coastal states to sell his climate change agenda. In March, he visited Iowa “to urge citizens and businesses there to make sure climate change is a key issue there in the 2016 presidential election cycle.”