Sunday, October 30, 2011

Congress sends State Dept. another letter; Rep. Blumenauer, 33 others blast Keystone XL pipeline selection process; not one Nebraska congressman signs letter; Pick up the phone, readers!

Brad Johnson of ThinkProgress reports:
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), one of the top climate hawks in the U.S. Congress, is calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to reject the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The signatories raise the specter of corruption in the use of a former Clinton campaign official as TransCanada’s top lobbyist. In a letter signed by several fellow House Democrats, Blumenauer “says newly released emails of exchanges between the State Department and TransCanada have tainted State’s review of the project.”
The letter may be read in its entirety here. Absent from the list of 33 signatories are Adrian Smith. And Jeff Fortenberry. And Lee Terry. And Mike Johanns. And Ben Nelson. Not one of them signed last week's letter from Sen. Bernie Sanders either — the one requesting a State Department Inspector General investigation of the Department of State's outrageous behavior in this matter. Why not click on the names of your representatives in the above list and call them to ask why they aren't being proactive in this matter? Here's an excerpt from the letter:
As members of the House of Representatives who are concerned about the impacts to the Nebraska Sand Hills and the Ogallala Aquifer of the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline, we request that you find the proposed route not in the national interest. The Final EIS did not adequately consider alternatives to the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. There are at least three reasonable alternatives that should have been considered. A northern alternative would avoid the Ogallala Aquifer and is shorter than the proposed route. Yet, the Final EIS did not consider this alternative because of potential impacts to groundwater in North and South Dakota, but failed to compare those groundwater resources to the Ogallala, which provides 30% of the water used for irrigation in the United States. The only economic justification was a single email from TransCanada saying the slightly increased cost of this route would not be economical, but it provided no economic analysis to support that claim.

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