Friday, March 1, 2013

A New State Department Environmental Impact Assessment Clears the Keystone XL Pipeline

On Friday March 1, the State Department released a draft environmental impact statement which has cleared the 875-mile Keystone XL pipeline saying it will not harm air, water or landscape. The draft further indicated that although the pipeline will carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Alberta to Texas each day, it will not increase greenhouse gases.

Contrary to the whitewashing contained in this report, the pipeline is widely referred to as a “carbon bomb.” Environmentalists have consistently expressed concerns about the fact that tar sands oil are among the dirtiest fossil fuels on earth.

Predictably the news was heralded by the Canadian government, the oil industry, some members of Congress, and the nation’s major labor unions, which stand to gain construction jobs.

The last remaining hopes are that either the new Secretary of State or President Obama himself will kill the Keystone. Both men have repeatedly indicated that they are serious about tackling climate change. It remains to be seen whether this is just empty rhetoric.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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