Quantcast

Tom Steyer's Response to the Keystone XL Final Environmental Impact Statement

Energy

First of all, this is President Obama's decision, and the State Department's Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is just an input. So we don't have an answer yet, and the fight is far from over. I remain hopeful that the President will, in fact, apply the test for Keystone he established in his speech at Georgetown University: that the project cannot be approved if it increases the amount of carbon pollution being put into our air, which it does. I trust the President is aware of the opportunity for America to show leadership on this critical issue, and that he will be mindful of the importance of doing right by our children by tackling climate change head on.

The FEIS is based on the flawed premise that Canadian tar sands oil will be developed no matter what—a tired talking point pushed by TransCanada and the oil industry. This is no surprise given that the contractor hired to evaluate the environmental risks of the project has direct ties to TransCanada and oil lobbying groups. But the truth is that Keystone XL is key to unlocking the Canadian tar sands—and all of the carbon pollution that comes with it. By expanding capacity and reducing costs, Keystone XL would spur investment in the tar sands and enable the oil industry to ramp up production at an irreversible rate, with potentially devastating impacts on the global climate. In June, the President drew a line in the sand when he said the pipeline would only be approved if “the project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution." Keystone XL fails the President's climate test.

The pipeline also poses enormous economic and environmental risks to America's heartland, threatening our farms, towns and drinking water. And what do the American people get in return? Higher gas prices in the Midwest, only 35 permanent jobs and none of the profits. If Keystone XL is approved, the real winners will be the oil industry and foreign investors like China who stand to profit from more production of this dirty oil.

As I said, our efforts to defeat the Keystone XL pipeline will continue. I hope President Obama will take a hard look at the facts before he makes a decision on this enormously risky project. In his State of the Union address this week, the President pledged to "act with more urgency" to combat the threat of climate change. His first step should be to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Visit EcoWatch's KEYSTONE XLand CLIMATE CHANGE pages for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Residents wear masks for protection as smoke billows from stacks in a neighborhood next to a coal fired power plant on Nov. 26, 2015 in Shanxi, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

While most of the world is reducing its dependence on coal-fired power because of the enormous amount of greenhouse gases associated with it, China raised its coal fired capacity over 2018 and half of 2019, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Children run on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail in California. Bureau of Land Management

By Matt Berger

It's not just kids in the United States.

Children worldwide aren't getting enough physical activity.

That's the main conclusion of a new World Health Organization (WHO) study released Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Tim Ruben Weimer

Tanja Diederen lives near Maastricht in the Netherlands. She has been suffering from Hidradenitis suppurativa for 30 years. Its a chronic skin disease in which the hair roots are inflamed under pain — often around the armpits and on the chest.

Read More Show Less
Biosolids are applied to fallow wheat fields to build healthy soils at Boulder Park, Washington. King County

By Sarah Wesseler

Talk of natural climate solutions typically conjures up images of lush forests or pristine wetlands. But in King County, Washington, one important natural solution comes from a less Instagram-worthy source: the toilets of Seattle.

Read More Show Less
A video shows a woman rescuing a koala from Australia's wildfires. VOA News / YouTube screenshot

More than 350 koalas may have died in the wildfires raging near the Australian town of Port Macquarie in New South Wales, but one got a chance at survival after a woman risked her life to carry him to safety.

Read More Show Less