Keystone XL Rejection Chance for a Fresh Start on Conservation, Clean Energy
President Obama has issued a formal rejection of TransCanada’s permit application for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, ending thorough federal investigation into whether building Keystone XL would be in America’s best interests.
“From the western boreal forest, across the Missouri River Valley, and through majestic Sand Hills and Platte River, today’s decision protects critical wildlife habitat across North America for a range of species from caribou and grey wolves to waterfowl and whooping cranes,” said Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation. “We encourage our leaders in Washington to work together to find common ground on initiatives that both safeguard wildlife and create domestic jobs.”
National Wildlife Federation members and supporters sent over 336,000 comments to the State Department urging rejection of Keystone XL, part of a conservation coalition that’s delivered over two million comments opposing the pipeline.
“Rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is a huge victory for wildlife and the millions of Americans who’ve spoken up on their behalf,” said Duane Hovorka, executive director of the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. “From the caribou in Canada’s forests to the endangered whooping cranes that depend on the Sandhills and Platte River here in Nebraska, this project would’ve threatened our rivers, our wildlife, and our climate at every step of the way and the risks were clearly too great to justify.”
The National Wildlife Federation has been a leader in highlighting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline’s harmful impacts on wildlife and on American families:
- In 2011, NWF uncovered TransCanada documents showing the true purpose of their Keystone XL proposal was to bypass a glut of oil in America’s Midwest and that building the pipeline would raise Midwest gas prices 15 cents a gallon.
- A 2012 NWF report detailed how tar sands production is harming caribou and threatening gray wolves.
- NWF co-authored a 2013 report showing Keystone XL would be responsible for at least 181 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, comparable to the tailpipe emissions from nearly 38 million cars or 51 coal-fired power plants.
- In 2014, a report by NWF and four state affiliates highlighted the Interior Department’s legal obligation, known as the Pelly Amendment, to determine whether tar sands mining and drilling in Canada is undermining a century-old international treaty to protect North America’s shared songbirds and waterfowl.
Additionally, U.S. Tribes and Canadian First Nations played a huge role in rallying opposition to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and were among its most outspoken opponents.