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In response to comments released today by the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the State Department’s Final Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL pipeline, Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, released the following statement:

 “The EPA’s comments merely affirm what we already know. This dirty tar sands pipeline fails the President’s climate test. It will contribute significantly to the increase of greenhouse gas emissions. It will encourage tar sands development, which in turn will further threaten the lives of the Cree & Dene people of the northern Alberta. It’s time for the President to make the right decision and reject the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.”

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The EPA in its comments hits the State Dept. for not thoroughly examining alternate pipeline routes, adding that “the proposed pipeline does present a risk of spills, which remains a concern for citizens and businesses relying on groundwater resources crossed by the route.”

The EPA also updated its climate analysis for Keystone XL, now concluding that “development of oil sands crude represents a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions,” with KXL projected to increase emissions to the tune of the equivalent of “an additional 5.7 million passenger vehicles or 7.8 coal fired power plants per year.”

Finally, the EPA’s comments provide a “more robust market analysis” of how the plummeting price of oil has affected the scenario for Keystone, concluding that “construction of the pipeline is projected to change the economics of oil sands development and result in increased oil sands production, and the accompanying greenhouse gas emissions, over what would otherwise occur.”

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