I was disappointed to hear that the State Department’s draft environmental impact statement for the Keystone XL pipeline suggests minimal environmental impacts from this enormous proposed project.
It is hard to believe there would be minimal impacts when you consider that the Keystone XL pipeline would transport up to 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil nearly 900 miles from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to pipelines in the United States and then to Gulf Coast refineries. The pipeline would also travel more than 1,000 water bodies, including several aquifers, endangering the water supply of over 2 million people.
Additionally, the process of extracting and converting tar sands into fuel that we can use yields three times as much pollution as what it takes to refine conventional crude oil.
Last but not least – contrary to claims made by supporters of the pipeline -- Keystone XL could end even more jobs than it creates if there are toxic spills in water resources or farmland.
We need to invest in a sustainable energy future. For our children's sake and our grand children's, we must not continue to build massive fossil fuel infrastructure that increases emissions, threatens our climate and makes extreme weather more likely.
President Obama should reject this project.
As the New York Times said in a March 10 editorial, "A president who has repeatedly identified climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing dangers cannot in good conscience approve a project that — even by the State Department’s most cautious calculations — can only add to the problem."