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Environmental groups oppose Keystone XL deal

by Jay F. Marks Published: September 24, 2013

A coalition of environmental leaders on Tuesday sent a letter to President Barack Obama to affirm their opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline amid reports climate talks with Canada may lead to a compromise on the controversial project. Here is the text of the letter:

“We are pleased to hear reports that Canadian officials may be considering new policies to mitigate global warming pollution from the oil and gas sectors. Increased regulation of these sectors is long overdue in both Canada and the U.S. in order to protect our communities and climate.

“However, on behalf of our millions of members and supporters nationwide, we oppose any deal-making in return for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Our rationale is simple. Building Keystone XL will expand production in the tar sands, and that reality is not compatible with serious efforts to battle climate change.

“While the tar sands industry makes claims of reducing the intensity of their emissions profile, in fact the absolute carbon pollution from the tar sands is rapidly increasing. The Harper government previously promised to take action to cut pollution across industry, but never followed through with its 2008 plan. Carbon pollution from the tar sands is now projected to be twice as high in 2020 as envisioned under that plan. Simple arithmetic shows that the only way to reduce emissions from the tar sands is to cap expansion where it is now and reduce production over the coming years.

“That means rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, a project that would enable the expansion of tar sands production. The tar sands pipeline and the carbon emissions it would generate are not in the national interest.  After yet another year of record temperatures, terrible drought, dangerous wildfires and worsening storms, the solution must be to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, not to double down on our dependence on the highest carbon fuels.”

Signed,

Anna Galland, Executive Director, MoveOn.org Civic Action
Carroll Muffett, President & CEO, Center for International Environmental Law
Catherine Thomasson, MD, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Cindy Shogan, Executive Director, Alaska Wilderness League
Dan Apfel, Executive Director, Responsible Endowments Coalition
Daniel Souweine, Director, CEL Climate Lab
Drew Hudson, Executive Director,  Environmental Action
Erich Pica, Executive Director, Friends of the Earth US
Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council
Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters
Jane Kleeb, Executive Director, Bold Nebraska
Joe Uehlein, Executive Director, Labor Network for Sustainability
John Sellers, Executive Director, The Other 98%
Kieran Suckling, Executive Director, Center for Biological Diversity
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Executive Director, Hip Hop Caucus
Lindsey Allen, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network
Maura Cowley, Executive Director, Energy Action Coalition
May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org
Michael Hall Kieschnick, CEO CREDO
Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Executive Director, Green For All
Phil Radford, Executive Director, Greenpeace
Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
Sarah Shanley Hope, Executive Director, Alliance for Climate Education
Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director, Oil Change International
Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network

by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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