We Can Win This
With the State Department’s release of the FSEIS last Friday I’m feeling more optimistic than ever that Secretary Kerry and President Obama will choose the moral high ground and deny the Keystone XL pipeline. Despite some of the headlines you may have read in the last few days, this report lays out all the justifications Secretary Kerry and President Obama need to deny the pipeline. For the first time ever, the State Department acknowledges that in a carbon-constrained economy, the Keystone XL pipeline would exacerbate climate change. I don’t know about you, but I’m rooting for President Obama to implement the Climate Plan he shared last June, and, guess what folks, that plan is moving the U.S. toward a carbon-constrained economy.If President Obama approves the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline it would massively expand tar sands oil production in the region, which could devastate crucial habitat for woodland caribou. In addition to the threat posed to woodland caribou, this dirty oil project would also put many more wildlife at risk by increasing the carbon pollution that is fueling climate change.
Another place where I’ve found optimism is the fact both the State Department and the White House have repeatedly said that the FSEIS is only one part of what they will be weighing to make a decision. They will also consider other agency input as well as the public comments that are submitted. We are lucky to live in an country and under an administration that values public input. Through the ever growing climate movement that has spread across this country over the last three years, we’ve demonstrated this right and we’re being heard.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior have already expressed concerns and opposition to the pipeline, and U.S. citizens submitted over 1 million comments last year to the draft Environmental Impact statement. As a result of this input, we saw a number of new sections in the final report released last week, including an acknowledgement of climate impacts, the viscous nature of tar sands oil and the horrible impact it can have on communities, habitat and wildlife when it is spilled, the reality that most of the oil pumped through this pipeline will be exported to international markets, and the fact that it would only result in 35 permanent jobs for the U.S. economy.
Starting today, we have another 30 days to be heard during the State Department’s public comment period. Join me in urging Secretary Kerry to recommend that President Obama deny KXL. Lets get to 2 million public comments this round.