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 Reuters story published today punches holes in a State Department analysis that argued if Keystone XL is turned down oil sands will instead be shipped by rail. “Analysis: Oil-by-train may not be substitute for Keystone pipeline”: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/18/us-usa-keystone-railroads-idUSBRE93H07I20130418
- 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 new report “Cooking the Books: the True Climate Impact of Keystone XL,” shows that the tar sands pipeline would increase emissions driving climate change by 181 million metric tons, equal to the emissions from 46 coal plants and 34 million vehicles: http://priceofoil.org/2013/04/16/cooking-the-books-the-true-climate-impact-of-keystone-xl/
- 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
- Recent testimony by NRDC attorney Anthony Swift on Capitol Hill reveals a flaw in the State Department’s latest draft Environmental Impact Statement, which suggests that without Keystone XL, tar sands will be developed and shipped by rail: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF03/20130410/100616/HHRG-113-IF03-Wstate-SwiftA-20130410.pdf
- A recent report, “Petroleum Coke: the Coal Hiding in the Tar Sands,” shows that developing tar sands oil from the Keystone XL pipeline would worsen the climate impact by boosting the burning of a byproduct, petroleum coke: http://priceofoil.org/2013/01/17/petroleum-coke-the-coal-hiding-in-the-tar-sands/