Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

News Feed Item

Tom Steyer Letter to Secretary Kerry Regarding the Keystone XL Environmental Impact Statement

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier today, NextGen Climate Action President Tom Steyer sent the following letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the State Department's Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL pipeline.

February 2, 2014

Secretary John Kerry
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW 
Washington, DC 20520

Secretary Kerry:

I am sure you know that I have the utmost respect for the leadership you bring to the State Department when it comes to addressing the challenge of global climate change.

At his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, President Obama made clear the Administration's position when he stated that climate change is a fact.

For those of us in California experiencing an historic drought, as well as for those across the country who have been dealing with extreme weather, climate change affects us every day – impacting our economy, our health and our welfare.

Many of us have been heartened to hear that amidst your many pressing responsibilities, you intend to take an active role in advising the President on his decision regarding the Keystone XL pipeline.

In light of the concerns enumerated below, I urge you to launch an independent and transparent review of the work product contained in the Keystone XL Pipeline Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) released last Friday.

Of particular concern are FEIS conclusions that conflict with and are contradicted by tar sands industry executives who confirm that they need the pipeline in order to continue to develop the tar sands and to reach international markets. The FEIS fails to consider that construction of the KXL pipeline is a necessity to fully maximize extraction of tar sands. 

Attached is an analysis of such assertions by tar sands executives, which includes such statements as:

These assertions reinforce the findings by NextGen Climate Action in late November of last year which demonstrate the pipeline is the economic key to unlocking the tar sands and, as such, will lead to more pollution in the air than would be generated if the pipeline was not built. 

Both the statements from the tar sands executives and the NextGen Climate Action report make clear the pipeline would fail the test established by the President during his speech at Georgetown last June: that no project that increases the amount of air pollution will be approved.

However, and despite the fact that some of the aforementioned assertions from tar sands executives were made as recently as last week, it does not appear that any of these representations were considered in the FEIS.  

How can the foreign companies who stand to financially benefit from the approval of the KXL pipeline assert that the pipeline is the key to their ability to develop the tar sands without these assertions being considered material to this report? This was a report that was designed to analyze exactly this issue of whether or not the pipeline would affect the development of the tar sands.

TransCanada and the tar sands lobby has time and time again justified the development of the pipeline by making the public policy argument that the pipeline would support U.S. oil independence.  But TransCanada has refused to commit to keeping the refined oil in the United States.

However, as you are aware from your time in Congress, while TransCanada's CEO has asserted that "every" drop of crude would stay in the United States, company officials have refused to testify to this when appearing before Congress. And to this day, TransCanada has refused to explain whether or not the refined oil will be shipped to economic competitors such as China, which has a significant investment in the project.

The failure to address the assertions made by tar sand oil executives that the pipeline is the key to unlocking the tar sands is the latest in a series of problems. Together, they make it clear it would be a disservice to President Obama, to our country and to the resolution of climate change to use the FEIS as a trusted document.  

These problems include:

  • The hiring of a TransCanada contractor – Environmental Resources Management (ERM) – to write the FEIS.
  • ERM's problematic representations about its ties to the tar sands industry on its conflict of interest disclosure form.
  • The Inspector General's investigation into this deception, an action taken only after persistent pressure from public interest groups.
  • Additional conflicts (herehere and here) that have come to light since the Inspector General's investigation began.
  • Repeated quotes (e.g., here and here) to news outlets from named and unnamed staff members at the State Department boasting of "rigorous conflict of interest procedures…" that "… ensure that no contractors or subcontractors have financial or other inappropriate interests in the outcome of a project." This assertion continued to be made even after the Inspector General's investigation was announced.
  • The unsurprising tilt of the draft FEIS toward ERM's client, TransCanada.
  • The interagency criticism (here and here) that the draft EIS drew because of its deep flaws.
  • The nearly identical nature of the final FEIS to the draft EIS, despite significant, contradictory information coming to light after the draft version was issued. This includes ignoring the realities of tar sands transportation, and estimates that Keystone XL would produce the pollution equivalent of more than 50 coal plants – an amount no serious expert thinks can be meaningfully offset. It also ignores the $30 billion in investment by companies backed by the Chinese government.
  • The apparent rush to get the EIS out the door before the Inspector General's investigation was complete – despite a recent request by over 20 House members asking that the FEIS be held until the investigation was completed.

And, in addition to this litany of issues that should disqualify this FEIS report from being used as a trusted document, there is now a report in the Canadian Press that seems to indicate officials in Ottawa were provided with the assurance that they would receive the favorable FEIS that they had lobbied so hard to secure. I have long said that Keystone is a pipeline that runs through — but no to — the United States. If the press reporting is accurate, it would now appear that foreign interests have a direct pipeline into the decision-making process of the U.S. government, which is simply unconscionable.

For all of these reasons, especially in the context of global climate change, it is critical that an independent and transparent review of the FEIS, and the process undertaken for its preparation, commence immediately. It is inappropriate and unfair to provide President Obama — who has stated that climate change is a fact and even articulated a clear test for the approval of a project such as the KXL pipeline – with a report that is not only on its face defective, but which has suffered from a process that raises serious questions about the integrity of the document.

Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.

Regards,

Tom Steyer

SOURCE NextGen Climate Action

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and a...
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as...
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, will discuss how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the ...
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing thes...
Organizations from small to large are increasingly adopting cloud solutions to deliver essential business services at a much lower cost. According to cyber security experts, the frequency and severity of cyber-attacks are on the rise, causing alarm to businesses and customers across a variety of industries. To defend against exploits like these, a company must adopt a comprehensive security defense strategy that is designed for their business. In 2015, organizations such as United Airlines, Sony...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
To assist customers with legacy Windows Server 2003 that is no longer supported by Microsoft, Racemi has introduced fixed price packages for upgrading and migrating Windows Server 2003 servers to either Windows 2008 R2 or Windows 2012 R2 and the choice of Amazon Web Services (AWS) or SoftLayer cloud. "We're extending a lifeline by upgrading the legacy servers to more modern Windows Server platforms while taking advantage of cloud computing," said James Strayer, vice president of product managem...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and e...