7 April, 2013
U.S. Representative Stephen F. Lynch
Lynch for Senate
13 Temple Street
Quincy, MA 02169
Dear Congressman Lynch,
I am writing on behalf of concerned Massachusetts voters about your position on an issue that is vital to our nation’s climate security, the Keystone XL Pipeline. In Congress, you voted in favor of the pipeline in 2011 (PDF, pg. 42) and twice in 2012 (PDF, pgs 46-47). The pipeline would take dirty tar sands oil from Alberta and pipe it through America’s heartland, en route to foreign markets. Recent statements by you and your campaign spokesman, Conor Yunits, indicate a possible change of heart on this issue. While we would certainly welcome your evolution on this issue, we ask that make your position on the Keystone XL Pipeline clear to Massachusetts Democratic primary voters.
It sounds to me that you’ve gone from a proud Keystone XL proponent to a Keystone Light backer – trying to both drink a beer and avoid calories. But you can’t have it both ways (Keystone Light, after all, still has plenty of calories). You either support the pipeline and all the spills and climate catastrophes that go with it, or you reject it and stand up for our future.
Certainly, recent events have demonstrated glaring issues with the pipeline. The oil spill disaster that is unfolding in Arkansas is endangering an entire community. In this case, the oil company used what they described as “state of the art” pipeline technology. What if something similar happened in the Pioneer Valley?
It could also be that TransCanada, the company constructing the pipeline, has not provided legally binding proof that Keystone XL’s oil will stay in the United States, and not be exported to our foreign competitors. Has the fact that you were unable to provide such letter changed your thinking?
As you know, this oil is destined for export to other countries, rather than support America’s energy independence. And, according to TransCanada’s own contractors, it will create only 35 permanent jobs – note of which is expected to be in Massachusetts. In fact, TransCanada has been the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint filed by those concerned with its inflated job creation claims.
Finally, you must also be considering the impact of burning tar sands oil, one of the dirtiest forms of oil on the planet, on climate change. The increase in catastrophic weather has many worried about what would happen if an event like Superstorm Sandy hit Boston with the same force it hit New Jersey. Likewise, many voters are concerned about the impact climate change is having on the planet’s life support systems that future – and present generations – rely upon.
As we are about begin our extensive effort to reach one million Massachusetts Democratic primary voters, we want to accurately represent your position to those we reach: do you or do you not back this pipeline, and everything that goes with it? We look forward to your timely response, as we would like to be able to relay to the voters if you are supporting the people of the Commonwealth or the profits of Big Oil.
Craig S. Altemose