The Draft Assessment of the Tar Sands Pipeline is “Devastatingly Cynical”

Inter Press has an article about the recently released draft EIS:

The U.S. State Department late Friday released a draft environmental impact assessment of a contentious pipeline project that simultaneously acknowledged the dangers posed by climate change while also noting the project would “not likely result in significant adverse environmental effects”.

Scientists and advocates have reacted with significant alarm, warning that the new report, officially a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), is merely recycling deeply flawed conclusions offered in previous such assessments. Since the project was first proposed by a Canadian company, TransCanada, in 2008, it has been beset by local and national opposition in both countries, including drawing some 40,000 protesters to Washington last month.

“Here we are again, with the State Department producing basically the same report they produced before, saying there will be no big impact from this pipeline – a conclusion that is at odds with every scientist, diplomat and every other observer that has looked at this project,” Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, an environment advocacy group, told reporters immediately following the SEIS release.

The project will ultimately require President Obama to issue formal authorisation, a key bit of leverage that activists are now hoping to use in the weeks ahead.

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