Presidential Veto Promise Another Step Towards Keystone Rejection

It’s been an important and game-changing week in the effort to keep climate disrupting tar sands in the ground.

On Tuesday, December 6, the White House announced that President Obama would veto the latest ill-conceived Congressional attempt to force approval of Keystone XL.  This massive pipeline would carry tar sands from habitat rich Alberta, home to Woodland Caribou and breeding ground for almost 200 species of migratory birds including the critically endangered Whooping Crane, through America’s heartland and to the Gulf Coast for export abroad.

The pipeline would cross over and threaten the Ogallala aquifer – the chief water resource for the Great Plains – and sensitive areas like Nebraska’s Sandhills.

We applaud the President’s decision to veto any bill attempting to force Keystone XL approval.

This veto announcement, which was followed by a Statement of Administrative Policy, is the latest in a series of events that show President Obama understands Keystone XL is not in America’s interest.  In December, the President stated that is largely an export pipeline that won’t help Americans and that Keystone XL could contribute to “disastrous” climate change.

woodland caribou
The boreal forest habitat of woodland caribou is threatened by tar sands extraction. Photo by Bruce McKay.
The facts that Keystone XL fails the President’s test because it will worsen climate change are becoming increasingly irrefutable.  Due to market and other conditions, the evidence  that Keystone will be a driver of increased tar sands production and resulting climate emissions is overwhelming.  Even under the State Department’s overly conservative analysis, the link between Keystone XL and tar sands production is now clear.

Also, a study just released in the esteemed scientific journal Nature finds that in order to avert temperature increases of more than 2 degrees Celsius – the limit that world leaders agreed we need to stay under to avert calamitous impacts – the vast majority of climate disrupting tar sands must stay in the ground.  This follows a call by scientists last Spring to put a moratorium on tar sands development due to its carbon pollution impacts.

Building a pipeline to enable tar sands production at a time when we need to curb greenhouse gas emissions makes no sense.  Keeping tar sands in the ground means not providing it a place to go.  And giving tar sands a place to go – namely to overseas markets – is what Keystone is all about.

The President has the facts he needs to reject the pipeline.  His promise to say no to Congress’s attempt to bully this big oil boondoggle through is another sign the President is coming to the correct conclusion that building the Keystone XL pipeline is not the interest of our children’s future.  

Take Action Tell President Obama to deny the Keystone XL pipeline!