Greens Fret Over Obama Admin Keystone Report

The State Department has released its much-anticipated report on the environmental impact of the Keystone Pipeline and, to the alarm of the green lobby, it seems to leave President Obama with little reason to continue delaying construction.

The 2,000-page report makes no final recommendation on whether or not to approve construction of the energy project, but does definitively say that the pipeline would have “no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed Project route.”

This runs contrary to the fears of environmental groups that have said the pipeline would be “essentially game over for the climate.”

The Sierra Club excoriated the report saying it was “outraged” by its conclusions.

“We’re mystified as to how the State Department can acknowledge the negative effects of the Earth’s dirtiest oil on our climate,” The Sierra Club wrote in a press release, “but at the same time claim that the proposed pipeline will ‘not likely result in significant adverse environmental effects.’ Whether this failure was willful or accidental, this report is nothing short of malpractice.”

“President Obama said that he’s committed to fighting the climate crisis. If that is true, he should throw the State Department’s report away and reject the dirty and dangerous Keystone XL pipeline,” the environmental group concluded.

The Executive Director of Greenpeace, Phil Radford, was similarly upset and insisted that, “letting corporations get rich off of environmental devastation will make Obama’s climate rhetoric look like the worst kind of greenwashing.”

Republicans quickly came out to urge the President to approve construction of the pipeline immediately. Senator John Hoeven (R, ND) and House Speaker John Boehner both urged the President to move forward on the project. Democrat Senator Max Baucus (D, MT) also advocated for beginning an immediate approval process.

Consumer Energy Alliance Executive Vice-President, Michael Whatley, celebrate the report saying it “refutes” claims by opponents of Keystone and urged the quick approval of a cross-border permit to get the project underway.

For months project opponents have tried to convince the public that moving forward with the pipeline would sacrifice our environment to the benefit of our economy. The draft SEIS from the State Department clearly refutes this false choice.

The document clearly shows the project will have minimal environmental impacts when TransCanada implements its proposed project Construction, Mitigation and Reclamation plan (CMRP) and refutes project opponents’ claims that the project will increase carbon emissions from oil sands development.

With this roadblock removed to approval, opponents were left with only one more move: to appeal to President Obama’s stated fealty to climate issues.

The Sierra Club’s Michael Brune told reporters that while they accept the President at his word when he says he supports the environmentalist’s issues and they hoped he would stand firm now. “We think this is an excellent opportunity for the president to demonstrate that commitment.”

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  • Prediction: Construction on the Keystone XL pipeline will not commence as long as 0bama is [P]resident.

    • herddog505

      Yep. Remember when “science”* was supposed to rule all decisions?


      (*) Defined by lefties as “anything somebody with a PhD says that we agree with no matter how ridiculous on its face.”

    • jim_m

      So you are thinking sometime after 2030?

  • jim_m

    The Greens Malthusians are against anything that would prevent disaster from befalling the US. Their whole reason for being is built upon the belief that economic and industrial progress is bringing doom upon the nation. To allow anything that would prevent that doom to happen, like Keystone, would potentially show them up as a bunch of preening, self styled Cassandras who seek to profit off of the misery of others. They need Keystone to fail and they need the US to fail in order for their beliefs to be justified. They will do anything it takes to justify their beliefs.

    • Constitution First

      …including sabotage…

  • Hank_M

    “The Sierra Club’s Michael Brune told reporters that while they accept the President at his word..”

    Not very bright, are they?

    • Constitution First

      I will believe the ‘environmentalists’ when they speak with their actions. When they stop using that nasty oil/gasoline/electricity and stop standing in the way of the every wind & solar project they claim we must get all our energy from… just sayin’
      Either they are the worlds biggest hypocrites, or there is another, larger, totally unspoken agenda. Agenda 21?
      Before I’m forced to live in 500 square foot cardboard box, I want answers.

  • JWH

    I’m really neither for nor against the pipeline. It’s just not that important enough to me. But if it’s going to have a negligible environmental impact, then just build the stupid thing.

    • But the problem is the ‘negligible impact’. If you’re thinking in strictly black and white (wait, is that racist?) or binary terms – your processes don’t allow anything but a “There’s no impact at all, thus it’s all good” or a “Any impact at all is the equivalent of a thousand million billion trillion Deepwater Horizons spouting all over the landscape with no attempt at all to stop them.”

      Here’s a good example of that thinking…

      What you or I see as a ‘negligible impact’, say a trench for a pipeline that’ll be covered over, is to them a bleeding wound in the flesh of Mother Gaia. Doesn’t matter the purpose, such is sacrilege.

      I wish I could see some way the differing views could be reconciled.

      • JWH

        For most environmental disputes there is, at least theoretically, a way to resolve such things. Many, many years ago I read about a town in Ohio where a company wanted to open a plant. Even with preventive measurements, the pollution would have an adverse health effects on the locals. They eventually reached a fair (IMO) resolution. The company calculated the amount of damage folks would suffer over time if they left, along with costs of litigation, etc. … and then the company basically offered everybody in town a heaping hunk of money to sell their property, pull up stakes, and leave. Eventually, everybody in town took the deal.

        It destroyed the town — people scattered to the four winds — but it was economically speaking, a fair solution.

        • But that solution was based on a sensible economic reasoning and negotiating a sensible resolution. Everyone won some, (plant got built, people got money) and everyone lost some (company paid out big bucks, people had to move.) – but likely both felt they got the better of the deal. (So it was a ‘win-win’, overall.)

          With the heavy-duty enviros, I see no possibility of compromise. They may fail to achieve what they want in time, but there will be no negotiated settlement.

  • GarandFan

    If it’s for the good of the economy, Barry will oppose it.

  • The heavy-duty environmentalists see anything but absolute guaranteed
    perfection as totally unacceptable, and you see the comments from the leaders. It’s like they’re time travellers – it’s not that the pipeline has a possibility of failure, it’s that the pipeline has to them already failed. Even the remotest ‘What if” scenarios are accepted as if they’d already happened – and fought against desperately.

    (One of the scenarios against using Yucca Mountain for nuclear waste storage was the possibility of a volcano coming up through the mountain, melting the waste, and contaminating wide swaths of desert with radioactive lava. I’m pretty sure a meteor strike was also considered at one point…)

    Now, notice the assumptions from the folks against Keystone. They’re very short, simple, and direct.

    —The pipeline will fail,

    —at the worst possible place,

    —and an aquifer will be irreparably contaminated.

    In 2003, we had 300,000 miles of hazardous liquid pipelines. I’d think it would be more than that now. We’ve also got over 2 million miles of natural gas pipelines.

    It’s very hard to fight folks who have a religious conviction in the rightness of their cause. That’s what we’re seeing in the environmental movement, I’m afraid.

  • 914

    Go ahead and annex a few States and build the thing. Enough with this idiocy.

    • jim_m

      It’s all red states that it will get built in. We just need to cut the failing blue state loose and let them sink.

    • sshiell

      All of the states, Nebraska included, have already issued the permits required to begin construction. Because this action crosses the internation border between the US and Canada is the only reason the State Department is involved.

  • sshiell

    The purpose of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not to make recomendations but to simply state the impacts associated with a proposed action. Where there are “significant” impacts then the EIS shold present potential mitigations. (Note: a mitigation either lessens the impact below significant levels or avoids the impact altogher) But all that is required of the EIS is the presentation of those mitigations. Once the Final EIS is published the government then publishes a Record of Decision (ROD). this is where the government takes the information provided by the EIS and then states how it will then proceed. How it will proceed, what mitigations it will utilize are all decided by the government – not the EIS.

    • MartinLandauCalrissian

      So? What is your point?

      • sshiell

        My point? Simple, the administration made the decision, not the EIS.

    • Constitution First

      Now we know why whenever the government gets involved nothing ever gets done except at great expense and despite itself.

  • retired.military

    These idiots will stand around and wonder why they are paying $6 for a gallon of gas in 6 months.

    • jim_m

      Heck, they are asking why it doesn’t cost $10 yet.

    • LiberalNightmare

      Everyone knows that gas prices are Bushes fault.

  • LiberalNightmare

    Geez, I guess they will have to stop voting for him then wont they?

  • stan25

    A liberal I know was complaining about the Keystone pipeline considered being started. I asked her how does she get to all those concerts she photographs. She said that she drove a car. Then I asked how would she get to those same concerts when there was no gasoline to power that car. I even asked how do the bands get to these shows. Hopefully that shed a different light on her way of thinking. Another thing I asked her was if she had ever seen a pipeline. She said no and I said I rest my case.