For Immediate Release
Keystone Pipeline Suit Shifts Towards Local Efforts and New Refineries
WASHINGTON - A lawsuit against the State Department over the environmental impacts of a proposed tar sand oil pipeline was modified in court filings this week as a pair of the original plaintiffs step away from the case. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) amended its complaint in the case, which challenges the validity of the legally-required environmental impact statement for the Keystone Pipeline.
The Keystone Pipeline would transport crude oil extracted from Canadian tar sands to the United States. The pipeline, a joint venture between TransCanada and ConocoPhillips, would pump approximately a half-million barrels per day of heavy sour crude oil into the US for refining. The lawsuit contends that the State Department’s environmental impact virtually ignored the devastating impacts of refining and extracting tar sands oil. The extraction and refining of tar sands produces more climate-changing emissions than conventional crude oil, uses and pollutes an intense amount of water, and turns pristine forests into wastelands in Canada. More information on the dangers of tar sands and other dirty fuels can be found at: http://www.NRDC.org/dirtyfuels
Two of the original plaintiffs are withdrawing from the suit, but will look for opportunities locally. Though Dakota Rural Action and the Dakota Resource Council (represented by Iowa public interest law center Plains Justice and NRDC) continue to support the legal effort and the case’s focus on the air, water and greenhouse gas pollution at the ends of the pipeline, the two groups will concentrate on environmental impacts in the path of the pipeline through the Dakotas.
Jacob Limmer, Dakota Rural Action Chairperson
Carrie La Seur, Plains Justice
Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, NRDC