State Department ignores global warming in draft assessment of Keystone XL pipeline's environmental impacts

State Department ignores global warming in draft assessment of Keystone XL pipeline’s environmental impacts

Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722, [email protected]
Alex Moore, 202-222-0733, [email protected]

State Department Ignores Global Warming in Draft Assessment of Keystone XL Pipeline’s Environmental Impacts

Friends of the Earth urges Secretary of State Clinton to account for climate disruption that imported tar sands oil would cause

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of State released on Friday a draft analysis of environmental impacts that could be caused by a proposed pipeline to transfer dirty tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.

The pipeline, the Keystone XL, would be constructed by Canadian oil and gas giant TransCanada. If approved, it would bring high-carbon, dirty tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada through the plains states of the U.S. to Gulf Coast refineries near Houston at a rate of 900,000 barrels per day.

Friends of the Earth criticized the State Department for completely ignoring new greenhouse gas emissions that would be caused by the pipeline, estimated to be 38 million tons per year. That is equivalent to adding more than six million cars to the road.

Friends of the Earth’s dirty fuels campaigner, Alex Moore, had the following statement:

“This pipeline is dirty on all accounts. It would bring air pollution to refinery communities in the U.S. and harm indigenous communities near the sites of tar sands extraction in Canada. On top of that, this pipeline will make global warming worse by increasing our nation’s reliance on the dirtiest source of oil on Earth, a factor that the Obama administration has so far ignored. The administration should focus on developing clean energy and reject new pipelines for the world’s dirtiest oil.”

The next step in the permitting process for the Keystone XL is a 45 day public comment period. Friends of the Earth will ask its members and supporters to submit comments to the State Department urging that the permit for this destructive project be rejected.

The State Department will have to take these public comments into account before releasing its final Environmental Impact Statement. Then the Obama administration will have to decide whether to allow this pipeline to be built. The State Department is in charge of overseeing the permit process because the pipeline crosses a national border.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement is available on the State Department’s website at:
(Note: Once you navigate to this page, click on the “State Dept. Documents” link on the left-hand side and scroll to the bottom of the page for the draft EIS.)


Friends of the Earth and our network of grassroots groups in 77 countries fight to create a more healthy, just world. We’re progressive environmental advocates who pull no punches and speak sometimes uncomfortable truths to power. Our current campaigns focus on clean energy and solutions to global warming, protecting people from toxic and new, potentially harmful technologies, and promoting smarter, low-pollution transportation alternatives.

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