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New Report Details Keystone XL’s Significant Climate Impact Using Data from Industry and Financial Experts

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Thursday, August 29, 2013
Eddie Scher, 415-977-5758, eddie.scher@sierraclub.org

Washington, DC – A group of environmental advocates delivered a report on the climate implications of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to the President today, giving him all of the information he needs to reject the tar sands pipeline based on its significant impact on carbon pollution. The report includes the shocking statistic that filling Keystone XL with tar sands will cause a 36 percent increase from current tar sands production.

FAIL: How the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Flunks the Climate Test

The report, authored by Sierra Club and Oil Change International, compiles data and commentary on the state of climate and the climate impacts of Keystone XL and expanded tar sands development, with a heavy focus on studies and observations from industry and financial experts.

“Keystone XL is a climate disaster. The president set a tough climate test for the pipeline, which it clearly fails to pass. There is no wiggle room here, Mr. President,” said Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director. “This report takes a look behind the industry's PR blitz and cites oil industry experts, Wall Street analysts, and Canadian politicians who say on the record that without Keystone XL the industry cannot expand production of tar sands crude, the world’s dirtiest, most carbon-polluting source of oil.”

While national groups delivered the report to the White House, regional affiliates carried out similar events in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. Climate changes has already wreaked havoc across the country—superstorms, droughts, increased wildfires, and floods—and people from coast to coast are taking action to ensure that the U.S. meets its climate commitments and implements policies to stabilize global warming.

“There are two factors above all else that will convince the president to say no to Keystone,” said May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director. “The irrefutable science of climate change, and a movement of people that have come together to say now is the time draw the line at this disastrous project."

The report cites a large body of scientific evidence and industry expertise that find:

·         In order to stabilize global climate change, a substantial portion of known fossil fuels must remain unburned and thus we do not need to expand known reserves.

·         Keystone XL is the linchpin of further tar sands expansion, and will lead to at least a 36 percent increase in current tar sands production.

·         Tar sands are one of the most carbon polluting forms of oil, and developing them must be avoided at all costs to prevent catastrophic greenhouse gas emissions.

·         The impact of expanding the tar sands through Keystone XL is too massive to be mitigated.

Sources for the report include Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Royal Bank of Canada, International Energy Agency, Standard & Poor, TransCanada, Government of Alberta, Scientific American, Financial Post, and other industry and financial experts.

"Frankly, I can't believe we have had to write yet another thoroughly researched report to dispute the oil industry's ridiculous assertion that a giant pipeline to the dirtiest oil on Earth won't significantly increase carbon emissions" said Steve Kretzmann of Oil Change International. "Big Oil will ignore the real issues here and instead respond with expensive ad campaigns and quiet conversations in dimly lit rooms.  We're confident the President will decide this issue based on the facts, and reject this pipeline"

Industry and financial analysts have repeatedly confirmed that Keystone XL is absolutely critical to the expansion of tar sands development in landlocked Alberta, because it would provide the industry with a major low-cost connection to export markets and world oil prices.

"The wildfire raging today in Yosemite National Park is the latest reminder of the devastating impact of global warming,” said Anna Aurilio, DC Office Director at Environment America. “Our message with this report today is clear: the rampant burning of treasures like Yosemite is not in our national interest, and neither is the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline."

People will take to the streets in their communities on Saturday, Sept. 21, to demand that President Obama deny the permit for Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in the most widespread day of action to date in the campaign to stop the project.

The day, called “Draw the Line,” will feature scores of creative events, with large rallies planned in areas already affected by climate change and places at risk from climate chaos if strong action, such as limiting tar sands development, is not taken. More info is at 350.org.

The report was release by: Sierra Club, 350.org, Bold Nebraska, National Wildlife Federation, OiL Change International, Friends of the Earth, Credo, Center for Biological Diversity, American Sustainability Business Council, Environment America, Environment Maine, Green America, Public Citizen, Labor Network for Sustainability.


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