Outraged environmentalists slammed a new State Department report that found the controversial proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, which would deliver oil from Canada to Texas, would have minimal impact on the climate.
"We're mystified as to how the State Department can acknowledge the negative effects of the Earth's dirtiest oil on our climate, but at the same time claim that the proposed pipeline will not likely result in significant adverse environmental effects," said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. "Whether this failure was willful or accidental, this report is nothing short of malpractice."
Since Canada will tap into its oil sands anyway, approval or denial of the proposed project is unlikely to change the rate of development. The project wouldn't change the volume of heavy crude oil refined in the Gulf Coast area. Development of tar sands in the Canadian province of Alberta would create greenhouse gases, but other methods of transporting the oil, such as trucks or barges, also present risks to the environment, the report said.
President Obama's stated commitment to addressing climate change will be put to the test in the eyes of environmentalists when he makes the decision of whether to approve the project in the coming months.
"Letting corporations get rich off of environmental devastation will make Obama's climate rhetoric look like the worst kind of greenwashing," said Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford said.