Nurses Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline, Cite Adverse Effects of Increased Air Pollution, Climate Change
Citing serious adverse health concerns, National Nurses United announced today that it is joining with environmentalists, unions and other organizations from across the country to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline – the 1,700 mile of tar sands oil pipeline from Canada to refineries in Texas. With 185,000 members, NNU is the largest organization and union of registered nurses.
The Keystone XL could have a significant impact on the health of communities in the tar sands production areas along its route and refinery fence line communities where the heavy sour crude will be processed. In addition, the emissions from tar sands will exacerbate climate change which affects public health much more broadly even than the widespread direct impacts of the tar sands industry.
“Nurses care for patients every day who struggle with health crises aggravated by environmental pollution in its many forms,” said NNU Co-President Deborah Burger, RN. “As a society we need to reduce the effects of environmental factors, including climate change, that are making people sick, and endangering the future for our children. That’s why we oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.”
NNU is particularly concerned about the impact of climate change in hastening the spread of infectious disease, waterborne and food borne pathogens, and air pollution which already lead to significant health problems across the U.S.