Here’s what Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., just said in an e-mail to constituents in Vermont (including me):
Sen. Bernie Sanders said the Obama administration “made the correct decision” today when it rejected a permit for TransCanada to build a controversial oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. “In my view, this tar sands pipeline is a bad deal for the country and for our planet. The president acted in the best interest of the American people in saying no to Keystone XL,” said Bernie, who has been helping lead the fight in Congress to convince the State Department to reject the 1,700 mile pipeline.
Last fall, Bernie brought to the State Department’s attention allegations that TransCanada, the developer of the Keystone XL pipeline, was engaged in the selection of a company to conduct an environmental impact study. The company selected to complete the environmental study listed the pipeline builder as a “major client.” Thirteen Senate and House members joined Bernie in signing a letter asking the State Department inspector general to probe whether the environmental study was tainted by conflicts of interest. In response, the State Department launched a “special review” into the Keystone pipeline permitting process.
The pipeline is a major concern because the process of converting Canadian tar sands into fuel will greatly increase greenhouse gasses, destroy a huge swath of native forest, and create significant environmental risks when the pipeline leaks. Environmental dangers posed by the pipeline are well documented. An existing tar sands pipeline in Michigan has left part of the Kalamazoo River closed for more than a year with the cleanup tab running at $700 million, up from an initial estimate of $430 million.