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Our worst nightmare has come to pass: after years of fighting to stop the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines from being built, a single decision by President Donald Trump has set environmentalism back to square one. Both pipelines have been approved as part of the president's "America First Energy Plan."
The Dakota Access Pipeline is projected to transport 570,000 barrels of crude oil each day, from northwest North Dakota, to south central Illinois, spanning 1,172 miles in all. Within and along those 1,172 miles is farmland, forests, and rivers. The Keystone XL Pipeline would carry Canadian oil sands crude across America's heartland to the Gulf coast. The combined projects would result in 2,279 miles of potentially leaking pipelines, contaminating everything in their path: rivers, forests, underground aquifers. Everything.
While it is true that the American economy depends on oil, it is also true that there are other options to power the United States. Sustainable, green energy becomes more viable by the day. It is the energy of the future.
This single decision is a massive step backward in the fight to preserve our nation's environment and progress towards a sustainable, green-energy fueled future. It denies the link between oil and climate change. It ignores the damage that the pipelines will inevitably spread across the country.
We must speak up. We must act. Tell President Donald Trump to reverse his approval of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines. The future economic and environmental welfare of the nation is at stake!
Your decision to approve the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines has come to as a great shock to me. I am writing today to implore you to reverse your decision, and put an end to these disastrous pipelines for good.
I do understand the nation's desire for oil. I also understand the nation's desire to wean itself from its dependency on foreign oil. But those desires do not outweigh the potential danger that comes from depending on unsustainable, dirty energy.
We cannot build a future on oil. We cannot protect our nation's farmlands, forests, and water sources with oil. We cannot address the grim future of a permanently damaged climate with oil.
I implore you, put an end to the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. Invest in green-energy and the sustainable jobs that accompany that industry. Don't hamper progress for short term profits and the destruction of the environment.