Obama Admin Orders More Environmental Review for Risky Tar Sands Pipeline

NWF among many conservation groups urgently requesting an SEIS

03-16-2011 // Tony Iallonardo
Tar Sands development in Alberta, Canada

On March 15th the U.S. Department of State, which is charged with overseeing the Keystone XL pipeline proposal to carry tar sludge across the U.S. heartland announced it would order more environmental review and public comment through a supplement environmental impact statement (SEIS). National Wildlife Federation was among many conservation groups urgently requesting an SEIS.

The project is highly controversial because tar sands emit three times the carbon emissions, and cause environmental havoc in Canada where they are mined. In addition, the pipeline is likely to spill on private and public lands, and would probably increase gas and food prices by routing oil away from Midwest states.

“State Department is acknowledging that the long list of concerns raised about Keystone XL warrants further review. Many more questions than answers have surfaced about how it could contaminate groundwater, increase air pollution, and even raise gas prices. This pipeline is like a rotten onion. The more layers you peel away, the more it smells,” said Ryan Salmon, energy policy advisor for NWF. “The State Department has the chance to do right by landowners and all Americans by ensuring their actions are consistent with President Obama’s clean energy goals.”

NWF and other groups will mount an aggressive effort to influence the pipeline decision next month through the public comment and review process.

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