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Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Decision Delayed Again
The State Department announced today that it will delay the decision-making process on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, citing the need for more clarity around the project’s route. This delay is the result of polluter allies again trying to ram through a project that can’t be justified on the facts. The facts tell a clear story: this pipeline fails the Presidents’ test because it will worsen climate change. We’re confident that once the State Department completes its review, having taken a close look at all the threats this project poses to wildlife, communities, our land, air and water, Keystone XL will be resoundingly rejected.
On a call with Congressional aides earlier today, the State Department announced that it would need more time to seek additional information regarding Keystone XL’s route through Nebraska. In February, a state judge there threw the proposed route into question when he deemed the state law used to approve that route unconstitutional. The state law allowed the Canadian pipeline company TransCanada to bulldoze their tar sands pipeline through land owned by ranchers and other Nebraskans who have said no to this risky project.
Thus the pipeline currently has no route through the state and likely will not until early next year. While the State Department apparently told staffers that they will not necessarily postpone a final decision on Keystone XL until that litigation is resolved, a substantial delay seems likely. They also noted they will continue reviewing the more than 2.5 million public comments they received on the Final Environmental Impact Statement, and give consulting agencies additional time beyond the May 7th deadline to comment on the project’s merits. NWF supporters contributed over 50,000 of these comments, calling for a rejection of the pipeline.
Another day without thousands of barrels of toxic tar sands coming out of the ground to transect our country and poison our climate is a good day for wildlife, communities and people. President Obama has taken significant action to combat climate change and has promised that this project will not be approved if it exacerbates the problem.
This additional time should only make the facts more clear. Keystone XL fails the President’s climate test and is not in our national interest. We’re confident when the time comes for a final decision, it’ll be the right one – rejection.