On Friday afternoon January 31st, the US State Department issued its report of the environmental impact of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada. It was a compromised and shameful report. One of the energy industry’s favorite projects would bring heavy tar sands from Canada across the width of the US to be refined in the southern US.
The energy industry promises the pipeline will create jobs. And it will. But those jobs will be short term and at the cost of already hazardous climate change and other environmental problems–even disasters.
The United States needs to focus on the long-term jobs that would be created by harvesting renewable and sustainable energy such as wind and solar. We also need to focus on rebuilding the electric grid to accommodate renewables and prevent the loss of energy from outdated transmission lines.
Democratic Congressman Raúl Grijalva, who has worked for transparency and honesty during studies of the proposed pipeline, was very critical of the report.
Grijalva noted that the State Department contracted out the report to TransCanada’s own outsourced environmental firm. This of course is a huge conflict of interest. Why would the US government not just allow, but even create such an obvious conflict of interest on such a critical study?
The proposed pipeline has been opposed by every climatologist and environmental organization in the US. Similar heavy tar sands caused a rupture in a pipeline in Arkansas near Little Rock, creating a spill that the energy industry did not know how to clean up. Environmentalists such as Bill McKibben have said that harvesting and burning the oil in the tar sands could double the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Photo: Actress and activist Daryl Hannah was arrested alongside East Texas farmer, Eleanor Fairchild while defending her farm from the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.climate change, environment, environmental, inequality, jobs, Keystone Pipeline, Keystone XL, Keystone XL Pipeline, Labor, oil, XL Pipeline