A recent State Department draft environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline project is seriously flawed, calling the project “environmentally sound” even as it fails to properly identify threats to wildlife and habitat such as the destruction of tens of thousands of acres of prime bird habitat in Canada’s Boreal forest. The report further finds that building the pipeline will have little impact on climate change—even though the pipeline would increase emissions so much it would be like adding 4.6 million cars to the roads.
In a May 2012 op-ed in The New York Times, NASA climate scientist James Hansen wrote regarding Alberta oil sands extraction, “If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.” He argued, “We need to start reducing emissions significantly, not create new ways to increase them.”
Audubon joined with scores of other organizations at a recent rally in Washington, DC to protest the XL pipeline and call on President Obama to make good on his pro-climate remarks at both his inaugural and State of the Union addresses. Over 40,000 people formed the biggest climate rally to date to underscore the need for aggressive action on climate change—and reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
The State Departments draft review is open for comment over the next 45 days. Look for a coming alert soon from Audubon to bolster that comment record with our views—and yours.
For more on this story, visit: National Audubon Society: Audubon Advisory – March 2013.