Category Archives: Conservation

Keystone XL on Steroids

Corporate America wants to ram another dangerous pipeline through another sparsely-populated region, Trans-Pecos Texas. The wild and scenic landscapes of this region, however, inspire many of its residents to preserve its beauty, tranquility, and wildlife. The Big Bend Conservation Alliance is leading the fight against this proposed pipeline, and has started a petition to urge President Obama to deny permits for this project. For further information, I recommend reading The Big Bend Sentinel, a Presidio County newspaper. They have done some thorough yet balanced reporting on the proposed pipeline.

In addition to signing the petition, I submitted the following letter to President Obama through the White House contact form.

Dear President Obama:

I appreciate your rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline. However, Corporate America has not finished ramming dangerous pipelines through America’s pristine lands over the objections of landowners and communities. A pipeline that is much larger and potentially more volatile than Keystone is proposed to be routed through the Trans-Pecos Region of West Texas to carry raw natural gas to Mexico. Because the Trans-Pecos pipeline will be connected to a Mexican pipeline at the border near Presidio, Texas, it can be considered an international pipeline as the Keystone was.

The pipeline is proposed to pass through Texas’ most wild and scenic landscapes consisting of mountains, canyons, grasslands, alpine forests, and the Rio Grande. This land was once the home of the Mescalero Apache and was surveyed by Spanish explorers. Americans arrived and established Fort Davis, where many Buffalo Soldiers were stationed after the Civil War. Fort Davis is now a national historic site and one of the best-preserved frontier forts in the U.S.

Construction of some of the supporting infrastructure had begun before the pipeline company began engaging with residents of the region, and there are still more questions than answers about the pipeline. One of those questions concerns whether the pipeline will include compression stations, which use a lot of energy and make loud noises that could interfere with communication among birds and other wildlife.

Although Trans-Pecos Texas may seem insignificant to politicians in Washington, please consider that in 2008 and 2012 you got 71% of the vote in Presidio County, where a significant part of the pipeline would run.

Rejection of this pipeline would be a rejection of the dirty-energy past and a step toward a clean-energy future, and would help preserve the beauty and tranquility of the Trans-Pecos that draws tourists from Texas, the U.S., and around the world. I therefore urge you, Mr. President, to use your authority to stop the Trans-Pecos Pipeline as you did to Keystone.

If you want further information, I recommend that you read The Big Bend Sentinel, a Presidio County newspaper. They have done some thorough yet balanced reporting on the pipeline.