Folks: if you don’t have much time, please go immediately to http://350.org and comment on the KXL pipeline. If you have a bit of time, consider checking out the deeply absurd report.
My comment to the State Department:
I am writing to comment on the Keystone XL pipeline Draft SEIS. Many individuals and organizations have noted serious flaws in the report, for example
Having read the report directly, I wish to add a major concern about the document’s shocking lack of internal consistency. From
page 4.14-3 (bottom) to 4.14.-4 (top), the report states “this analysis has taken a precautionary approach by using the worst-case projections (A2 scenario) to ensure potential impacts and outcomes are not underestimated.” The context of this statement is apparently to demonstrate that even if the A2 emissions scenario comes true (and it is arguable that A2 is no longer the worst case), the pipeline itself can handle changes in temperature and precipitation. Therefore, rhetorically, to make the case for the pipeline more convincing, you grant up to 4.6 degrees Fahrenheit Average Temperature change in the Dry Temperature and Prairie Climate regions (Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska) by 2040-2059, but state the pipeline (pipe, supports, method of burial) itself can survive! This gives me (continued after the squiggly...)
small comfort, given that if anything approximating that temperature rise occurs, the impact on geology, soils, water resources, wetlands, terrestrial vegetation, wildlife, fisheries, threatened and endangered species, land use, socioeconomics, cultural resources, AND air quality (sections 4.1-4.12) is likely to be horrible, yet you do not reflect this in those sections of your report. I agree that the pipeline itself is not the only source of the A2 scenario, but it is literally part of the problem.
To paraphrase liberally, it appears that you are saying: “don’t worry – a well-built, well-covered steel pipeline can handle worst-case changes in temperature and precipitation … however, in other parts of our analysis, we’ll won’t play out this worst case.” This does not meet basic standards of internal consistency. I expect Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to base their decisions on well-written summaries of complex social technical issues. At the least, Volume II, especially sections 4.1-4.16 and 5.3, must be completely revised.
Or, rather than revising the report and stretching out this process further, how about showing some vision, leadership, and insight. How about drawing a line in the tar sands with an honest conclusion: this pipeline is a 50-year commitment to a means of energy production that is leading to disruptive climate change. It is NOT in the best interests of the United States.