Trump Approves Environmentally Destructive Keystone XL Pipeline
by Stephen Lendman
Supplying America's energy needs at the expense of environmental destruction is a bad tradeoff.
Trump ignored certain adverse consequences of his actions. In February, he approved completion of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction, endangering sacred Standing Rock Sioux Tribe ancestral land, water and wildlife habitat, along with communities, farmland and other sensitive areas.
On Friday, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon announced Trump's authorization to construct the Keystone XL pipeline (KXL), a project Center for Biological Diversity executive director Kieran Suckling calls "disastrous."
Trump's hyperbole ill-serves him. Calling KXL an "incredible pipeline" ignores certain disaster it'll cause.
Saying the project is "a great day for American jobs and a historic moment for North America and energy independence is a bald-faced lie on three-counts.
Greenpeace called Trump's authorization a signal, showing Washington "is moving backwards when it comes to climate and energy."
Along with other environmental groups, it vowed to keep challenging the project. Earth Justice called approving its construction the "latest in a string of decisions ignoring facts, public opinion and the law."
Its vice president of litigation for climate & energy Abigail Dillen said Trump's "decision defies all logic, not to mention the wishes of 75% of Americans who want our leaders to regulate climate pollution."
Its president Trip Van Noppen said Earth Justice "will be working overtime in the courts to hold President Trump and his administration accountable under our nation's laws, which protect Americans' right to a clean and healthy environment."
KXL is a hugely controversial 1,661-mile Alberta, Canada to Port Arthur, TX pipeline, intended to transport dirty tar sands oil - what shouldn't be produced in the first place.
The danger lies in pipeline construction and use passing through environmentally sensitive areas in six states. They include waterways and the Ogallala Aquifer.
It's one of the world's largest, supplying about 30% of America's irrigation ground water - a vital natural resource.
Friends of the Earth said KXL "will carry one of the world's dirtiest fuels: tar sands oil." Its route "could devastate ecosystems and pollute water sources, and would jeopardize public health."
It'll double America's dirty tar sands oil supply. Environmental toxicity will increase exponentially. Big Oil wants it. So do Republicans and many Democrats.
Environmentally destructive TransCanada Corp. will build it - notorious for spill-prone construction.
It promised its Keystone I pipeline would leak at most once every seven years. In year one, it leaked 12 times, once a month on average, unprecedented in US pipeline history.
NASA scientist James Hansen called KXL "a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet." All pipelines spill. Avoidance is impossible. Large-scale environmental damage is too great a price to pay.
Clean air, water and soil are far more precious to humanity than any amount of oil or other fossil fuels.
KXL construction assures environmental contamination. It's just a matter of how severe. Serving Big Oil's interests harms the heath and welfare of ordinary people.
KXL will transport the dirtiest oil on the planet. It's hard, expensive and energy-sensitive to produce.
It'll kill more jobs than it creates. It isn't in the national interest, just profiteers standing to benefit.
Trump is their ally. He's no friend of the earth or millions of ordinary Americans.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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