Secretary of State John Kerry's first major international meeting came with Canadian foreign minister John Baird. At the press conference, Secretary Kerry faced (and essentially shunted aside) questions about Keystone XL. A Climate Hawk as U.S. Senator, Secretary Kerry faced a difficult situation: Canada is pushing hard to enrich itself with the world's worst environmental disaster and the United States has to decide whether it will help worsen the situation as the Department of State in nearing the end of a process of review of the Keystone XL pipeline.
In short, the question the Department of State must answer:
Is Keystone XL in the U.S. national interest?And, more briefly, the answer:
No.With full explanations after the fold, here are reasons why Keystone XL is a reckless, dangerous, and counter-productive project that should not be allowed to proceed.
In short, Keystone XL would
- Contribute to increased greenhouse gas emissions;
- Foster accelerated damage to one of the most important carbon sinks;
- Create risks for water sources;
- Facilitate expansion of the most destructive industrial project on earth;
- Increase spill risks of extremely difficult to clean-up and damaging Dilbit in extremely sensitive ecosystems;
- Divert resources from efforts to reduce American and global dependence on fossil fuels;
- Threaten employment;
- Damage economic performance;
- Threaten American health;
- Increase gas prices for much of the American Heartland;
- Increase profitability of oil interests ripping up the boreal forests by taking money out of Americans' pockets; and,
- Damage American leadership around the globe as we struggle to mitigate climate change.
If this seems a long list, it is.
Despite the $10s ($100s) of millions spent on partial truths, disinformation, and propaganda, the fundamental facts demonstrate that this project should not go forward, that it is counter to U.S. national interest.
Crippling drought. Devastating wildfires. Superstorm Sandy. Climate has come home – and the American people get it.On 17 February 2013, President's Day, 100,000s of American citizens will be in front of the White House calling for the Obama Administration to recognize -- and declare -- that the Keystone XL pipeline is not in the U.S. national interest. Join them.The first step to putting our country on the path to addressing the climate crisis is for President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. His legacy as president will rest squarely on his response, resolve, and leadership in solving the climate crisis.