WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 /CSRwire/ - Green America welcomed yesterday’s decision by President Obama and the State Department to postpone further consideration of TransCanada’s Keystone XL oil pipeline pending another environmental impact review. This review process will likely extend into 2013 and offers the Administration additional opportunity to evaluate the consequences of this dangerous project.
If built, the Keystone XL pipeline would transport crude oil 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. Extracting and refining oil from the Canadian tar sands is considered the most polluting and carbon intensive oil process on the planet.
While alternative routes for the pipeline are the focus of the new environmental review, citizen groups, environmentalists, scientists, Native Nations, and experts on energy policy and national security will continue to oppose the pipeline on many crucial grounds.
Fran Teplitz, Green America’s director of strategic outreach stated, “President Obama made the right call by interrupting the pipeline permitting process. Now we need to ensure now that this setback to construction translates into the cancellation of the project altogether. The issue is not that a new route is needed, but that the project as a whole is not needed.”
Green America supports the President’s concern for the impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline on “the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment.” Todd Larsen, director of Green America’s corporate responsibility programs added, “This pipeline represents exactly the wrong direction for our country. The United States urgently needs to invest in domestic renewable energy development as the climate crisis becomes increasingly dire.”
While some have hoped the pipeline would generate significant U.S. jobs in a time of high unemployment, it has become clear that TransCanada’s job creation claims were wildly exaggerated. Moreover, the pipeline could even wipe out existing U.S. jobs by causing fuel costs to increase in some regions and by diverting public funds to inevitable oil spill clean-ups and medical costs.
“Whether from the perspective of climate change, environmental protection, human health, or energy security, there is no good reason to build the Keystone XL pipeline. We need to make a clean energy economy our nation’s top priority. If we continuing organizing, we can ensure the KXL is cancelled, our carbon emissions are deeply reduced, and that we create the clean energy future required,” added Teplitz.
Green America is a national membership organization dedicated to harnessing the power of the economy and the marketplace for social justice and environmental sustainability.