WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, released the following statement regarding the Department of State’s reported recommendation of approval for a permit effectively enabling the completion of the 1,200-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which will transport low-grade crude from Canada’s western tar sands region to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.
“Ours is a better country without the completed Keystone XL pipeline. The State Department’s disheartening action to clear the way for Keystone needlessly imperils communities’ drinking water sources, degrades and fragments fish and wildlife habitat, and does next-to-nothing to advance America’s energy security. The crude that will move through it is dirty, low-grade sludge mined in what is likely the worst possible way, leaving behind toxic, barren moonscapes on a grand scale that we should be working to repair, not replicate.
“By overlooking the tragic conclusions of existing environmental impact studies and ignoring the voice of so many who have spoken out against this pipeline, President Trump also is showing that he clearly does not respect the role of scientific analysis and need for extensive public engagement in making policy. It also illustrates a complete disregard for public health and the property values of those who live along the pipeline’s route.
“There is basically a significant oil spill every day in this country and building more pipelines is not the way to reverse this sick reality. Whenever a pipeline is built, it’s only a matter of time until it begins to leak somewhere along its course. The only question is really where and when. That might be tolerable if we had no other way to satisfy our energy needs. But clean, renewable, domestic sources of energy are making strides every day toward supplanting fossil fuels, even without the subsidies and other extensive advantages from which fossil fuels benefit in our current system. We could be speeding the growth of renewable energy sources by making strategic national investments in them rather than continuing to cater to the climate-change inducing energy sources of a bygone era, like those that will travel through the Keystone XL pipeline.”