Clare Demerse, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute, made the following comments today in response to the release of the U.S. State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL pipeline proposal:
“Today’s final assessment is a clear improvement over the State Department’s March 2013 draft, which argued there was virtually no connection between pipelines and the growth in oilsands production. The final assessment is updated with stronger analysis that better reflects the environmental and market realities.
“The assessment now acknowledges that under some circumstances, constraints on new pipeline capacity could have ‘a substantial impact on oilsands production levels.’ In other words, building the Keystone XL pipeline could help spur increased oilsands production and the carbon pollution that goes with it.
“President Obama says he will only approve Keystone XL if it does not significantly worsen carbon pollution. By that standard, Keystone XL is not in the U.S. national interest.”
From the Pembina Institute’s perspective, the governments of Canada and Alberta are not adequately managing the environmental impacts of today’s oilsands production. Our concerns include the cumulative environmental impacts — on air, land, water and wildlife — and the greenhouse gas pollution associated with oilsands production.
Until strong enough policies are in place to ensure that the cumulative impacts of current and future oilsands production remain below science-based limits, we see approving transportation infrastructure that enables expanded oilsands production as the wrong choice.
For more on the Pembina Institute’s perspective on oilsands development and Keystone XL, please see the following resources:
Perspective paper: Oilsands Transportation Infrastructure