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Scientists Call on President to Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline
Eighteen of the nation’s top climate scientists released a letter to President Obama today urging him to say no to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
“Eighteen months ago some of us wrote you about the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, explaining why in our opinion its construction ran counter to both national and planetary interests,” wrote the scientists. ”Nothing that has happened since has changed that evaluation; indeed, the year of review that you asked for on the project made it clear exactly how pressing the climate issue really is.”
Indeed the past year has shown that climate change is here. A few months after superstorm Sandy flooded parts of the Northeast, NOAA announced last week that the average temperature for 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.2 degrees above normal and a full degree higher than the previous warmest year recorded—1988.
The State Department is expected to soon release its supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) required for the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. The department’s previous pipeline EIS downplayed climate risks by arguing that the tar sands would be developed with or without Keystone XL and therefore the project had no responsibility for the additional greenhouse gas emissions that come from burning tar sands oil.
But two of Canada’s largest banks, TD Economics and CIBC, have recently said that without added capacity, “Canada’s oil industry is facing a serious challenge to its long-term growth” and that “Canada needs pipe—and lots of it—to avoid the opportunity cost of stranding over a million barrels a day of potential crude oil growth.”
The Obama Administrations has promised action on climate change but if Keystone XL is approved, the Administration would be actively supporting and encouraging the growth of an industry which has demonstrably serious effects on climate.
Thousands of concerned citizens will come to Washington, DC on Feb. 17, President’s Day weekend, to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.