Bacon Launches Animal Protection Campaign

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November 17, 2011 | 2:25pm EST

Actor Kevin Bacon has launched a new campaign against the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline in a bid to protect the rare spirit bear.
Environmental activists have been campaigning to prevent the building of the pipeline, which will transport oil reserves from Canada through the heart of the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico, and last week, President Barack Obama shelved the controversial plan until after the 2012 election – to allow for a review of the proposal.

However, the delay has conservationists worried the added time will give oil giants a chance to gain more support.

And the Footloose star has now joined forces with officials at the Natural Resources Defense Council in an effort to preserve the spirit bear’s habitat and protect the species from certain extinction if the plan goes through.

In a new online ad, he says, “In British Columbia a native legend says that when the great glaciers retreated a white bear was left behind to remind us that this lush rainforest was once covered in ice and snow. Today, only 400 of these spirit bears still survive, along a wild untamed coastline that has sustained the people of many first nations for thousands of years. But the land of the spirit bears is facing a grave new threat.

“The Enbridge corporation is planning a pipeline that would carry billions of gallons of tar sands oil into the heart of the spirit bear coast. Enbridge pipelines have had more than 700 spills in the past 10 years. The new pipeline would fill super tankers with the world’s dirtiest oil, the ships would then have to navigate a passage narrower than the passage that sank the Exxon Valdez (ship). A single spill could blanket the spirit bear coast in a matter of days. What will become of the spirit bear?”

Bacon isn’t the only actor to voice his disapproval of the pipeline plan – eco-warriors Robert Redford, Alec Baldwin, John Cusack and Mark Ruffalo have all taken a stand as well.