Washington, DC (November 2015) – After years of deliberation, President Obama demonstrated his support for an economy that supports human and environmental health, and that helps position the U.S. for clean energy leadership, by rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline today.
The proposed pipeline would carry nearly 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day across 1,200 miles from western Canada through the U.S. to an export facility in Texas.
This decision comes after President Obama vetoed a congressional bill earlier this year that aimed to bypass executive branch decision-making on the pipeline’s future and fast-track approval to construct the pipeline. The President has maintained that his final decision would be based on the State Department’s assessment of the Keystone XL Pipeline and the impacts such a project would have on the environment, the economy, climate change, and American lives.
“Rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline and moving toward a clean energy economy, including key steps identified in the President’s new Clean Power Plan, represent a win for our economy, farms, businesses, the environment, public health, and our long-term energy security,” said Fran Teplitz, Green America’s Executive Co-Director for Business, Investing & Policy. “This decision is an important step in transitioning our nation away from fossil fuels and towards the clean energy economy our nation needs.”
“In addition to rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline, we urge President Obama to reject the increasing number of natural gas pipelines proposed and being built across the country. Those pipelines are also dangerous, serve to maintain our reliance on fossil fuels, and leak methane – the most potent climate change gas,” added Todd Larsen, Green America’s Executive Co-Director for Consumer and Corporate Engagement. "As the United States heads into the Paris Conference on the Parties, we need to show the world that we are shifting away from fossil fuels."
Green America, with 200,000 individual members and 3,000 business members, has been a vocal opponent of the Keystone XL Pipeline project. TransCanada, the company seeking to build the pipeline, first applied for a permit in 2008. The reasons Green America as well as Nobel laureates, environmentalists, sustainable businesses, ranchers, farmers, physicians, indigenous communities, and many others opposed the pipeline include:
* The pipeline will exacerbate the climate crisis. The dirty tar sands oil production process alone generates three times as much global warming pollution as conventional crude oil generates.
* Tar sands extraction and transport will result in leaks and spills that harm human health, especially in indigenous communities and those along the pipeline route.
* Tar sands extraction and transport will pollute and harm the environment including water, land, forests, air, and wildlife.
* According to the State Department, only 35 permanent jobs will result from the project.
* The pipeline will not increase US energy security -- the oil is intended for export.
* The Keystone XL pipeline takes our nation in the wrong direction in terms of energy and economic policy.
* We need to move immediately toward mass investment in clean energy and energy efficiency to secure our energy needs, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and create millions of good domestic jobs.
Green America commends President Obama’s decision to halt the Keystone XL pipeline, urges a cessation of new natural gas pipelines, and calls on the President to continue to exert the leadership required to move our nation towards a clean energy future.
N.B. This is an unedited press release for your information only. The publication of this does not constitute an endorsement by the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW or its Editor(s) of the organization(s) that have released this statement.