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Statement: State Department Walks Away from “Significant Impact” in New Keystone XL Review

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Friday, January 31, 2014
Contact: 
Eddie Scher, 415-977-5758, eddie.scher@sierraclub.org

For Immediate Release

[Washington, DC] Today the State Department finalized its environmental review of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project. The State Department’s hiring of biased oil industry consultants remains under review by the agency’s Office of Inspector General.

Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director, issued the following statement:

“Reports of an industry victory on the Keystone XL pipeline are vastly over-stated.  The final environmental review that the State Department released today sets the stage for President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. The State Department wisely walked away from its earlier contention that Keystone XL would have ‘no significant impact’ on climate disruption.  Now the report concludes that Keystone XL will create the equivalent climate pollution of the exhaust of nearly 6 million cars each year, which the president cannot fail to recognize as significant and not in the nation’s best interest. 

"Tar sands crude are more toxic, more corrosive, more difficult to clean up, and more carbon intensive than conventional oil.  It’s the dirtiest form of crude oil in the world, and we just don’t need it. 

"What the report fails to consider is just as significant.  The market analysis assumes that over the next twenty years there will be no new efforts to curb carbon pollution and stimulate advanced batteries, fuel efficiency and clean energy – which, if true, would prevent us from meeting the challenge of climate disruption.    

"Carbon pollution is the test for Keystone XL, and Keystone XL is the test for President Obama’s commitment to protect this and future generations from the worst impacts of climate disruption. We should not spend billions on a pipeline that will deepen our dependence on dirty oil when advanced batteries and clean energy are affordable and already meeting our energy needs in record amounts."

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