Statement from Environmental Defence Executive Director Dr. Rick Smith on U.S. government’s decision to delay TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline:
“We applaud President Obama’s decision to delay a permit for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in order to further review its potential impacts.
Today’s announcement sends an important signal to Canada’s tar sands industry: citizens are standing up for a clean energy future. Just five days ago, 12,000 Americans showed up at the White House to urge President Obama to stick by his pledge to reduce dependence on oil. Canada needs to pay attention to this message. There is no such thing as “business as usual” for the tar sands industry any longer. The longer Canada delays getting serious about reining in tar sands pollution and transitioning to a clean energy economy, the more of this type of controversy we should expect.
The delay announced today has the potential to not only protect a water source that provides 3 million people with safe drinking water from the damage of an oil spill, but it also gives more time to consider the impacts of the proposed pipeline on efforts to fight global warming. We hope that the Canadian government will listen to the concerns of its citizens affected by Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline in the same way that President Obama has listened to the concerns of Nebraskans.
The near-doubling of tar sands production exports to the US that would be needed to fill the Keystone XL pipeline would take North America in the wrong direction, increasing our dependence on oil at a time when scientists around the world are calling for us to dramatically transition away from fossil fuels to avoid catastrophic climate change.”
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Gillian McEachern, Environmental Defence, (613) 292-4416;
Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, (647) 280-9521;