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Nebraskans’ Message: We Know More Now Why Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Would be a Colossal Mistake

WASHINGTON (April 18, 2013) – The U.S. State Department is holding a public hearing today in Grand Island, Nebraska, on a new route for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Anthony Swift, an attorney in the international program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, made these comments concerning the hearing:

“Nebraskans are sending a clear message: Each passing day provides more evidence that approving the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would be a colossal mistake.  We know more now that it would open the floodgates on tar sands oil development, fueling faster disruption of our climate.

“We know now, on the heels of the Pegasus pipeline break in Arkansas, that Keystone XL would threaten hundreds of farms, ranches and communities in its path with potential tar sands spills. We know now it would create just 35 permanent jobs and fewer temporary jobs than estimated before, while jeopardizing tens of thousands of jobs that depend on the land and water that we should be protecting.

“Nebraskans are raising these concerns at today’s public hearing on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and all Americans need to make their voices heard before the State Department’s public comment period on the new proposed route ends on Monday.

“Meanwhile, some in Congress want to shut out those voices, and even those of Keystone XL supporters. Congress should take heed of the well-grounded, broadly held concerns of Nebraskans – and many throughout the U.S. – and stop trying to short-circuit the process by ramming through legislation to fast track the pipeline.”

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, which seeks to have Congress approve the pipeline, bypassing presidential consideration whether it’s in the national interest.

For additional information on what we know more now than the last time the U.S. State Department held public hearings on the Keystone XL project, please read the following links.

  • A new NRDC video, shot in the wake of the Pegasus tar sands oil spill in Arksansas, shows the raw emotions and concerns arising from people who had to evacuate their homes nearby: http://youtu.be/HZDUhN_7YjQ.

  • A recent report, “The Climate Implications of the Proposed Keystone XL Oilsands Pipeline,” shows the pipeline is the linchpin the industry needs to realize its goal of tripling production of tar sands oil: the dirtiest oil on the planet: http://www.pembina.org/pub/2407

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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