LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Learn about pipeline project at informational meeting

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | 4:26 p.m. CDT; updated 9:12 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 23, 2013

As someone who loves clean water, and life, I think it’s time to educate the public about tar sands. 

The Flanagan South Pipeline is being fast-tracked and constructed through Missouri as we speak, crossing approximately 2,000 streams and individual properties. An eventual 775,000 barrels of dilbit (diluted bitumen), a slurry of crude oil that is diluted with petroleum products, will be traveling under our streams and rivers on its way to Oklahoma.  

Much of this oil is expected to be shipped to China. It will carry more than twice the capacity of the failed pipeline in Kalamazoo, Mich., and is being constructed beside another Enbridge pipeline 60 years Flanagan’s senior. 

I would encourage you to learn more about what happened in Michigan, the largest tar sands spill in U.S. history, its costs and environmental impact. One of the world’s largest wildlands is being destroyed to extract tar sands in the boreal forest of Canada right now, and people’s lives are at stake, as the First Nations and people in Kalamazoo can attest to.

I invite you to learn more about this issue at an informational meeting presented by the Heartland Prairies Tar Sands Resistance at 7 p.m. Friday in the commission chambers of the Boone County Government Center, 801 E. Walnut St.  You can also find out more on the Heartland Prairies Tar Sands Resistance's Facebook page

What future price are we willing to pay for today’s energy?  The time to speak out is now.

Melanie Cheney is a Columbia resident.

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