Keystone XL Fails the Climate Test -- See the Proof for Yourself

Obama says that he won't approve the KXL pipeline if it will exacerbate carbon pollution. Well, check out this slideshow and see what you think.

The Obama Administration can pass the buck or blame Congress for innumerable failures to not act to protect the environment. But when it comes to the ever-important Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, it’s in Obama’s hands entirely. For years now, concerned individuals have pushed Obama to deny the KXL permit. The issue of a spill is not an if, it’s a when. And the extraction, processing, transporting, and burning of tar sands will be a climate nightmare. 

We also know that the oil industry has friends in high places, including the State Department where review of the project has been taking place. So it was encouraging that Obama, in a much touted climate change speech in June, said that he would evaluate the climate impact of the project before making a decision. He said:

Now, I know there’s been, for example, a lot of controversy surrounding the proposal to build a pipeline, the Keystone pipeline, that would carry oil from Canadian tar sands down to refineries in the Gulf. And the State Department is going through the final stages of evaluating the proposal. That’s how it’s always been done. But I do want to be clear: Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest. And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward. It’s relevant.

So, does the Keystone XL pass the climate test?

Environmentalists will hold Obama to his word. They are launching a new presentation this weekend at Powershift 2013. “With the new draft of the EIS coming out seemingly at any time, it’s a good time to prove once and for all that Keystone XL is a climate disaster,” said Daniel Kessler, US Communications Director for 350.org.  “The facts are on our side. This presentation gives us and our hundreds of thousands of supporters are new way to make the case against KXL.” 

On Sunday, October 20 there will be a live stream beginning at 5:15 ET and can be viewed at Powershift.

You can check out the presentation below or here.

Tara Lohan is a freelance writer and former senior editor at AlterNet. She is the editor of two books on the global water crisis, including Water Matters: Why We Need to Act Now to Save Our Most Critical Resource. Follow her on Twitter @TaraLohan.

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