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As the State Department finalizes the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, it is clear that any robust analysis of the pipeline will find that it will have a significant impact on climate pollution and is not in the national interest.
In its Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the State Department concluded that Keystone XL would likely facilitate the export of tar sands product, and would create only 35 permanent jobs. Those conclusions hold true, and are compounded by serious risks to climate and water that must be addressed in the FEIS.
Following the FEIS, other agencies will contribute to the National Interest Determination process to weigh the risks and rewards of a tar sands pipeline crossing our country. Agencies like the EPA and Department of Interior, which have both voiced significant concerns about the pipeline’s environmental impacts, will play a role in responding to State’s conclusions.
The final decision will, as it always has, fall to President Obama. The President has made it clear that he will reject the pipeline if it significantly increases climate pollution, has reiterated that the pipeline is not a jobs plan, and has expressed concern about the water issues in Nebraska.
**NOTE: Pipeline opponents will host a telepresser following the release of the FEIS. Please be on the lookout for an advisory with call details**
Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, NRDC International Program Director: “This is far from over. Next we must address whether the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would be in America's national interest. To that question, there is only one answer: No. The evidence is overwhelming that this project would significantly worsen carbon pollution, endanger our farms, our homes and our fresh water, create few jobs and transport dirty tar sands to the Gulf for export. There's a better way. It's called clean power.”
Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters President: "Any modest changes from the SEIS are a step in the right direction. Moreover, this process is far from over, and we remain confident that Secretary Kerry and President Obama will ultimately find that this dangerous pipeline is not in our national interest and must be rejected."
Jim Murphy, National Wildlife Federation Senior Counsel: “The Canadian oil industry is sitting on top of a tar sands carbon bomb and Keystone XL is the fuse it needs to light it. The oil industry, the Canadian government, and a Goldman Sachs report all agree on that. The State Department is caught between a rock and a hard place here: Will it stick to demonstrably false claims of no climate impact written by oil industry consultants who are now under investigation on conflict of interest allegations? Or will State admit to Keystone XL’s climate impact, which would all but force President Obama to reject the pipeline?”
Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director: “The President has two choices before him: fighting climate disruption or promoting an energy policy that includes the expansion of dirty fossil fuels like tar sands. The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline fails the basic climate test, and it's not in the interest of the American people. The president should reject the tar sands pipeline once and for all.”
Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska Director: “We remain confident Sec. Kerry has ensured his team is revising the previous environmental review to give a more accurate water risk analysis. The previous draft tried to say a spill would only risk water for a few hundred feet and that is laughable for anyone, even those of us without a chemistry degree. All we have to do is look at the spill in Arkansas and Michigan to know how different tarsands is once it hits water.”
Bill McKibben, 350.org Co-Founder: “The State Department has given Obama all the room he needs to do what he promised in both campaigns: to take serious steps against global warming. He's about the only person who hasn't weighed in on Keystone XL; now we'll see if he's good for his word or if the fossil fuel industry is so strong they control even the president of the United States.”
Ross Hammond, Friends of the Earth Senior Campaigner: "How can the State Department issue a credible environmental assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline when its own Investigator General is investigating whether the consultant hired to write the review lied about its ties to TransCanada and the oil companies and when it’s clear that the State Department didn't follow its own conflict of interest screening procedures?"
Randy Thomspon, “All Risk, No Reward” Coalition Chair: “The facts have not changed: the Keystone XL pipeline is all risk and no reward—for landowners like me, and for anyone who is not a Big Oil executive. When the State Department corrects its previous flawed analysis and acknowledges the risks to water and climate, President Obama will have all of the information he needs to reject this risky pipeline.”
Steve Kretzmann, Oil Change International Executive Director: “Who apparently knew first that the State Department was issuing its report on Keystone XL today? The oil industry, which has had this process rigged since the word go. Last June, President Obama noted that he and others needed to be less concerned with 'well connected donors, and more concerned with the judgment of posterity.’ We intend to hold the President to his word.”
Hannah McKinnon, Environmental Defence Canada National Program Manager: "The Keystone XL pipeline is the linchpin for more tar sands expansion and more pollution. Canadians, like Americans are watching this decision closely. A rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will send yet another signal that the era of reckless tar sands expansion is over and it is time for North America to move towards a cleaner energy future."
For additional quotes, contact:
Josh Mogerman, email@example.com
Jeff Gohringer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Kleeb, email@example.com
Jamie Henn, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Turnbull, email@example.com
Eddie Scher, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Wolf, email@example.com
Miles Grant, GrantM@NWF.org
Ross Hammond, RHammond@foe.org
Hannah McKinnon, firstname.lastname@example.org
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