March 23 – Break the Toxic Chokehold of Tar Sands!

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On Saturday, March 23 at noon, Utah Tar Sands Resistance, Peaceful Uprising and other allies will rally together at the Chevron refinery (at 2300 N, 1100W) as part of the cross-continental Week of Actions to Stop Tar Sands Profiteers (March 16–23) (1). Chevron is already refining toxic tar sands oil from Canada, and it plans to refine the oil from the first tar sands mine in the United States, set to begin in eastern Utah in 2013 (2). We will rise up in solidarity to show investors that tar sands is a toxic investment.

From Canada to Houston (3)—and in Utah—tar sands mines and refineries poison air and water (4). The huge tar sands mines of Alberta, Canada are expanding, endangering all the people downstream, the refinery communities, and the workers (5). People downstream are already dying of rare cancers. Utah will suffer the same consequences if we don’t stop mining and refining of tar sands from happening here.

Utahns already suffer from the worse air quality in the nation—which is getting worse due to Chevron’s refining of tar sands. Tar sands is even more toxic to our air than regular crude, putting communities and workers at serious risk (6). Communities by refineries and those downwind stand at high risk of cancer. The toxic air keeps children’s lungs from fully developing and causes our parents and grandparents to die early.

Lax safety measures at Chevron’s refineries also jeopardize the lives of refinery workers and surrounding communities. An accident in Richmond, CA in August 2012 sent over 15,000 people to the ER, and Utah is no safer. The refineries in Salt Lake City committed 787 serious worker safety violations in 2009 alone (7), and Chevron has been responsible for massive safety violations in recent years (8).

We rise up along in solidarity with all impacted communities to break the stranglehold of the tar sands industry across the continent. We will be joined by groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity, 350.org, Rising Tide North America, Global Exchange, and Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT). We stand together in defiance of tar sands profiteers, knowing that now is the time to shut down this dirty industry for good. Our children, our elders, and our workers deserve nothing less.

1. Tar Sands Blockade: Week of Actions to Stop Tar Sands Profiteers
http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction/
2. Salt Lake Tribune: Tar Sands Mine in Utah Gets Final Nod from Regulators
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55615479-78/board-decision-environmental-gas.html.csp
3. Mother Jones: American Refineries Getting Ready for Dirty Tar Sands Oil
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/tar-sands-oil-refinery-detroit
4. NRDC: Voices Against Tar Sands
http://www.nrdc.org/energy/keystone-pipeline/tar-sands-stories/
5. New York Times: Oil Sands Industry in Canada Tied to Higher Carcinogen Level
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/world/americas/oil-sand-industry-in-canada-tied-to-higher-carcinogen-level.html?_r=0
6. Forest Ethics Report: Tar Sands Refineries Put Communities at Risk
http://forestethics.org/news/tar-sands-refineries-report
7. Salt Lake Tribune: Safety Records Show Hundreds of Violations at Utah Refineries
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54844934-78/refineries-refinery-utah-oil.html.csp
8. Fox 13: Feds Fine Chevron for Safety Violations in Salt Lake City Oil Spill Investigation
http://downtown.fox13now.com/content/feds-fine-chevron-safety-violations-salt-lake-city-oil-spill-investigation

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