Keystone XL Meetings Should Focus on Toxics Disclosure, NWF Says

Timeline, Public Meetings Announced by State Department

07-22-2011 // Tony Iallonardo
Yellowstone River Oil Spill

The State Department has announced their next steps on the review process for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The announcement detailed where public meetings would occur, gave an approximate time of mid-August for issuance of the controversial final environmental impact statement, and other procedural details. For the first time, the agency emphasized that its review process takes precedent over an artificial deadline.

Jeremy Symons, NWF senior vice president said:

“One has to wonder if the Yellowstone River oil spill has sent a wakeup call to the State Department. The secret toxins that run in tar sands pipelines like the Yellowstone River’s Silvertip should be disclosed to landowners and first responders at the meetings the State Department will hold. The Environmental Protection Agency has warned that it will not be able to assess impacts from these spills without more information. Until that happens, tar sands pipelines should be considered a danger to public health and wildlife.

The oil companies behind this pipeline are desperate to rush the approval of this pipeline before the full cost to the environment and economy comes to light.

The company proposing to build the pipeline, TransCanada, has endured scrutiny over documents they prepared saying the proposal would boost their profits by $4 billion by causing a Midwest price spike. Observers say choking supply in those states would increase gas prices. Their latest completed pipeline, Keystone I, has leaked 12 times in the last year and was cited by federal regulators as a danger to the public and environment. More than a week after the Yellowstone River spill, news came to light that the pipeline has carried corrosive tar sludge and may have spilled some of this crude into the Yellowstone River. 

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