WASHINGTON, DC – Today Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) introduced a new bill that would bulldoze environmental concerns and force an expedited review of the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The Keystone XL pipeline project is an effort by oil companies to deepen America’s dependence on ecologically devastating oil from Canada’s tar sands. The project has been delayed over major concerns about global warming impacts, water quality and air pollution. Senator Lugar was joined by Senators Hoeven (R-ND), Vitter (R-LA), Murkowski (R-AK), McConnell (R-KY) and Johanns (R-NE).
John Cross, federal transportation advocate at Environment America, issued the following statement in response:
“The costs of our oil dependence are out of control, from catastrophic accidents like spills in the Gulf of Mexico, to the pervasive pollution of our air and climate, to the outrageous prices we pay at the pump. The last thing we need is to increase our dependence on even dirtier and more dangerous sources of oil, such as tar sands oil. The Keystone XL project will only serve to further threaten our environment and our health while intensifying our oil dependence.
“The production of oil from tar sands is one of the most ecologically devastating industries ever created. To get oil from tar sands, oil companies are ripping apart an old growth forest the size of New York and New Jersey combined, emitting massive quantities of global warming pollution and leaving behind a trail of toxic waste, hazardous air pollution, and habitat destruction. The Keystone pipeline would not only encourage the expansion of tar sands production and accelerate global warming—it would also threaten air and water quality in the United States by transporting bitumen, an even more corrosive and dangerous chemical than conventional oil, straight through America’s heartland.
“The Obama administration has wisely determined a need for further environmental review, a step which should thoroughly account for the pipeline’s impact on our air, water, and climate, demonstrating that this project is not in the least in the national interest of the United States. We are thankful for the administration’s new review of this pipeline, and we call on Congress to allow a thorough scientific analysis to move forward—not to jeopardize our nation’s health and environment for generations to come.”