No matter how you look at it, Keystone XL would be bad for wildlife, especially for endangered species.
Many imperiled species live along the proposed pipeline's path and in areas where tar sands oil is produced. If the pipeline is built, most will have nowhere else to go.
The Center for Biological Diversity released a report called In Harm’s Way: How the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Have Ignored the Dangers of the Keystone XL Pipeline to Endangered Species.
Our analysis found that at least 12 threatened and endangered species in four states would be put in harm’s way by the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, including whooping cranes, interior least terns, American burying beetles, northern swift foxes, greater sage grouse, piping plovers, pallid sturgeons and black-footed ferrets.
Threats from this project include habitat destruction from the massive ground disturbance this pipeline would've caused, bird deaths from power line collisions, and the potentially catastrophic impacts of pipeline spills.
Under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are required to analyze the potential impacts of projects like the Keystone XL pipeline on threatened and endangered species.
In analyzing the proposed pipeline’s impacts, the State Department and Fish and Wildlife Service summarily dismissed or ignored some of the most significant harms that these species would face if this pipeline is approved and built, failing to fulfill their duties under the Act and to the American public, which overwhelmingly supports the protection of wildlife.
We found that both agencies excluded consideration of the impact of pipeline spills on endangered species, despite otherwise acknowledging that spills are all but certain to occur. They also failed to consider the impacts of related infrastructure like power lines and roads, improperly downplayed the impacts of ground disturbance, and ignored the impacts of increased tar sands production on endangered species in Canada.
In November 2015 Obama finally rejected the proposed KXL pipeline — but right after coming into office, President Trump put it back on the table.
Among the wildlife impacts of Keystone XL:
Whooping cranes: Toxic tailing ponds in Canada, power line collisions, oil spills.
Black-footed ferret: Habitat impacts in recovery habitat.
Interior least tern: Disturbance of breeding habitat, power line collisions, oil spills.
Piping plover: Power line collisions, increased exposure to predators, oil spills.
American burying beetle: Loss of vital grass habitat, smashing during construction, oil spills.
International Wildlife Impacts