The President shouldn’t expedite the southern leg of Keystone XL — he should publicly reject it.
Yesterday, the White House applauded news that TransCanada would go forward with building the southern leg of Keystone XL, promising to help expedite the permits necessary to complete the pipeline’s route from Cushing, Okla. to the refineries and shipping ports of Port Arthur, Texas.
Breaking up the pipeline in this way is quite simply TransCanada’s latest end run around the State Department’s formal review process, which is required for any pipeline that crosses an international border. It will also make it easier for the company to trample property rights and immediately seize Americans’ land by eminent domain.
President Obama’s support for the southern leg isn’t a surprise — he specifically mentioned this project as he was rejecting the full pipeline last month based on insufficient time to conduct a thorough review.
But it is deeply disappointing that, just a month later, he would signal a willingness to backtrack on even that minimal condition, saying he would “take every step possible to expedite the necessary federal permits.”1
The southern portion of Keystone XL carries the same risks of oil spills on American water and soil, and brings the tar sands carbon bomb one big step closer to being unleashed across the world. President Obama must insure that the Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers do not cut any corners in evaluating this project, and consider it’s full impacts on the climate.
Tell President Obama: Don’t expedite approval of the southern leg of Keystone XL or cut any corners to force this project through. Click here to automatically sign the petition.
While the southern portion of Keystone XL does not turn up the spigot of tar sands bitumen that can be transported out of Alberta, Canada, it does ultimately accomplish the biggest goal of Keystone XL — to bring the landlocked tar sands to shipping ports and the global market so it can be burned across the globe, leading to disastrous climate impacts.
This should be enough for the President to publicly reject this project. Instead he’s not only applauding it, he wants to “expedite” it.
Instead of criticizing TransCanada’s bullying as it runs rough shod over the private property rights of Americans, President Obama is now acting to enable to enable TransCanada’s ability to seize land via eminent domain.
President Obama can’t keep trying to have it both ways. He can’t claim to want to move our nation away from fossil fuels and fight climate change while he paves the way for the dirtiest oil on earth to be shipped and burned across the globe. He can’t try to appeal to environmental voters by rejecting this pipeline on an insufficient evaluation, and then turn around and allow the pipeline developer to circumvent the approval process, even accelerating the minimal process that remains.
Click below to automatically sign the petition:
We knew this project would be back, and we meant it when we said we’d fight it everywhere, every step of the way.
There will be many local and national opportunities in the upcoming approval fight — but for now the least President Obama can do is maintain even the minimal commitment he made to us when he rejected Keystone XL just weeks ago.
Thanks for fighting Keystone XL in all its forms.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. “TransCanada to push ahead with part of Keystone pipeline” Washington Post, February 27, 2012