NRDC: 25 American Mayors Speak Out Against Controversial Tar Sands Pipeline

Source: Natural Resources Defense Council

More than two dozen American mayors have sent a letter expressing concern over the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Representing cities and towns across the United States, their letter notes that the controversial project might “undermine the good work being done in local communities across the country to fight climate change and reduce our dependence on oil.” In light of an expected new environmental review of the proposed pipeline, the Mayors are asking the State Department to be detailed and comprehensive including an evaluation of the “impacts of this pipeline on local community efforts to build clean energy economies.”

“This letter is so important because our cities and towns are where the rubber hits the road on environmental policies,” said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of the International Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “They are on the clean energy frontlines in the United States and do not want to see increase of a high-carbon fuel like tar sands undermine their achievements. They deliver services that are imperiled by projects like this pipeline. And, they are responsible for cleaning up spills when things go wrong, so it is no surprise that they are calling for detailed and comprehensive environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline that includes the impacts on local communities.”

The letter:

  • Notes that the United States Conference of Mayors adopted a High Carbon Fuels Resolution in 2008 calling for measures that discourage the use of tar sands fuel.
  • Calls for a thorough and detailed supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline that includes evaluation of impacts on local communities.
  • Calls for opportunities for public review and comment on the SEIS.
  • Notes that projects like the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline send the wrong message to our communities and citizens who work hard to lessen our dependence on oil, using innovative conservation, efficiency and other measures.

Former Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan –  Gainesville, Florida

“Throughout Florida, we watched as the BP oil spill devastated communities in the Gulf region. With an extremely large project like the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline it is critical that there be a detailed analysis of safety, environmental and health impacts.  The first environmental review of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was given a failing grade by EPA and this is reason for grave concern, because when sub-standard projects are allowed to go forward, the results can be disastrous.”

The letter is available at

Susan Casey-Lefkowitz posted more information on her blog at

For the entire release please visit the NRDC site

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