Six environmental groups are suing the current administration for illegally approving a cross-border permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The Natural Resources Council. Northern Plains Resource Council, Bold Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth and Sierra Club are contending that the State Department acted in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by working from outdated and incomplete environmental impact analysis and by reversing its earlier decision to deny a cross-border permit for the same project.
Since the initial findings the case for a tar sands pipeline have buckled as low oil prices are causing oil companies to abandon tar sands and recent studies sow that the climate impacts and environmental impacts are worse than originally thought. Ignoring these developments, the administration, is in violation of laws intended to ensure that we only moved forward on decisions that serve the best interest of the Nation based on the information available.
The State Department is ignoring its own finding in its review of Alberta clipper that tar sands may be up to 20% more carbon intensive than previously thought. the Keystone XL would be responsible for more than 177 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent to the annual emissions of 37 MILLION passenger vehicles.
No new analysis of the impact that the tar sands would have over the 1,000 rivers, stream, aquifers and water bodies that the Keystone XL crosses have been provided. There have been no major advances in oil spill clean up that would miraculously make a spill less damaging.
The failure to do an updated environmental review of the Keystone XL is not only bad policy, but it violates the law.