On Friday, January 31, the State Department released its Final Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canadian tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast. While the State Department appears to pave the way for the pipeline to be built, there is still serious consideration underway by Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama whether this would seriously exacerbate climate change.
New York Times article – “Report Opens Way to Approval for Keystone Pipeline” – 01.31.14
Statement by The Rev. Sally Bingham on the Release of the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement on Keystone XL Pipeline
January 31, 2014
With the release of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, we are entering a national debate about whether the Keystone XL Pipeline serves the national interest. The next phase is the National Interest Determination which must include the full impacts of the tar sands oil and the Pipeline project.
When the true impacts of tar sands oil on our climate and environment are considered, we are confident this project will be rejected by President Obama, who has stated it will not be approved if it would “significantly exacerbate” climate change.
A recent draft U.N. report on climate change, leaked to The New York Times, says that if the world does not significantly reduce emissions over the next 15 years, it will be too late to avoid severe economic and environmental consequences. We must take this warning from the world’s top climate scientists seriously. That means shifting rapidly away from fossil fuels to clean energy. The Keystone XL Pipeline and the tar sands oil it would carry would be a giant step in the opposite direction.
Interfaith Power & Light will participate in the upcoming public comment period, and ensure that people of faith participate in the process. We have already asked the president, in a letter signed by 150 clergy leaders, to reject this pipeline on moral grounds.
People of faith are called to protect Creation and to serve one another. The Keystone XL Pipeline would facilitate extraction and marketing of the world’s dirtiest oil, expedite destruction of old growth forest and First Nations Land in Canada, and endanger farms, water, and homes in the states through which it would travel. There is no justification for allowing this project to go forward.