November 20, 2017
Stephen Kretzmann, steve [at] priceofoil [dot] org
David Turnbull, dvaid [at] priceofoil [dot] org

Nebraska Approves Keystone XL alternative route, Oil Change International response

Today, with a 3-2 vote, the Nebraska Public Service Commission issued a decision that approves an alternative route for the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska. In response, Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International, released the following statement: 

“Today the Nebraska PSC chose to stand with Trump, climate denial, and Big Oil. Good luck with that. Whatever happens now there is precisely zero chance that the global citizen, investor, and government momentum behind the Paris goals and against the fossil fuel industry will be stopped. Even if Trump and the PSC are out, the rest of the world is #stillin.

“President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on climate grounds woke everyone up around the world to the need to reject new fossil fuel infrastructure in order to reach the Paris climate goals. President Trump’s immediate permitting of the pipeline revealed not only his climate denial, but also his slavish devotion to his fossil fuel friends.

“The PSC was hamstrung by a law basically written by Transcanada in order to ram its pipeline through the state. Now it’s once again our turn to stand up for our land, water and climate. Landowners, Native Americans and pipeline fighters across the state and the country will continue this fight. We stand with them today, and always.”

David Turnbull, Strategic Communications Director for Oil Change International added:

“Transcanada is grasping at ever-shortening straws. They’re desperate, as they should be, even considering a name change to improve their floundering reputation. Though they can change their name, they can’t change the economics or the physics. The Keystone XL pipeline is and has always been a disaster – from a climate perspective, from a risk perspective, and from an investment perspective. The tar sands are a losing bet, as evidenced by fleeing investment and stagnant development. Any new pipelines out of the tar sands would be entirely out of step with the goals of a safe climate future enshrined in the Paris Agreement. At the end of the day, we remain confident that this pipeline will never be built.”

As outlined by Oil Change International’s Lorne Stockman, whose testimony was excluded due to a last minute TransCanada legal challenge,  the key realities that the PSC should have considered are:

  • After the projects that are currently under construction come online, ultimately by 2020, there is currently no financial commitment from Canadian tar sands oil producers for further production growth.
  • There is already enough pipeline and refining capacity to cope with the production growth that is committed to.
  • The future of oil demand, and consequently oil prices, is more uncertain than ever, with new technologies and environmental policies threatening to end oil’s stranglehold on transportation forever.
  • As one of the most expensive to produce sources of oil in the world, the tar sands oil that would potentially fill Keystone XL has no future in a world moving toward cleaner cities and greater climate and energy security.
Notes to editors: