Over 2 Million Comments Ask for Rejection of the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
Opposition to Keystone XL across the country and the world continues to grow, with more than 2 million comments calling for rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline delivered today. Today marked the end of the 30-day public comment period that helps to inform President Obama and Secretary Kerry about whether or not the risky tar sands pipeline is in the national interest. The answer has been a resounding “NO,” with members and activists affiliated with NRDC, Sierra Club, 350.org, CREDO Action, Avaaz, the Energy Action Coalition, and many other organizations submitting more than 2 million comments calling for a rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Keystone XL would transport up to 830,000 barrels per day of carbon intensive tar sands from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, from where tar sands-derived fuel products could be sent anywhere in the world. Keystone XL would cause an expansion of tar sands production, and of the associated greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore fails the climate test that President Obama set for the pipeline. Tar sands also causes pollution of land, air, and water; threatens public health in the areas around where it is extracted, transported and refined; and is risky to transport. So it’s no wonder that people across the country and the world have sent such a strong signal to President Obama and Secretary Kerry calling on them to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
The big sign in the video was made before we knew that there would be not just 1.5 million comments, but over 2 million comments!
This is not the first time people have spoken out on this issue. There have been many public demonstrations and comments sent to the White House and State Department over the last several years, but over the last month, the intensity of opposition has escalated. Just days after the final environmental review was released, there were more than 280 vigils organized in almost all 50 states that drew more than 10,000 people. Last weekend, 398 students risked arrest in front of the White House to make their voices heard.
The comments delivered today included more that 1.1 million comments from people in the United States, and more than 900,000 comments from around world -- including more than half a million comments from European countries that could see an increase in tar sands-derived fuels coming to their countries if Keystone XL is approved. Concerned citizens of Indonesia -- where Secretary Kerry recently referred to climate change as the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction -- also added their voices to the outcry against Keystone XL.
As NRDC President Frances Beinecke put it:
This new outpouring of public opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline demonstrates yet again that the more Americans learn about this project the more we want the Obama Administration to reject it. Instead of embracing the dirtiest oil on Earth, let’s put America squarely on the path to a cleaner energy future. This tar sands project would only aid and abet our oil addiction and worsen climate change. It is not in America’s national interest.
In addition to the roughly 90,000 comments from NRDC members and activists, NRDC and other organizations are submitting detailed comments to the State Department today about why the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in the national interest and should be rejected.
It’s not too late to add your voice – ask President Obama to reject Keystone XL at www.stoptar.org.
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