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Anthony Swift’s Blog

Nebraska route doesn't address major problems for Keystone XL tar sands pipeline

Anthony Swift

Posted January 22, 2013

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Nebraska’s Governor Heineman signed off on the updated route for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline today. While it’s a disappointing decision, it’s neither surprising nor unexpected. The Governors rubber stamp decision stems from a flawed process that is well-documented by the folks at BOLD Nebraska. This decision will not ease the concerns of Nebraskans worried about the impacts a spill could inflict the sensitive environments the pipeline would pass through. Moreover, Governor Heineman’s decisions has no bearing on the fact that an approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would be fundamentally inconsistent with the plan to address climate change that the President outlined in his inaugural address.

Let’s keep today’s announcement in perspective. While the Nebraska portion of the pipeline has been the most contentious segment of Keystone XL, it is just a small portion. Before the northern portion of the pipeline moves forward, the State Department is obligated to finish its supplemental environmental impact study on the entire project. It could come out at any time now, and should point to be biggest issue associated with the whole scheme: carbon pollution. If we are going to get serious about climate change, opening the spigot to a pipeline that will export up to 830,000 barrels of the dirtiest oil on the planet to foreign markets stands as a bad idea. The President signaled that his administration would refocus on climate during his inaugural speech yesterday. He can do that by saying no to this ill-advised tar sands pipeline, while also moving forward with NRDC’s Clean Air Act carbon-cutting proposal and moving carbon standards for power plants.

On President’s Day, we expect tens of thousands of Americans to head to Washington to deliver this message: This is your legacy President Obama, and the time for action on climate is now.

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Comments

Pat meisterJan 22 2013 08:15 PM

No Pipeline please.

travis raseJan 22 2013 08:19 PM

Please don't allow this

Sadie wrightJan 22 2013 09:49 PM

No pipeline,,stop the insanity,,,save the planet

steven orihuelaJan 23 2013 12:04 AM

Please dont allow this to happen President Obama.

Kathlenn EvergreenJan 23 2013 01:56 AM

Please President Obama, do not allow the pipeline to go through Nebraska. We are really damaging our earth too much!

Ella de VriesJan 23 2013 03:22 AM

Please say no to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
The environment has to be our number 1 priority now.

joseph bennettJan 23 2013 09:17 AM

The people that think we should build this, should have to live within a 2 mile radius of it so they can enjoy its poisons as much as those of us that don't want it built. Especially the ultra rich that want it built. They should be forced to live within its shadow and allow their children to play on and around it. Let the rich people who are planting this seed of death, reap its bounty

Dominique BoisvertJan 23 2013 09:39 AM

Let me guess none of you who have made comments and are against this drive cars or ride bicycles, or wear rubber soled shoes. You spew all this hate against the oil and gas industry, yet you use products every day that we have because of that industry.

David DriesenJan 29 2013 08:24 AM

I have always been against this pipeline on climate disruption grounds and am glad the environmental community is now emphasizing this issue. But I'd like to know whether the new route ameliorates the water quality concerns. Neither you nor the Bold hyperlink squarely addressed that.

EEI BlogJan 29 2013 04:54 PM

If the Obama administration continues to I stop the XML pipeline from going through, what is stopping the Canadian oil industry from simply build their own pipeline to the nearest Canadian coastal port and pump their toxic mess into tankers?

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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