January 6, 2015

Congress Shouldn’t Force Through the Keystone XL Pipeline – and President Obama Would Be Right to Veto It

Statement by Michelle Robinson, Union of Concerned Scientists

 Washington, DC (Jan. 6, 2015)—Congressional leaders are insisting on pushing through a Keystone XL pipeline bill as one of the first official acts of the 114th Congress, but it’s the wrong choice, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Below is a statement by Michelle Robinson, director of the Clean Vehicles Program at UCS.

“The Keystone XL bill is a pointless gesture – a policy in search of a problem. It’s no substitute for a real agenda on energy, transportation or the economy. It’s hard to understand why Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell insist it’s such a high priority.

“We have the technology to cut our projected oil use in half over the next 20 years, with stronger efficiency standards, better fuels and a bigger market for electric vehicles. Congressional leaders should be putting time and effort into advancing those policies.  Instead, they’re focused on helping a Canadian oil company extract and sell tar sands diluted bitumen – a fuel source considerably dirtier than conventional crude oil, as extracting and refining it creates up to three times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional crude. The benefits are minimal, and the cost to the climate is real. At a time when we need to confront climate change and encourage innovation in energy, this bill takes us in exactly the opposite direction.

“Fortunately, President Obama has said he’ll veto the Keystone XL bill in its current form. That’s the right decision.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.