Kill Keystone XL once and for all: Opposing view

USA Today | February 24, 2015 | Op-ed by Rhea Suh

It's not a plan to help our country. It's about big profits for big oil.

(Photo: Nati Harnik, AP)

Now that President Obama has vetoed the misguided bill to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, it's time to kill this project once and for all. It's not a plan to help our country. It's about big profits for big oil — and big pollution for the rest of us. It's a stone dead loser that needs to be denied.

The pipeline would send some of the dirtiest oil on the planet through the breadbasket of America to be refined on our Gulf Coast into fuels that would mostly be sent overseas.

That's not our calculus: That's what the State Department concluded in its assessment of the project.

From the time it's gouged out of Canada's pristine boreal forest until it's burned, oil from the tar sands generates 17% more of the dangerous carbon pollution that's driving climate change than conventional oil.

We need to shift to cleaner fuels, not dirtier ones, to protect future generations from the dangers of climate change.

The refineries the pipeline would serve ship most of their fuel overseas. And the pipeline would enable tar sands crude to be exported directly, bypassing U.S. refineries entirely.

The oil industry wants us to believe we can reduce oil train explosions by building the dirty tar sands pipeline. But the two aren't connected.

The train that blew up in West Virginia last week was carrying oil from North Dakota — like the train that exploded last year in Virginia, and the one that blew up the year before that in Alabama.

The tar sands pipeline won't take that oil off the tracks. The fact is, the industry wants to expand the use of rail and pipe, exposing our communities to ever greater danger of blowups and blowouts.

Pipeline backers say the tar sands will be developed with or without Keystone. Not true. Over the past year, investors have scrubbed a million barrels a day in planned tar sands production, citing a lack of pipelines to move the product.

Don't blame Americans for the shortage. The Canadians don't want a tar sands pipeline cutting across British Columbia and putting their ranches, farms, rivers and lands at risk. Why should we?

Rhea Suh is president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. (The White House declined to provide an opposing view.)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/02/24/keystone-xl-natural-resources-defense-council-editorials-debates/23966685/

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Kill Keystone XL once and for all: Opposing view
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE works to promote safe, sustainable energy and environmental justice.  We aim to engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry's assault on the people of Albany and our environment.