Washington, D.C. –(ENEWSPF)—March 14, 2014. Today, U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Rush Holt (NJ-12) and two dozen of their colleagues sent a letter urging Secretary of State John Kerry to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, arguing that approval of the pipeline is not in the national interest and would be extremely detrimental to the climate.
The Keystone XL pipeline is essential for the full development of the Alberta tar sands. Full development of those tar sands would emit approximately 240 gigatons of carbon pollution. That is roughly half the carbon pollution the world can allow before we experience a 2 degree increase in global temperature, the level that the United States and 167 other nations have said the world must avoid to prevent catastrophic, irreversible damage to our climate.
“The Alberta tar sands are the dirtiest oils on the planet, and approving projects that will facilitate its widespread use is not in the national interest. We owe it to future generations to do everything we can to pass on a livable planet, and our window to take action is rapidly closing. Objective evaluation of the scientific evidence shows that the Keystone XL pipeline would cause drastic damage to the environment, and we ask that Secretary take all of this evidence under full consideration,” said the members in a joint statement.
Building the pipeline would enable the transport of 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day into the U.S. for refining. The production of tar sands oil results in 17 percent more carbon emissions than conventional oil – not to mention likely spills and contamination of the Ogallala Aquifer and other land and fresh water surfaces.
Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline would put the U.S. on an environmentally unsustainable path of tar sands development. In order to make sure we can meet our commitment to preventing a 2 degree temperature increase, Keystone XL pipeline cannot be a part of our energy future.
The full letter and a list of signatories can be found here. The letter to Secretary Kerry is supported by environmental groups including the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, 350.org, Sierra Club, Green for All, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, and the Hip-Hop Caucus.