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Addressing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, January 16th, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird repeated the same thoroughly refuted lies that Keystone XL proponents have used throughout their aggressive push for the environmentally disastrous pipeline.

"... building Keystone XL would create thousands of jobs and prompt economic growth on both sides of the border."

“So if there’s one message I’m going to be promoting on this trip, it is that the time for Keystone is now. I’ll go further — the time for a decision on Keystone is now, even if it’s not the right one,” said Baird. “We can’t continue in this state of limbo.”

He said there would be “no significant environmental impact,” that Canadian oil would offset imports from other sources and that carrying oil by pipeline is favourable to carrying it by rail.

Baird may be trying to profit from the fact that recent catastrophic derailments in the USA and Canada of tanker cars carrying the highly flammable diluted bitument from Canada's tar sands and/or the even more flammable Bakken oil from North Dakota have cost more than 50 lives and destroyed millions of dollars of property, including virtually the entire town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.
Baird is in Washington for the North American ministerial meeting with his counterparts Secretary of State John Kerry and Mexico’s Jose Antonio Meade. The meeting is Friday but he arrived early and had multiple meetings with American lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday and Thursday and with others including National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
Shipments of crude oil of all types have increased exponentially in the USA in the last four years on a rail system that has long been bemoaned as out-of-date, inadequate and unsafe.
The number of crude oil carloads hauled by U.S. railroads surged from 10,840 in 2009 to a projected 400,000 in 2013.[14] In the third quarter of 2013, crude-by-rail shipments rose 44 percent from the previous year to 93,312 carloads, equivalent to about 740,000 barrels per day or almost one tenth of U.S. production.[13]
The inadequate safety and regulation of those railcars is a subject for another diary.

Originally posted to Eyesbright on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:50 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Hawks.

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