EPA Finding Signals The Death Knell For The KeystoneXL Pipeline


Prior to the 18th Century, it was customary in England to ring a bell to announce a death that was called ‘tolling the bell’ or a ‘death knell.’ Since the Koch brothers bought Republicans control of Congress, President Obama has symbolically been the death knell of most of the Republicans’ stated agenda by announcing their proposed legislation was dead by way of Presidential veto. Included in the dead-on-arrival legislation is the unconstitutional legislation approving the Koch brothers’ cherished KeystoneXL pipeline.

The President has intimated several legitimate reasons for vetoing the Republicans’ gift to the Kochs, but now there is a damning indictment on the project courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency. Republicans and the Koch brothers make no secret that next to taxes, there is no part of the federal government they despise more than the EPA, so it is a major slap in their faces that it was the agency they hate above all others that delivered the death knell of their 8 billion-dollar dream project. Americans should expect a renewed Koch Congress assault on the EPA for doing the job a Republican president created the agency for; to protect the environment and Americans’ health and well-being.

Over the past few months, the President has been a little more vocal about the pipeline not creating jobs, not providing one gallon of gas for Americans, increasing fuel costs for Americans, and encroaching on Americans’ private property; all legitimate reasons to thwart the foreign pipeline’s construction. However, the President also stated categorically for four years his primary concern was how much constructing the pipeline will increase carbon emissions (greenhouse gases) that are the major drivers of  climate change.

In fact, the President often tells Republicans to wait until all the data is in on the environmental impact of the pipeline, particularly how it might exacerbate climate change. Now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has officially said developing Canadian oil sands will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, significantly increase greenhouse gases, the President has the reason he was looking for to reject construction of the KeystoneXL pipeline; particularly in light of his herculean effort and agreement with China to curb carbon emissions.

It is noteworthy that real climate scientists have warned for over three years that developing Canada’s substantial oil sands is “game over for the Earth’s climate,” but as is their wont; Republicans dismiss climate scientists’ warnings as fear mongering, an attack on Americans’ way of life, environmental terrorism, and a liberal hoax to destroy the fossil fuel industry.

On Tuesday, the EPA delivered a letter to the State Department which is reviewing the impact of the Keystone project that said that “Until efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of oil sands are successful and widespread, developing the tar sands crude represents a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions.” The President has said often he will reject the foreign corporation’s (TransCanada) project if it would in any way lead to a significant increase in carbon pollution.

The President already told Republicans he would veto their effort to circumvent the State Department’s authority over the project and demanded they allow the Executive Branch to continue conducting a comprehensive review of the pipeline’s environmental impact.  Now that part of the review officially confirms the ‘significant increase in greenhouse gases,’ the project is exposed for what it really means; game over for the environment.

Environmentalists were already aware that developing Canada’s tar sands is an environmental hazard, but they were ecstatic that the EPA confirmed what climate scientists have known for a decade. One of the climate scientists leading the opposition to Keystone, Bill McKibben, said of the report that “The EPA, in polite, knife-sharp Washingtonese, has taken apart the State Department on Keystone and shown it to be a climate disaster.” A spokesperson for the Natural Resources Defense Council said the ” legitimate scientific assessment means the Keystone pipeline fails the standard President Obama said he’ll use to judge the $8 billion project.” The Canadian project director for the NRDC said in a statement that, “There should be no more doubt that President Obama must reject the proposed pipeline once and for all.”

Last year the State Department released an environmental impact statement prepared by a Koch brothers’ oil industry firm that said even though oil sands are incredibly more carbon intensive, constructing the Keystone pipeline “probably wouldn’t increase carbon emissions” because the toxic crude would be produced whether or not the project was approved. It is worth noting that since 2010, Republicans cut the State Department’s budget so drastically that they were “forced to outsource the environmental impact report” because they were severely understaffed.

According to the EPA’s 11-volume analysis, the tar sands oil carried by the Keystone pipeline will lead to the release of more than 27 million metric tons of carbon annually “compared to less carbon-heavy crude oil” and is the equivalent of 8 carbon intensive coal plants. The report also included a scenario “under which Keystone will play a larger role in spurring more tar sand development if oil prices fell below $75 a barrel making other shipping alternatives no longer viable.” The EPA said, “the low price scenario should be given additional weight in deciding the fate of the project in light of the substantial increase in greenhouse gas emissions.” The price for benchmark U.S. crude fell last week to $44.45 per barrel; the lowest since March 2009.

An oil industry lobbying group, the American Petroleum Institute (API) slammed the EPA’s analysis as just worthless excuses to put off approving TransCanada’s construction permit to build Keystone. The group’s executive vice president was particularly critical of EPA reasoning and said its evaluation of the project’s environmental impact “is just another attempt to prolong the KeystoneXL review process.”

If building Keystone is so important to the American Petroleum Institute, and not an environmental threat, why are the lobbyists not exerting pressure on the Canadian government to allow the Canadian corporation to build the environmental disaster on Canadian soil? Because it is Canada’s oil and the Canadian government knows the pipeline is a major environmental hazard well-suited for America, but not Canada. Plus, the Canadian government has already contracted and sold Koch Industries purview and ownership of over 1.1 million acres of tar sands in Alberta; the largest single owners. It is likely why Canadian Prime Minister Brian Harper criticized President Obama’s veto threat and said, “we believe the project should be approved and built in America; not Canada.

The EPA’s comprehensive analysis gives President Obama exactly what he wanted to drive the final nail in the KeystoneXL coffin. The pipeline has no redeeming qualities, or benefits for the American people, regardless the persistent lies emanating from the likes of John Boehner and Koch-aligned Republicans in Congress. Besides the certain ruptures the already-completed portions of the pipeline are notorious for, the simple fact that it will drastically increase carbon emissions and exacerbate climate change scientists warn means ‘game over for Earth’s environment” is all the reason President Obama needs to kill the project once and for all as a leading voice in combatting climate change.

43 Replies to “EPA Finding Signals The Death Knell For The KeystoneXL Pipeline”

  1. GOP: “Abolish the EPA!”

    Oh, wait – they’ve already stated that that’s on their agenda.

    What a bunch of sick, craven, greedy, depraved f**ksticks.

  2. The pipeline is a symbol. If concerned citizens get the pipeline cancelled, it will be a victory in an important, symbolic way. I can hope that this symbolism will motivate concerned citizens that victory against the oligarchs is possible and to keep up the fight for what is right.

  3. Republicans are definitely anti-EPA, and this episode will only solidify their antipathy. However, I’m happy knowing that the greedy, misanthropic Koch brothers are suffering a significant defeat. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving pair of miscreants.

  4. Anyone else see the hearing this am for secretary of defense, the republican from Alaska took the time to knock Obama’s
    naming the protected heritage site in Alaska, poor man, he is itching to drill for oil there!

  5. I believe I’ve seen many a gotpers complaining that our kids and grand kids will have to pay for what we are doing (monetarily). Now that they are indebted to the ‘Kochs campaign $$$, they could care less about the future of Earth. Their greed is shining through. Since when do we allow citizens to sell our country for their own profit?
    What about landowners rights and freedom that the teapubs scream about? Guess Obama should seize their hero Bundy’s ranch since its okay with them to come and take property. Teapubs are hypocrites. Its okay to leave Americas future lots of pollution(land, water and air).

  6. Maybe repubs shouldn’t have created the EPA in the first place. Kind of like DHS, TSA, and everything else they hate.

  7. To: JustADumbFireman: Thank you for your efforts to help people on your heroic journey. As a fire fighter you have exposed yourself to horrific pollutants (among other life-threatening circumstances.) Just think, if the selfish, ignorant republicans get their way our earth will become as polluted as the aftermath of a ferocious fire. This time the pollutants will remain on our planet, in our atmosphere and in our water forever.

  8. I’ve stated many times, “Follow the money.” John Boehner and many others in Congress are heavily invested in both Canadian and American companies already contracted/sub-contracted with TransCanada in building XL.

    They seem to have the old fashioned view that the planet and atmosphere can absorb anything they throw at it.

    The religious right is leading a campaign to refute science in virtually every aspect of our lives. Vaccinations are now a bad thing. It is God’s will that we have a measles epidemic. Man should not interfere. The best of course is to blame the current epidemic on illegal aliens. How utterly stupid. Not even Faux News thought of that one!

  9. Another victory for America. Another defeat for the Koch brothers and their bought and paid for Republican cronies. Maybe some of the people who were going to lose their land (as well as safe drinking water) in those red states will finally wake up. Or not.

  10. I’m with you, Anne. The only reason I’d ever need to veto this awful project is that it’d piss off the Kochroaches.

  11. I don’t call this a victory but a settelment. The Koch Bros’ are finding a way to get their toxic tar sands to market as we speak. But congrats for stopping a monster. I’m hoping this Will give us the time to further develop solar and other clean energies and get them to compete with dirty fossil fuels. We’ll need dirty fossil fuels for sometime until we can convert to clean energies but will it be time enough to stop a system-wide meltdown??

  12. Thank you for your very kind words. You may not realize, however, just how strict and specific the procedures are regarding the prevention of our exposure to potential toxins, hazmat, biohazards, etc. – they are VERY stringent. And the GOP wants no regulation on all the crap that gets spewed into the air or dumped into our watercourses. After all: there’s money to be made!

    Those people are beyond depraved.

  13. It’s Crazy to Think Keystone XLWon’t Leak
    politifact calls the # of jobs FALSE
    Boehner owns shares in TransCanada
    Keystone PipeLIES Exposed: The Facts on Sticky Leaks, Billion Dollar Spills, and Dirty Air – http://www.prwatch.org/news/2014/02/12401/keystone-pipelies-exposed-sticky-oil-leaks-billion-dollar-spills-and-human-health
    Keystone pipeline all risk and no reward
    “To make matters worse, TransCanada would not be liable for cleaning up the mess that Keystone XL will create. Because tar sands oil is not subject to the 8-cents-per-barrel excise tax that funds the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, American taxpayers would likely be forced to bear any clean-up costs.”

  14. Andy:

    Good post. Links for us all to go to and confirm why that pipeline is a bust and why Boehner, the Kochs, et al were so adamnantly for it to find its way across America. The truth is out, but not brought to the attention of the masses. The Republicans dirty little secret is kaput! No more Pipeline talk forthcoming. Another one of their pet projects is in the dust. Just like that, the EPA told the Republicans to sit down and STFU ! Obama is smiling.

  15. the best part about obama’s vetos is the fact that he gets to address America on a primetime stage an explain his reasoning, and exposing the republican lies. great strategy!!!

  16. Bebe wrote: “Since when do we allow citizens to sell our own country for profit?” What a succinct way of putting it!

    I too have thought about how we are told we are putting the debt on the backs of our future heirs. First of all, WE did not do it, we have Congress to thank for that although we were stupid enough to elect them. And secondly, although debt and deficits do matter, what is the point of sequestration and austerity of debt. If our children and grandchildren have no clean air to breathe, no clean water to drink or grow crops with, I don’t imagine they will be praising the prior generations for leaving them debt free while they live in environmental Hell, if they are able.

  17. Part of my post was cut off, here’s the rest

    Keystone pipeline all risk and no reward
    “To make matters worse, TransCanada would not be liable for cleaning up the mess that Keystone XL will create. Because tar sands oil is not subject to the 8-cents-per-barrel excise tax that funds the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, American taxpayers would likely be forced to bear any clean-up costs.”

    America’s Dangerous Pipelines
    When the XL pipeline leaks, it will poison the Ogallala aquifir

  18. I love the fear you all have of “climate change”. It was global warming first, and when that didn’t pan out they had to come up with a new fear……The climate is going to change!! No shit. Look at the previous ice ages. Climate change is a natural process.

  19. I have relatives working for transcanada. They told me the oil is not only toxic but so corrosive that it will quickly eat through the pipeline lining and the outer casing. TC is estatic that Americans are willing to take all the environmental risks for mere pennies on the dollar as a reward.

  20. So is dying. Like manmade climate change, I prefer to err on the side of caution.

    I would prefer to leave a legacy of good stewardship rather than become a hissing an byword for selfish short-sightedness in the face of reality.

  21. Climate has changed and will continue to change. It’s part of the aging of our planet. However, you may have noticed that significant changes in climate have been a lengthy process spanning hundreds of thousands or millions of years. What I find almost comical is the attitude of Conservatives that vehemently refuse to consider sourcing our energy needs from the Sun, the Wind and/or other renewables. Why is burning goop from the Earth’s crust so essential? Has it occurred to these Conservatives that this goop is essential to tectonic balance? It may not be only the Climate that is at risk. In fact, it’s a certainty that there is more at risk.

  22. I thought the f*cking Canadians were our friends and allies. Not so much. No one in Canada wants this nightmare built in Canada, but it is OK to poison America’s environment? The Canucks are as big a bunch of hypocrites as republicans here.

  23. If TransCanada wants to export the goop sooo bad why don’t they build a pipeline to a refinery on the west coast of Canada? Because Canadian citizens have said they don’t want that. LOUDLY. Sending that sh*t south to the Americans is the only option they got besides not doing it at all.

  24. Is this the Koch whore again? Yep, it is. Sod off moron. Global (sea temperature) warming is the result of climate change you incredible imbecile. So are droughts, more severe winter storms, and more intense hurricanes. The “climate change” moniker was necessary for idiots like you who see it snow and declare “global warming” is a hoax. If you had completed the eighth grade, you would comprehend why it is both global warming and climate change. Isn’t there a stupid filter in the comment section?

  25. You’d think of the whole government they could find an agency to get rid of we could all get behind, like the tsa whose only act of security is ratting each other out for theft.

  26. When Alaska was admitted to the Union in 1959, one of the requirements the federal government made, and received, was that certain lands in the state be protected and remain under federal control. Murkowski and the other Alaskans in Congress know this, but they want access to the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to appease the energy producers who contribute to their campaigns. These are among the other critters in Congress who also want to drill in national parks and other protected areas. They’re bought and paid for agents for energy producers. When Cliven Bundy, Fox News, and some on the right got their backs up about him grazing his cattle on federal land for free, they had no idea that Nevada also agreed to let some land areas remain under federal control when it was admitted to the Union. It’s easy to make fools out of some people because they don’t know certain things. The sad thing is that by knowing it was a condition for becoming a state, they still don’t care.

  27. The original plan was to ship tar sands through British Columbia, but the BC citizens and government refused to do it. BC passed a law prohibiting these pipelines from running through its province.

    “British Columbia says no to iconic pipeline. Should Obama follow suit?”
    Posted on June 24, 2013 by Meredith Fowlie


    More here~

  28. The saddest thing I have found is even when you put the numbers and the facts in front of these deniers, they will still say it is all lies. They prefer to believe what they heard on that channel they watch and those radio shows. You CANNOT have a conversation with these deniers because it is all talking points and no facts. To them, talking points are facts.

  29. The term “climate change” was coined by your party’s resident linguist, Frank Luntz, to blunt the more appropriate term “global warming”. His job involves exploiting the emotional content of language so dupes like you become more accepting of the 1%’s plan to bend you over, blindfolded & compliant, while screwing you, me & future generations.

    Here are some more twisted Frank Luntz gems that have made it into your sheeple lexicon:

    Oil drilling becomes “energy exploration”
    Inheritance/estate taxes become “death taxes”
    Healthcare reform was promoted by Luntz as a “government takeover”, earning Politifact’s ‘Lie of the Year’ award in 2010.

    You’ve bought into a bogus agenda. You’ve been lulled by words & phrases specifically designed to orchestrate this political divide. You’ve been thrown red herrings (women’s rights, gay rights, Benghazi, Ebola, racism – or rather the false notion racism doesn’t exist – & more), to detract from the real trage…

  30. It’s long been documented you wingnuts are immune to Facts (they have such a liberal bias), but the FACT is that it was YOUR Machiavellian spinmeister, Franky Luntz, who told Repubicans to stop calling it “Global Warming” and switch to “Climate Change”.

    “Yale University released a study showing that people are more likely to fear “global warming” and take part in a campaign to stop it than they are “climate change.” Yale’s report echoed research by George W. Bush pollster Frank Luntz, who had argued that the Bush White House should use climate change instead of global warming because it sounded less scary.”




  31. Sorry… I overran the character limit

    …real tragedy: the rise of the Plutoracy. It’s all $$$. The destruction of the environment, the decimation of the middle class and the utter disdain for education, but for the privileged few, are not convenient soundbites you people love to throw out as “liberal whining”. That is the true agenda of the oligarchy. The only value you have for them is your gullibility and your vote. And the dollars you put in THEIR pockets.

  32. Yep. The LAST good thing a Republican has done for this country. Since then, it’s been downhill.

    But try telling that to Republican voters and see how long it takes before their eyes roll up in their heads.

    These people are traitors to our beautiful country, our unique democracy, our children’s futures, and all Americans who have to work for a living and are handed gov’t contracts by the billions.

  33. Get the scientific facts, Tim. And don’t repeat the TP/GOP copyout, in their usual uneducated way, “I’m not a scientist”! I wonder if they told their science teachers this?
    This statement is one of the most ignorant and stupid ones that ever came out of their lying mouths.

    Yes there IS global warming, climate change both caused by humans, and it is real! Our planet is rapidly eroding, our oceans rapidly becoming acidic and marine life is dwindling as humankind is “overfishing.” Also, the Ebola virus is the direct result of deforestation!

    Those “deniers” know darn well what is happening on our planet, they just don’t want to lose the money they receive from the polluters — GREED! I call them “Puppets of Polluters” or “Polluter Puppets — PPs.

  34. Great post!

    “…Maybe some of the people who were going to lose their land (as well as safe drinking water) in those red states will finally wake up. Or not…” that’s if they don’t die first from the poisons they ingest…God forbid!

  35. The Repugnant Party has outlived its usefulness. It is no more the party of Lincoln than the TEAliban is free of bigotry.
    The GOPers are interested in doing only ONE thing and that is feathering their nests and those of the greedy ba***rds who are the ones who will benefit from decimating the earth.
    The GOPers keep lying that it will create jobs. Nope. Building our outdated infrastructure will create jobs for YEARS to come. When XL would be finished, only 39 CANADIAN jobs would be permanent.
    It is bad for the earth and it is very bad for Americans.

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