State Department Report on Keystone Understates Global Warming Threat

Environment America

Washington, D.C. — The State Department today issued a revised environmental assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Environment America’s Get Off Oil Program Director Daniel Gatti issued this statement in response:

“Today’s assessment by the State Department fails to account for the full impact of the Keystone XL pipeline on the threat of global warming.

“Americans are already suffering from the consequences of global warming, from more powerful storms like Hurricane Sandy to drought conditions that are currently devastating the Midwest and Southwest United States. Production of oil from tar sands has the potential to add up to 240 billion metric tons of global warming pollution to our atmosphere, which would hasten the arrival of the worst impacts of global warming. We cannot build a future with a safe and stable climate if we become dependent on oil that produces even greater quantities of global warming pollution.

“Today’s report does not deny the global warming impact of increasing production from tar sands; instead, the State Department assumes that even without Keystone the oil companies will find a way to transport the oil from Canada to markets in the United States or Asia.

“Tar sands can be stopped, and we are stopping it. From the thousands of protesters in Maine who gathered last month to object to a plan to bring tar sands through the Northeast, to the tens of thousands who gathered in Washington, D.C., to protest the Keystone XL pipeline, to the objections of First Nations communities in British Colombia, oil companies are finding that, wherever they go, people do not want their dirty oil.

“President Obama has repeatedly emphasized that he wants to be a bold leader who will protect future generations from global warming. The first test of his administration’s commitment to our climate future is whether the president will stand up to the oil companies and reject the Keystone XL pipeline.”