For Immediate Release: March 1, 2013
Contact: Molly Haigh, 907-750-1999, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oil Change International: Obama Administration Draft Keystone XL EIS
Understates Climate Impact, Ignores Pipeline’s Purpose of Exporting Oil Abroad
Today President Obama’s State Department released its long awaited updated Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.
Statement from Oil Change International Executive Director Stephen Kretzmann:
“Amazingly, State Department concludes “the proposed Project is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands” (Executive Summary, page 15). Please. If this were true, why would the Canadian government and the oil industry be hell bent on building it? They know its key to their expansion, and so do we.
By absurdly concluding that the pipeline will not impact additional tar sands production, the State Department is overlooking the fact that the pipeline is likely to trigger at least 450,000 barrels per day of additional tar sands production capacity.
In addition, by dismissing emissions associated with petroleum coke produced by the diluted bitumen the pipeline will carry, the State Department is underestimating the climate emissions of the pipeline by at least 13 percent.
While State conducted a wide ranging discussion of petcoke emissions from refining tar sands crude (including our recent report) they still dismissed the impacts these would have by making coal fired generation cheaper and dirtier globally. By dismissing petroleum coke, the State Department is conveniently overlooking at least 5 coal plants worth of emissions. These are not rounding errors; they are huge holes that cause us to question the validity of State Department’s analysis.
Second, State continues to overlook the fact that Keystone XL is a pipeline through America, not to it. As recently as yesterday another oil industry insider discussed the clear potential that much of the oil delivered by Keystone XL will be exported as either refined products and/or raw crude. The export nature of the pipeline means that the pipeline has nothing to do with American energy security and everything to do with maximizing Big Oil profits.
Our concerns with the impact statement for the Keystone XL pipeline released today are extensive and only serve to further strengthen the clear need for Secretary Kerry and President Obama to reject this proposed pipeline project. This month’s largest-ever Forward on Climate rally and other events make it clear that there is a large and growing movement that will support them should they choose to reject this dirty pipeline. Over the next 45 days, we are confident Americans will make this abundantly clear to the Administration.”