For Immediate Release: March 1, 2013
Contact: Molly Haigh, 907-750-1999,

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.”



  • My God! Did Keystone write the environmental report? It looks like they did! Please Mr. Obama, do SOMETHING in your tenure to protect us all from the greed of these lampreys. This pipeline, indeed this source of energy, is a travesty. Think of the people who voted for you rather than capitalists, just this once.

  • The Keystone XL pipeline is an atrocious idea, bad for the environment and bad for our country. Especially since any dirty oil produced will be exported.

    Stop the dirty pipeline before it ruins communities and ecosystems.

  • Acid in this oil eats pipe. maybe it won’t spill in the Sand Hills, but it will spill. And it is all going overseas, the oil companies already applied for the permit. So let canada pipe it to their west coast and tank it to china from there. It will take them longer to melt the icecaps.

    Build windmills. Solar. Infrastructure and transmission. Be smart. By the time they finish the canadian pipeline, we can OWN the alternative fuels systems for our continent.

  • This assessment is insane. These pipelines are notoriously unstable and unsafe. The filthy business must be stopped at any and all costs.

  • Do not build this pipeline. Get rid of any and all current pipelines. Do not plan anymore now or in future. Care about our home, Earth.

  • No on Keystone. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Protect our land, air and water. Say NO to these oil obsessed maniacs. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!

  • Mr. president please do not go down in our history books as a president who only talked the talk and did not walk the walk. You know this pipeline is only for the benefit of its billionaire owners and not Americans and you know how bad this is and what a travesty it would be for it to go through. Please do the right thing and stop this pipeline. I would like to see you next to my two heroes, Dr. King and Mrs Parks. Thank you. Sandy Reid

  • The USA needs to develop energy that is not dependent on petroleum. There are other safer, more environmentally sound ways of producing energy.

  • This is a crucial opportunity for the Obama administration to show strong support for the environment and the future of our earth in clean energy.

  • This is awesome. I look forward to a more secure source of feedstock for TX refineries.

  • It sounds like the pipeline will go through which is an unfortunate matter. There will be leaks because in my opinion, the industry is poorly self-regulated and the oversight by government is also inadequate (at least in Alberta and Canada).
    I can’t see how Mr. Obama is going to stand against the might of the oil industry that is basically in charge of most governments these days.
    It may be as the environmental movement gets more experienced at lobbying and builds up enough cash reserves the future politicians can somehow be worked over to do be ethical but certainly, based on my experiences with the politicians we have in Canada, I doubt that we–the people –will have any control of anything to do with big oil.

    But maybe I am being too pessimistic. We might be able to be disciplined and organized as grassroots movements to eventually become political parties ourselves and effect change by simply getting Green leaders elected.

  • The Foreward on Climate Coalition must continue to mobillize activists throughout the US and Canada.

    Power to the People!

  • Obama please say no to the Keystone Pipeline!! The first pipeline had 12 leaks in the first year- and with all the experience in the world, you can not clean tar sands out of our water. It will never be “leak free” and building it close to the Nebraska Ogalala Aquifer is a terrible idea! 🙁 so many people depend on that water and it sadness me U.S.A would chance poisoning the water than many many people depend on- as well as all the farms with cattle and fields of corn…..please, take a moment and think about us and the one thing that we all depend on to survive. We need to move forward with climate change. Clean energy. You said you would help us…we are counting on you!! Say “No to the Keystone Pipeline!!”

  • Don’t drink the water, and don’t breathe the air. That’s what it’s coming to for humans. The oceans are warming and becoming acidic, and countless species are being wiped out as a result of habitat destruction. If we human beings continue our wanton destruction of Mother Earth, we may not survive as a species WE THE PEOPLE must educate ourselves and stand up to the fossil fuel industry & politicians before it’s too late. IT’S TIME TO STOP THE EXPANSION OF FOSSIL FUEL EXTRACTION AND MOVE TO GREEN ENERGY. Germany is showing that this can be done.


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