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NWF: State Dept. Keystone XL Analysis Fatally Flawed
WASHINGTON - March 1 - The U.S. State Department, which is overseeing the permit application for TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline issued a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) today. The SEIS release wraps up another stage of the highly controversial environmental review and kicks off a round of public comment that will eventually lead to a final decision from President Obama within several months. National Wildlife Federation has several major concerns with the analysis, but most objectionable is the claim that “approval or denial of the proposed Project is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands.”
Jim Lyon, vice president for conservation policy at the National Wildlife Federation, said today:
“This analysis fails in its review of climate impacts, threats to endangered wildlife like whooping cranes and woodland caribou, and the concerns of tribal communities. If Keystone XL wouldn’t speed tar sands development, why are oil companies pouring millions into lobbying and political contributions to build it? By rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, President Obama can keep billions of tons of climate-disrupting carbon pollution locked safely in the ground.
“Canadian tar sands exports are blocked to the west by tribes that won’t sell out their natural resources to Big Oil, and blocked to the east by the European Union’s declaration that it won’t buy dirty tar sands oil. Without access to major U.S. export terminals from Keystone XL and other routes, tar sands production will be substantially slowed.
“President Obama should put his commitment to confront climate change above Canada's desire to cash in on polluting tar sands. Keystone XL would force America’s wildlife and communities to accept all the risk of oil spills, contaminated water supplies, and climate-fueled extreme weather like superstorm Sandy, and to what reward? Higher Midwest gas prices and just 20 permanent jobs.”