Sunday, December 18, 2011

We Need Real Jobs Solutions, Not the Keystone XL Pipeline

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The National Domestic Workers Alliance and Domestic Workers United call on the State Department not to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline or to take any actions that lead to the further extraction of Tar Sands oil from Alberta, Canada. The National Domestic Workers Alliance organizes domestic workers in the United States for respect, recognition and fair labor standards. We represent hundreds of thousands of women workers in the U.S. who do the work that makes all other work possible – the work of caring for homes and families.

Many of our members come to the U.S. from countries already severely impacted by climate change and environmental devastation. If approved and constructed, the Keystone XL pipeline will have a huge impact on our communities, on First Nation communities, on global greenhouse gas emissions, and risks major contamination of the largest freshwater aquifer in North America.

By building a pipeline from Alberta to Texas, Keystone XL will open up the Tar Sands in Canada to massive 
expansion, and will release huge quantities of this dirty oil into the global energy system. NDWA and DWU are concerned that Keystone XL could double the amount of highly toxic Tar Sands oil being imported into the United States. The Tar Sands has already destroyed vast areas of forest and hurt many local communities. The expansion of the Tar Sands will severely impede our country’s and the world’s efforts to transition to a more sustainable economy.

The Alliance and DWU therefore adds their voices to the rising opposition to this dangerous project. We stand with those in the labor movement who oppose Keystone XL, such as the Amalgamated Transit Union, the Transport Workers Union and others. We need jobs, but not jobs based on increasing our reliance on Tar Sands oil. There is no shortage of work to be done. Water pipelines need replacing, bridges and tunnels need repair, and transportation infrastructure must be renewed. We know first hand that many jobs are urgently needed in long-term care, particularly home-based care for our nation’s rapidly growing aging population.

We are both part of a broad alliance of organizations that have launched a campaign called Caring Across Generations, to create 2 million new, quality jobs in home care, to help ensure that our loved ones who need care and support can live with dignity and the workers charged with that important work have dignified jobs. This and many other initiatives offer real solutions to our nation’s jobs crisis. The Keystone pipeline is not one of them. On behalf of domestic workers and future generations, we urge decision-makers to focus on the solutions that will allow us to develop a healthy 21st Century economy, one that will truly work for all people and the planet.

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