Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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

The Anderson Community Group. Left to right, Caroline Laur, Anita Foust, the Rev. Bryon Shoffner, and Bill Compton, came together to fight for environmental justice in their community. Anderson Community Group

By Isabella Garcia

On Thanksgiving Day 2019, right after Caroline Laur had finished giving thanks for her home, a neighbor at church told her that a company had submitted permit requests to build an asphalt plant in their community. The plans indicated the plant would be 250 feet from Laur's backdoor.

Read More Show Less
Berber woman cooks traditional flatbread using an earthen oven in her mud-walled village home located near the historic village of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco, Africa on Jan. 4, 2016. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. /NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg and Jason Flatt

The world's Indigenous Peoples face severe and disproportionate rates of food insecurity. While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5 percent of the world's population, they account for 15 percent of the world's poor, according to the World Health Organization.

Read More Show Less
Danny Choo / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Olivia Sullivan

One of the many unfortunate outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic has been the quick and obvious increase in single-use plastic products. After COVID-19 arrived in the United States, many grocery stores prohibited customers from using reusable bags, coffee shops banned reusable mugs, and takeout food with plastic forks and knives became the new normal.

Read More Show Less
A mostly empty 110 freeway toward downtown Los Angeles, California on April 28, 2020. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The shelter in place orders that brought clean skies to some of the world's most polluted cities and saw greenhouse gas emissions plummet were just a temporary relief that provided an illusory benefit to the long-term consequences of the climate crisis. According to new research, the COVID-19 lockdowns will have a "neglible" impact on global warming, as Newshub in New Zealand reported.

Read More Show Less
Centrosaurus apertus was a plant-eating, single-horned dinosaur that lived 76 to 77 million years ago. Sergey Krasovskiy / Stocktrek Images / Getty Images

Scientists have discovered and diagnosed the first instance of malignant cancer in a dinosaur, and they did so by using modern medical techniques. They published their results earlier this week in The Lancet Oncology.

Read More Show Less
Parks keep people happy in times of global crisis, economic shutdown and public anger. NPS

By Joe Roman and Taylor Ricketts

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the "happiness" of people's words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The ubiquity of guns and bullets poses environmental risks. Contaminants in bullets include lead, copper, zinc, antimony and mercury. gorancakmazovic / iStock / Getty Images Plus

New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that she will attempt to dismantle the National Rifle Association (NRA), arguing that years of corruption and mismanagement warrant the dissolution of the activist organization, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less