Key Keystone XL pipeline controversy coverage
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October 14, 2011
Our communications director has compiled a must-read list of coverage of the Keystone XL pipeline controversy. There’s been a lot of coverage. He’s compiled some of the last week’s key stories here.
“U.S. lawmakers will urge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday to reject the proposed route of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, saying they are concerned the approval process has been tainted by alleged conflicts of interest. … Lawmakers are concerned about a report in The New York Times that the contractor the department used to evaluate the environmental impacts of the line, Cardno Entrix, has worked on other projects with TransCanada.”
“The State Department assigned an important environmental impact study of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to a company with financial ties to the pipeline operator, flouting the intent of a federal law meant to ensure an impartial environmental analysis of major projects.”
“The Nebraska legislature is considering convening a special session to discuss rerouting the Keystone XL pipeline after talks between state senators and TransCanada on Tuesday resulted in the pipeline operator refusing to change the route. A special session could force a two year delay in pipeline construction and could ultimately reroute the pipeline.”
“But the fierce resistance from grass-roots environmental activists — more than 1,250 were arrested in demonstrations outside the White House in late August and early September — and from some influential donors has helped make it a defining environmental question for the Obama administration.”
“Anti-pipeline forces say those woes are no excuse for Obama to back-pedal on his commitment to action on climate change. ‘The president’s core constituencies are saying enough is enough,’ said Damon Moglen, director of the climate and energy program at the advocacy group Friends of the Earth. ‘Again and again and again, we do not see the president standing up for the environment and public health. We will no longer retreat.’”
Secretary of State confronts KXL questions two days in a row
At both an Associated Press editorial roundtable and an event at the Center for American Progress this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been put on the spot and forced defend her department’s KXL review.
KXL controversy gaining more coverage on U.S. TV
Several national TV broadcasts have covered the Keystone XL fight in the past week.
“Under federal law, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton currently has the responsibility of deciding whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. … But if the project doesn’t receive unanimous support from eight other federal agencies, the president must issue the decision.”
“The Canadian environmental group Water Matters says it never met with State Department personnel to discuss concerns with the Keystone XL pipeline, despite a department spokeswoman citing the group as a Canadian NGO it met with as part of its evaluation of the project at a briefing last week.”
“Canada’s dirty tar sands oil reserves have been turned ‘into a public-relations nightmare’ argues the Financial Times today in its eight page pull-out on Canadian energy. … Part of this nightmare for both the industry and now President Obama is to do with the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which has become a litmus test for the Obama Administration.”
“In the last of nine public hearings, people got three minutes each to tell two State Department officials their views about whether the pipeline from the oil sands to Texas refineries is in the nation’s best interest.”
“As Tar Sands Action puts it on its website, ‘#occupywallstreet and the Keystone XL — One Movement, One Goal’”
“Occupy Atlanta demonstrators are planning to protest a proposed oil pipeline that would carry oil from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. The group said in a statement that it plans the protest for Friday afternoon outside CNN’s headquarters”
“But rejecting the pipeline won’t reduce global carbon emissions or the risk of environmentally destructive spills.”
But numerous important editorial boards voice KXL concerns and opposition
The St. Louis Post Dispatch (carried in papers across the country via the McClatchy-Tribune news service): “Neither the president nor the secretary of state should approve the application at this time for any number of reasons, chief among them is the very real danger of catastrophic pipeline failures in crucial locations.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “It is essential, however, given the importance of the decision to America and the role played in it so far by Cardno Entrix, TransCanada’s important client, and Mr. Elliott, Ms. Clinton’s former campaign aide, that a new and truly independent environmental impact statement be prepared on Keystone XL before the matter goes any further. At this point the affair is giving off a very foul odor.”
Nebraska’s North Platte Telegraph: “Conclusions differ: Our fear does not. … The pipeline has a number of issues to overcome. … Our concern was, and remains, the history of spills. It appears that spills are expected and accepted.”
Nebraska’s York News-Tribune: “Let’s not allow a foreign corporation to dictate to America, to Nebraska and most definitely not to York County.”