Congress Joins the Chorus of Boos Against Keystone XL

It’s been a bad week for the tar sands industry, with protests against the Keystone XL pipeline coming to a boil as the window for public input closes. Joining the growing chorus, thirty-six members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote to the State Department and urged the agency to take a harder look at the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Calling State’s review “inadequate,” the signers go on to say that it

fails to reflect the full environmental impacts of the proposed pipeline. We strongly encourage the State Department to reevaluate the SEIS and its assessment of the proposed pipeline’s impacts on climate change, our natural resources, our economy, and low-income and minority communities.

This is no surprise to anyone who follows this blog (I know you’re out there) and it echoes official comments from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), released yesterday, that cast serious doubt on the State Department’s analysis and the future of the project. EPA concluded that State had failed to meaningfully consider multiple factors, foremost among them the climate impacts and spill risks posed by the 1,700 mile tar sands pipeline.

It’s hard to ignore 50,000 protesters in your front yard — and dozens of members of Congress were obviously paying attention (Photo: Josh Lopez/
Both EPA and Congress were skeptical about State’s claim that Keystone XL would not drive more development and tar sands production in Canada, which is the biggest factor in determining what the ultimate carbon emissions will be. Market analysts and corporate leaders agree that KXL is the linchpin for the industry’s future, but the State Department has relied on incomplete and outdated information about alternative options like rail or other pipelines.

>>>Read the full letter from Congress here

A Million Voices Against KXL

It’s not just agencies and members of Congress who think the tar sands pipeline is a bad idea. Capping off the outpouring of opposition, National Wildlife Federation and other groups just delivered over a million comments from the public, telling the Obama Administration “reject the pipeline!” NWF’s Robyn Carmichael has more — and as she puts it, the comments “came from Americans from all across the country and all walks of life, but they carried one common message: that this risky and unnecessary project puts our wildlife, water, land, and communities in jeopardy.”

Thank you to the tens of thousands of NWF members (and many others) who have spoken up for people and wildlife during this rollercoaster campaign. The public comment period for the environmental review is over, but there will be more opportunities to help so stay tuned!

Your donations make a big difference in our efforts to protect wildlife from habitat loss and the effects of global warming.

To learn more about Keystone XL and how you can help, visit