For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722,
Alex Moore, 202-222-0733,

Bipartisan Senators Critique Clinton on Oil Pipeline

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of U.S. senators pushed back this week against remarks
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made October 15 at San Francisco’s
Commonwealth Club indicating that she is “inclined” to approve the
Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.

Senators Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) of Nebraska,
one of the states in the pipeline’s path, were joined by Senator Jeff
Merkley (D-Ore.) in urging Sec. Clinton to let her agency complete its
legally mandated review of the dangers the pipeline poses before rushing
to conclusions about the outcome. In an interview Thursday, Sen. Johanns warned that Sec. Clinton is exposing the State Department to lawsuits by prematurely weighing in.

“Secretary Clinton is putting the legitimacy of her agency’s review
process in doubt by making leading remarks,” said Alex Moore, dirty
fuels campaigner for Friends of the Earth.

“She should ensure that her agency completes a rigorous and full
analysis of how this pipeline could endanger people and the

“This pipeline would be an environmental disaster. In addition to
threatening air quality, water resources, and farmland in the Midwest,
the Keystone XL pipeline would double our country’s dependence on the
dirtiest oil available,” added Moore. “Compared to conventional oil, tar
sands oil emits more climate-warming emissions and toxic air pollutants
when produced and refined, making it worse for the climate and for
public health.”

The new climate-warming emissions that the Keystone XL pipeline
would cause are estimated to be 38 million tons per year, the equivalent
of adding more than six million cars to U.S. roads.


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Moore emphasized that, “It’s in our national interest to implement
job-creating clean energy solutions and reduce demand, not replace dirty
oil with even dirtier tar sands oil and further exacerbate the climate
disruption that threatens to torpedo our economy.”

The Keystone XL pipeline would be constructed by Canadian oil and
gas giant TransCanada. If approved by the Obama administration, it would
bring high-carbon, dirty tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada through the
plains states of the U.S. to Gulf Coast refineries near Houston at a
rate of 900,000 barrels per day.

The pipeline has been opposed by environmental, agricultural, and
tribal organizations, and more than 50 members of Congress have voiced
strong concerns. The Ogallala Aquifer, a drinking water source for
Nebraskans, would be crossed and endangered by the pipeline.

Sen. Nelson’s letter to Sec. Clinton is available here:

Sen. Johanns’s letter to Sec. Clinton is available here:

More information about the Keystone XL pipeline is available here:


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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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