For Immediate Release, April 18, 2014

Contact: Bill Snape, (202) 536-9351

Decision Delayed on Controversial Keystone XL Pipeline

WASHINGTON— The State Department announced today it will delay its decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to give other government agencies more time to analyze the pipeline’s effects. The announcement — which follows a court ruling earlier this year striking down a Nebraska law allowing the governor, not the state’s utility commission, to decide where the pipeline should be built — makes it unlikely that a decision will be made before the November elections.

“Every day this pipeline doesn’t get built is a day that our climate is healthier and wildlife in the pipeline’s path are safer,” said Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity. “I hope this delay will give the Obama administration more time to understand the truly disastrous consequences that Keystone will have on people, wildlife and a livable climate.”

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry, every day, up to 35 million gallons of oil strip-mined from Canada’s “tar sands” — some of the dirtiest fuels on the planet. It would be the pollution equivalent of building 46 new coal-fired power plants.

“Millions of Americans have taken a stand against Keystone, and my hope is, that’s making the Obama administration think twice,” Snape said.

The 1,700-mile, Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline would cross the heart of the Midwest and deliver oil to the Gulf of Mexico, where much of it would be exported to other countries. Along the way the pipeline would cut through rivers, streams and prime wildlife habitat for at least 20 imperiled species, including whooping cranes and pallid sturgeon, putting them at risk.

Scientists say two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will disappear by 2050 if climate change is left unchecked, and leading climate scientist James Hansen has said the Keystone XL pipeline would be “game over” for avoiding the worst effects of the climate crisis.

Last year the Center released a report on the risks posed to endangered species by Keystone XL. It also released a video highlighting the dangers of oil pipelines — a key point given the State Department’s estimate that the 1,700-mile, Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline will spill at least 100 times during its lifetime.

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The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 675,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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