NEWS: Washington Post: "Environmentalists take hard line with Obama on Keystone XL"

September 25, 2013

Will President Obama #DrawtheLine on the Side of Jobs and Energy Security and Approve the Long-Delayed Pipeline?

After Five Years of Review, and In Spite of Strong Public Support, President Faces Threat of "Revolt From His Political Base"

According to The Washington Post, over two dozen activist groups have doubled down in their effort to block the Keystone XL pipeline and its jobs and reliable energy. The groups are urging President Obama to reject the $7 billion private project regardless of any environmental agreements that may be negotiated with the Canadians. Despite the State Department’s confirmation that the pipeline and its state-of-the-art safety mechanisms will support over 42,000 jobs and have minimal impact on the environment, professional activists continue to oppose the jobs project. This stands in stark contrast to the long-standing public support for the project.

Opponents argue Keystone XL will accelerate the development of the Canadian oil sands and increase greenhouse gas emissions, but the president’s own State Department has concluded the pipeline would have “no significant impact” on the environment and that  “approval or denial of the proposed project is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands.”

What should have been a simple and straightforward approval process has turned into a red tape nightmare, now lasting over five years. In an apparent effort to avoid political backlash, the president refuses to make a decision and keeps moving the goal posts on the pipeline’s approval. It’s time for President Obama to #DrawtheLine and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Environmentalists take hard line with Obama on Keystone XL
September 24, 2013

Leaders of more than two dozen influential environmental groups are sending President Obama a letter Tuesday with a clear warning: Even if Canada agrees to reduce the oil and gas sector's climate impact, he should not approve a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The letter, obtained by The Washington Post, provides the strongest evidence yet that president will face a revolt from his political base should he sign off on the pipeline, which would transport heavy crude from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries. Chief executives of mainstream environmental organizations, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and League of Conservation Voters, along with more left-leaning groups, such as 350.org, MoveOn.org and Greenpeace USA, signed the missive.

Environmentalists oppose the project on the grounds that it will expand production of an energy-intensive crude that is more damaging to the climate from a region known as the oil sands, or tar sands. Proponents say it will ensure a stable oil supply from one of America's closest allies while creating short-term construction jobs along the pipeline's route.

In an interview Monday, LCV president Gene Karpinski said that he and others welcomed the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency proposed curbing carbon emissions from new power plants last week but that approval of the pipeline would undermine these other climate policy proposals.

"While we take major steps forward, we can’t be taking major steps back at the same time," he said, noting that 75,000 activists have pledged to engage in civil disobedience if Obama approves the permit. "The intensity out there has not diminished one bit. If anything, the, the willingness of people to go to jail over this is expanding.” …

Read the entire story online here.

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