Keystone XL – New Plan to Move Forward Piecemeal, Dangers Remain

Just last month President Obama determined that further research is required on the diverse impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline before permission to construct it can be considered. Such research, the Administration affirmed, would take until 2013 in order to ensure that a thorough report is produced. So what happened next? A few weeks later, on February 27, 2012, the Administration states “We look forward to working with TransCanada to ensure that it [the KXL] is built in a safe, responsible and timely manner, and we commit to take every step possible to expedite the necessary Federal permits.” It’s a topsy turvyAlice in Wonderland situation… the detriment of human and environmental health.

TransCanada is now planning to build the K XL in piecemeal fashion, beginning with the segment running from Oklahoma toTexas that does not require State Department approval since it is fully within the United States. For the segment between Canada and the US, TransCanada will re-apply for a cross border permit and will devise a new route through Nebraska where major concerns have been raised about the previously proposed route.

A pipeline for tar sands from Oklahoma to the Gulf will raise U.S. oil prices, send tar sands overseas and be bad for our climate and waters — just like the full Keystone XL tar sands pipeline,” said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of international programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

President Obama’s position in January was a move in the right direction – we must let him know that reversing his stance and supporting Big Oil at the expense of the American people and the environment is not leadership.

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