'No Jobs on a Dead Planet': 10 Reasons Nurses Oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline
National Nurses United, a group numbering 185,000 registered nurses from across the United States, is among the forces opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry 880,000 barrels per day of viscous crude from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico coast. Numerous environmental groups, Indigenous Peoples and others have spoken out against the pipeline for the harm it does to the planet that nurtures life. National Nurses United is front and center to the ramifications of relying on fossil fuels and says that Keystone XL will only exacerbate the forces that undermine public health.
“There is broad concern about the harmful health effects linked to both the extraction and transport of tar sands, as well as how the pipeline will accelerate the steadily worsening erosion of health we see every day as a result of climate change,” said Jean Ross, RN, co-president of National Nurses United, in a January statement when the U.S. Department of State released its final environmental impact assessment. “Nurses will continue to oppose construction of this project, and call on President Obama to stand with our patients and our communities, not the big oil interests, to reject KXL.”
The group, formed in 2009 when three organizations—the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association—joined forces. On February 19 National Nurses United compiled a 10-point list of exactly why they think the pipeline, which is under review by President Barack Obama, should not be approved. Below is a summary of their points.
1. No Jobs on a Dead Planet
The nurses point out that all the promises of jobs come out to just 35 employed positions for operating the pipeline once construction is done.
“Infrastructure repair and promoting a green economy is a far better solution for the jobs crisis than a project that NASA scientist and climate expert James Hansen famously calls “game over” on the climate front,” the nurses point out.
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