News Articles Featured | Richard Schiffman | The Guardian | March 04, 2013
Environmentalists got some bad news when the State Department released a report on Friday – a full month earlier than had been anticipated – saying that there are no convincing environmental reasons that the Keystone XL pipeline should not be built.
This just two weeks after thousands of demonstrators gathered at the National Mall for what has been called the largest climate rally ever. Environmental groups have joined in a rare united front to block the pipeline. If built, activists predict that the pipeline will hugely increase greenhouse gas emissions and reverse the progress that has been made in recent years toward switching to renewable sources of energy.
The usually measured Sierra Club president, Michael Brune, called last week's State Department report "nothing short of malpractice", and suggested that the president toss it in the garbage. In an email interview, 350.org spokesperson Daniel Kessler characterized the pipeline as "a boondoggle perpetuated by monied interests" whose impact on the climate would be "horrific".
But there has been a lot of pressure on the administration from the fossil fuel industry to ratify the pipeline. According to Marty Durbin, executive vice-president of the American Petroleum Institute:
"The latest impact statement from the State Department puts this important, job-creating project one step closer to reality."