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TransCanada Runs Deceptive Ad Pushing Controversial Oil Pipeline

Posted Feb. 17, 2011 / Posted by: Kelly Trout

For Immediate Release
February 17, 2011

Contact:
Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722, ktrout@foe.org
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748, nberning@foe.org

TransCanada Runs Deceptive Ad Pushing Controversial Oil Pipeline

Canadian company misleads public, asserts pumping tar sands oil into U.S. would reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Canadian oil company TransCanada Pipelines has been running a deceptive and misleading television ad claiming that a controversial pipeline proposed to bring tar sands oil from Canada to the U.S. will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Alex Moore, dirty fuels campaigner at Friends of the Earth, called the ad, which is running on Washington, D.C.-area stations, “a disingenuous inside-the-Beltway tactic aimed at containing the heat the company’s feeling from surging grassroots opposition to the dirty Keystone XL pipeline.”

In the commercial, TransCanada's ad text falsely states that, by approving the pipeline, America would be “reducing foreign oil.”

On the contrary, the pipeline would carry up to 900,000 barrels of Canadian tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada into the U.S. daily, thereby making the U.S. more dependent on oil that is by definition foreign and, additionally, the dirtiest available. A recently uncovered TransCanada report revealed that the oil company had itself noted that the pipeline would replace U.S. domestic sources of oil with Canadian tar sands oil.

The ad has aired as the U.S. State Department prepares to make a key decision on whether or not to allow for a full environmental analysis of the impacts of piping Canadian oil across the U.S.

“Besides piping the world’s dirtiest oil, it seems that TransCanada is also in the business of misleading the American public,” Moore continued. “This controversial pipeline can only be justified through deception. I hope the State Department and Secretary Clinton will not be so gullible. The agency should reject TransCanada’s plans as environmentally unjustified.”

Moore concluded, “The dirty oil carried by the Keystone XL pipeline would endanger drinking water in America’s heartland and foul the air in Texas, making Americans less, not more secure.”

This is not the first time TransCanada has been accused of distorting the facts. Texas landowners have said that TransCanada misled them about chemical additives that would be mixed into the tar sands oil and landowners have set up a hotline for Texans to report intimidation by TransCanada. A Texas journalist also reported that TransCanada evaded questions about the safety of its pipeline.

A transcript by Friends of the Earth of the TransCanada ad is available here: http://www.foe.org/sites/default/files/TransCanada-ad-transcript.pdf

TransCanada’s report is available here: http://www.tradeobservatory.org/library.cfm?RefID=106233 (See graph on page 20 of the PDF file.)

More information about the Keystone XL pipeline is available at: http://www.foe.org/projects/climate-and-energy/tar-sands/keystone-xl-pipeline

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Friends of the Earth and our network of grassroots groups in 76 countries fight to create a more healthy, just world. Our current campaigns focus on clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.

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