TORONTO, ON – President Obama made the right decision today in rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline – a project that would significantly increase greenhouse gas pollution, enable the expansion of the tar sands and put farmland and drinking water at risk.

Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL demonstrates historic leadership by saying no to new fossil fuel infrastructure. For the first time, a pipeline has been rejected because it puts our climate at risk – a litmus test that the new Canadian government should adopt.

This rejection sets an important new precedence in the run-up to the Paris climate summit. We have hope that the Prime Minister will accept that we cannot protect the climate and approve new pipelines at the same time. Doing so is a contradiction.

The President’s rejection of Keystone XL proves that the public does not have to accept other risky tar sands pipeline proposals. Like Keystone XL, TransCanada’s even larger Energy East pipeline proposal puts our climate and water at risk.

The Keystone XL pipeline was stopped by a coalition of Aboriginal leaders, farmers, residents and grassroots advocates. Here in Canada a similarly diverse movement opposed to risky tar sands projects is growing stronger every day.

Citizen-based climate action is gaining momentum and will build on this victory to say no to other dangerous, polluting fossil fuel projects.

Canada’s newly-elected government must learn from President Obama’s rejection and rethink our failed economic strategy that has focused so heavily on exporting fossil fuels. To succeed in the emerging clean economy, we must invest in a transition to a cleaner energy system that creates jobs and wealth for Canadians. The trillion dollar opportunity presented by the global clean energy transition cannot be allowed to pass us by.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact
Tim Ehlich, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521, ext. 223; 647-468-3641 (cell); tehlich@environmentaldefence.ca