President Obama clears the air on Keystone XL

  For many months, it’s been hard to determine the President’s exact position on the Keystone XL pipeline.  The President has frequently said that he is relying on the State Department’s review of the pipeline in order for the Secretary of State to decide whether to approve or reject it, and that review has been delayed several times. However, with the House of Representatives’ vote today in favor of the Keystone XL, the President made his clearest statement yet on the pipeline, and it was breath of fresh air.  According to the Washington Post: In a news conference Friday in Burma, the president rejected two of the most frequent arguments the project’s proponents have made on its behalf, saying he had “to constantly push back against this idea that somehow the Keystone pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States or is somehow lowering gas prices.” “It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land down to the Gulf where it will be sold to everyone else,” he said. “It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.” These are two of the most potent critiques of the pipeline, and are completely based in fact.  Analysis from Cornell Global Labor Institute demonstrates that the Keystone XL will only produce 35 permanent jobs.  No one disputes that oil produced by the Keystone XL is destined for boats that will take if […]

Read More →

Is Wind Power Dangerous?

Recently, Green America posted an action to our website, encouraging members of the public to ask Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC), a program which has helped wind power rapidly grow in the United States.  Several people wrote to us, questioning whether we should be promoting wind power due to its impacts on birds, forests, and humans. We have looked into the impacts of wind power versus other sources of energy through the years, and repeatedly found that wind power has far lower environmental impacts than traditional sources of energy (fossil fuels and nuclear power), and that the impacts of wind power continue to decline, as turbine designs improve, and the turbines are better situated.  Here’s what we’ve found: Bird fatalities:  While, wind turbines do cause bird fatalities, these are lower than fatalities caused by other human activities.  The rates of fatalities caused by turbines vary greatly across the country, and can be related to the relative abundance of species, as well as the type of turbines in use and how they are sited. However, it is important to note that the impacts of wind turbines on birds are often overstated, and are much lower than fatalities caused by other human activities. A 2007 report from the National Academies of Science found that bird fatalities from wind power are much lower than from other anthropogenic sources, and found that turbines have little or no impact on bird populations […]

Read More →

Yet Another Senate Vote to Advance the KXL – and Yet Again It Fails

Five days ago the Senate defeated a measure aimed at requiring the Keystone XL to move forward…and today the vote was repeated. The Senate just can’t stop voting on the issue…how many defeats are needed? The repeat vote was part of a broader package of issues promoted by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) who sought to win approval for constructing the KXL, to expand offshore oil and gas leasing, to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, and to allow oil shale and tar sands leasing, among other provisions. Fortunately the measure failed 41-57. The Keystone XL struggle isn’t going away…and neither are its opponents. This morning before the Senate vote, Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute released a new report: The Impact of Tar Sands Pipeline Spills on Employment and the Economy. This is clearly a must-read for all legislators. The report reminds us: “The largest tar sands oil spill in theU.S. occurred on theKalamazooRiver inMichigan in 2010. This spill affected the health of hundreds of residents, displaced residents, hurt businesses, and caused a loss of jobs. The Kalamazoo spill is the most expensive tar sands pipeline oil spill in U.S. history, with overall costs estimated at $725 million.” Why risk more of the same? The time for investing in renewable energy has never been greater.

Read More →

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…..to 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 […]

Read More →

Green America Applauds President Obama’s Rejection of Keystone XL Pipeline

Stop-KXL

Green America strongly commends President Obama for his wise decision, announced this afternoon, to reject the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline. This Canadian project poses severe consequences for human health and the environment while further entrenching the dirty fossil fuel economy and failing to generate lasting jobs. Investment in clean energy generates 3-4 times as many jobs as investments in fossil […]

Read More →