SAN DIEGO - Hundreds of San Diegans marched near Mission Bay on Sunday, joining a nationwide protest to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project.
If approved, the pipeline would deliver bitumen slurry from Canada to the Texas coast to create refined petroleum products like gasoline.
The project out of Alberta, Canada is being funded by a Canadian company but it will run its pipelines down through the United States.
A huge protest occurred in Washington, D.C. on Sunday to send a message to President Obama about the long-term effects of the pipeline on the environment. A similar message was heard from hundreds in San Diego.
"Every time they measure the glaciers, they are retreating more quickly than we think," said Mark Reynolds, the executive director of the Citizens Climate Lobby. "So people can say, well that is not a local issue since the pipeline is not going through here. Well, also because we have Scripps, we have access to best scientists in the world. There is absolute consensus in the scientific world that we have too much CO2 in the atmosphere So now, we want to take an extremely dirty oil that is very energy intensive – even to get it here – and then even dirtier to burn. It's a bad idea. "
A spokeswoman from the American Petroleum Institute told 10News the pipeline will create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.
"Understand that the protestors' scene today is not against this pipeline, it's against fossil fuels," said Sabrina Fang, who is with the American Petroleum Institute. "They believe that not building Keystone is going to end the oil production in Canada and that is simply not true. The Canadians are going to produce this resource. They are going to sell it but the question is, is it going to go to China or is it going to go here?"
Reynolds added, "Why is it also a local issue? Well, if you look at the storm surge in Sandy, the ocean on the East Coast is a foot higher than it used to be… Being a coastal community, we are going to be impacted by more CO2 going into the atmosphere, not just the air but when CO2 goes in the ocean."
Scientists expect the sea level to rise 12 to 18 inches over the next three or four decades.