Fight Against Tar Sands Pipeline to New York City
Annual Meeting, Landowner Asks CEO Not to Finance TransCanada Project
NEW YORK, April 20— David Daniel is traveling 1,500 miles
from the Piney Woods of East Texas to midtown Manhattan this week with
a message for the nation’s third-largest bank: Don’t help a Canadian
oil pipeline company endanger my community.
Daniel is one of the landowners
in five heartland states whose property lies in the path of the proposed
Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry dirty, toxic and corrosive tar
sands oil miles from northern Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries.
The bank is Citigroup, a major
financier to TransCanada Corp. of Calgary, which is seeking State Department
approval to build the 1,980-mile pipeline. Citigroup has raised more
than $5.8 billion for TransCanada and its related companies since 2007.
At Citigroup’s annual stockholders meeting Thursday, April 21, Daniel
will ask CEO Vikram Pandit to stop financing TransCanada.
The $7 billion pipeline project
would double the export of Canadian tar sands to the United States.
It would carry tar sands oil across Montana,
South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas—mostly across private property owned
by farmers and ranchers. The route also runs through the Ogallala Aquifer,
putting one-third of the groundwater used in American agriculture at
risk of contamination from diluted bitumen, a more corrosive product
than conventional crude oil.
“As a landowner in the path
of Keystone XL, my family, just as so many others, have experienced
trespassing, broken agreements, lies pertaining to payment for damages,
lies about permitting, eminent domain abuse, and a complete disregard
for our personal safety,” said Daniel, who lives outside of Winnsboro,
Tex., about 100 miles east of Dallas. “I have no reason to trust TransCanada
with the lives of my family. Mr. Pandit needs to hear about the human
consequences of financing this dangerous project."
In September 2010, Citigroup
managed a $1 billion bond for TransCanada, purchasing $295 million of
Canada is the United States’
number one source of foreign oil, and the tar sands comprise about half
of Canadian oil exports. Tar sands extraction uses huge amount of water
which ends up in massive toxic waste ponds that have never been successfully
“Our message to Citigroup
is simple: STOP financing TransCanada! Citigroup has a responsibility
to the American people to not help fund a foreign company that takes
land without having all the necessary permits and that aims to put our
livelihoods in danger by piping a corrosive, acidic material four feet
underground at high heat and a high pressure,” says Brittany Dawn
McAllister, coordinator of Stop Tarsands Oil Pipelines.
Daniel, a former stuntman,
is founder of Stop
Tarsands Oil Pipelines,
a group active in informing and organizing Texas landowners and citizens
against the project. If the project is approved, he says he’ll build
a platform in one of the century-old elms on his land and stand his
ground. "If I am in it, they can't cut the tree down."
The Keystone XL pipeline is
a proposed project of foreign company TransCanada that would carry tar
sands oil from Canada, through America’s heartland, to the Texas Gulf
Coast. In Texas, the pipeline would cross through Fannin, Lamar, Delta,
Hopkins, Franklin, Wood, Upshur, Smith, Cherokee, Rusk, Nacogdoches,
Angelina, Polk, Liberty, Harris, Hardin, Chambers, and Jefferson counties.