I've written a letter to President Barack Obama about the tar sands XL pipeline. I realized the issues of tar sands extraction when Ken Ilgunas was walking by our family farm. He is on a trek to walk the entire route of the proposed XL pipeline.

Ken showed my family a video he took while flying over the tar sands in Alberta, Canada. I suddenly realized this wasn’t only my family's issue but a global issue.

Tar sands extraction is an environmentally devastating process. If the whole tar sands area is developed, it will destroy an area larger than the state of Florida. This part of the boreal forest will never be reclaimed.

The bigger issue of tar sand extraction is that it is the dirtiest oil in the world with the highest carbon emissions. It will be sold on the world market and bought by developing countries like China.

Oil companies are blocked going west in Canada because of First Nations' actions. I believe this is an export pipeline; the oil is not for the United States.

Jenni Harrington, Bradshaw

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