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State Department Ignores Risks, Approves Keystone XL Pipeline

State Department Ignores Risks, Approves Keystone XL Pipeline


Today the U.S. State Department announced its decision to proceed with the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, stating that the benefits of importing oil from a friendly neighbor outweighed the potential environmental costs.

The Keystone XL is a 1,711-mile pipeline that will transport crude oil from the Canadian tar sands across the Great Plains to refineries on the Gulf Coast. In its final environmental impact statement (EIS) the State Department admitted that “throughout its life cycle, oil sands crude is, on average, more greenhouse gas intensive than the crude oil it would replace in the U.S,” but said that the pipeline’s owner, TransCanada, had reduced the risks of an accident to an acceptable level.

Opponents of the pipeline, including the almost 400 protesters arrested during a sit-in in Washington D.C. this week, say that rather than move America toward energy independence, this project will only prolong the nation’s dependence on foreign fossil fuels and put waterways, soil and many species of wildlife at risk in the process.

The EIS also estimated the frequency of oil spills of any size to be between 1.78 to 2.51 spills per year. But according to the National Response Center, the existing Keystone I pipeline (which the Keystone XL project with extend) experienced a dozen spills during its first year of operation, including the May 7th spill of more than 400 barrels (some 16,800 gallons) in North Dakota.

“The U.S. State Department’s final report on the Keystone XL today is an insult to anyone who expects government to work for the interests of the American people,” said the Sierra Club in a press release this morning. “The Sierra Club and our 1.4 million members and supporters are looking to President Obama for bold action and we urge him to reject this abomination.”

Environmental author Bill McKibben, who is spearheading the D.C. protests, said that the release of the State Department EIS would not dampen the spirits of the 2,000 Americans who will participate in the Tar Sands Action.

“We knew from past experience that State might do something like this, which is why we’ve always said it’s going to be Obama’s call,” said McKibben. “They can’t get the climate science right, but maybe they can get the politics right.”

Oil Change International is currently collecting donations that will be used to reimburse activists directly for expenses relating to the protests, including travel, lodging and legal fees. Please click here if you’d like to contribute.

Related Reading:

Leaks, Lies Discovered In U.S.-Canada Keystone Pipeline

Keystone XL Protest Continues At White House, Hundreds Arrested

Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline Could Be Used To Remove Water

Environmental Leaders Encourage Civil Disobedience To Stop Keystone XL Pipeline

Canadian Government Says Emissions From Tar Sands Could Double

via Truth-Out

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3:04AM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

When are people going to see? they use our own money to destroy everything we've worked for and the freedoms people died and fought for! When are LIFETIME American tax paying families going to STOP shopping from these TRAITOR corporations? and STOP paying these corporate/bankster criminals that hi-jacked OUR offices and buildings and are/have rewritten OUR laws and have/are using OUR money to kill us if we revolt and build FEMA camps to herd us to? They stole our military too! They NEED our tax dollars. ABOLISH IRS! Make them all pay for their own agenda and let us KEEP our tax dollars for what they were INTENDED! TRAITOR CRIMINALS OCCUPY OUR OFFICES and BUILDINGS! Every single one across the board!

2:57AM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

These TAX subsidies must stop ! No more tax dollars for corporations, banks and military and agencies and occupier pay checks, until all of these criminal occupiers are OUT of our offices and buildings! See! These occupiers of OUR offices work for their corporate criminal bosses! they IGNORE the lifetime tax paying American families! They WANT ALL of OUR tax dollars for their agendas! What are we the people PAYING these crooks for? All of the agencies FDA, USDA etc. do NOT protect us! It has turned into a CESSPOOL! They want to put LIFETIME tax paying American seniors and disabled folks in the dirty streets! STOP paying taxes to these criminals! Abolish IRS until the criminals are gone from OUR offices, across the board!

9:41PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Hurrah for the nonviolent protesters. I wish that I were in D.C. The pipeline: another accident waiting to happen. So happy that Sec. Clinton paid so much attention to our emails and letters (sarcasm intended).

3:04PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

keep sending Obama and Clinton letters or emails until they listen.

12:34PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

The U.S. State Department doesn't care about the environment, do they ever listen to the people? It's all about money and greed, We don't need tar sands oil & we don't need the Keystone XL! What we need is RENEWABLE ENERGY and a clean environment!

12:14PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

I can not for the life of me understand why this was approved. Un-F'n believable.

12:11PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

I don't care what anyone says, the risks FAR outweigh the "benefits". There are no benefits from oil! RENEWABLE ENERGY is what we need.

9:50AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

This and the leak is back in the gulf. and if anything goes wrong and it will they can write the clean up off on their taxes meaning we the tax payers end up paying for it in the end and they make all the money.

8:42AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

They're out of their bloody minds!

7:06AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011


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