Last Day to Comment on Keystone XL Final Environmental Impact Statement
Today, is the final day to submit public comments on the Presidential approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Closing at Midnight, the 30-day comment period followed the U.S. State Department's release of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Issued in January, the final EIS concluded—to the surprise of many—that the Keystone XL would not increase the rate of tar sands extraction and thus is not likely to significantly increase carbon pollution.
At the end of last month, the inspector general cleared the State Department of any suspected wrongdoing in their selection of the firm, ERM to conduct environmental assessments of the proposed pipeline project.
The inspector general's report came as blow to environmental groups and concerned citizens opposed to the controversial project. In October, groups urged Inspector General Steve Linick to conduct an investigation into the business ties between TransCanada—the company building the pipeline—and ERM, citing conflict-of-interest would cloud the company's conclusions.
Below are three slideshows summarizing nationwide opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.
On March 2, more than 1,200 youths from across the country marched to the White House from Georgetown University to protest the Keystone XL. Once there, nearly 400 people were arrested while participating in a nonviolent civil disobedience sit-in:
Feb. 3, thousands of people attended more than 270 vigils around the country with this unified message: Keystone XL fails President Obama’s climate test. The vigils were in response to the state department’s release of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement:
Opposition has been solid for years. Below show some highlights from the last few years:
Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL page for more related news on this topic.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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