Keystone XL Pipeline Update
$7 Billion proposed project
Revised impact statement concludes the environmental and climate change impacts are manageable....
--- SEE WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ---
NOTE: Once the report is released this week you have only a 45-day public comment period - right before Earth Day!
The State Department issued a revised environmental impact statement for the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline on Friday. The statement concludes that the environmental and climate change impacts are manageable.
Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs said the report was careful not to preempt policy decisions that Pres. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will make on the pipeline. She said the report was designed to analyze technical issues and serve as the basis for public debate. Publication of the document this week starts a 45-day public comment period and then a protracted review before a final impact statement is issued, meaning a presidential decision on the project is still months away. "I think it's premature at this point to try to come down with strong conclusions, and we want to make sure we have a lot of comments and a full public debate on the document" Dr. Jones stated to reporters.
From Bill McKibben, 350.org after hearing the news:
That, in a word, is nonsense -- some of our most important climate scientists in the U.S. have written the State Department to explain exactly how dangerous Keystone is. Just yesterday Europe's top climate diplomat pointed out that it would send a truly terrible signal to the rest of the world.
Richard Trumka, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s president, voiced support for building the Keystone pipeline as they gathered in FL for their annual winter meeting, saying that
"...there's nothing environmentally unsound about the pipeline" and that what environmentalists opposed was opening up Canada's tar sands. Sean McGarvey, president of the labor federation's Building and Construction Trades Department, said, "The U.S. construction industry has been mired in a depression for over four years now, and shovel-ready projects like Keystone XL and other energy infrastructure projects are badly needed." NY Times - February 27, 2013
The National Nurses United was in the minority among the federation's 57 labor unions in opposing the pipeline, saying that
building it and exploiting Canada's tar sands would accelerate global warming and produce pollution that would endanger people's health. NY Times - February 27, 2013
Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group: A 4°C warmer world can, and must be, avoided - we need to hold warming below 2°C," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.
"Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest."
Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development
talking to the UN Security Council about Climate Change www.worldbank.org/sustainabledevelopment
We recognize that there is much more we can do. President Kim has challenged us to take bold action. We need to get prices right, get finance flowing, and work where it matters most. Our mission, to end poverty and build shared prosperity, will be futile if we don't.
As we reflect on the 50th anniversary year of Pacem in Terris - Peace On Earth, the first encyclical addressed to "all people of good will" we pray that God will guide our actions as we consider what our rights and duties are in this situation, grounded in our faith and guided by the teaching of the church.
Read through "Pacem in Terris" (you can find it online) and consider what it asks of us - what are our rights and duties as people of faith - consider these to get you started:
- Rights to life and worthy standard of living, including rights to proper development of life and to basic security (#11)
- Rights of cultural and moral values, including freedom to search for and express opinions, freedom of information, and right to education (#12-13)
- Duties to acknowledge and respect the rights of others (#30)
- Duties to collaborate mutually, to act for others responsibly (#31 &39)
- Duties to preserve life and live it becomingly (#42)
- An Imperative of the Common Good: "A firmly established order between political communities must be founded on the unshakable and unmoving rock of the moral law, that law which is revealed in the order of nature by the Creator Himself...(#85)
Peace needs to be based on an order "founded on truth, built according to justice, vivified and integrated by charity, and put into practice in freedom."
Contact your state and federal representatives - they usually have local offices listed in the phone book or online - share your comments and concerns. Have a conversation with them and let them know you are a person of faith acting on your beliefs, your rights and your duties.
Purchase and share the Pax Christi Global Restoration prayer card or consider the prayer, study and action e-resource - Listening to Earth -Faith and Action in a Time of Global Climate Change
Contact your local AFL-CIO office or the national AFL-CIO online and share your comments and concerns.
Submit comments & questions to the White House by clicking this link.