Remarks by Toni Larson, LWVUS Advocacy Chair

Thank you.  I am Toni Larson, the advocacy chair for the League of Women Voters of the United States.  The League opposes the Keystone XL pipeline proposal because it puts enormous and unacceptable risks on the American people.  It threatens clean water and public health, makes climate change worse, and sends our nation’s energy policy in the wrong direction.

The League of Women Voters has worked steadily since the 1950s to ensure safe drinking water for all Americans and to protect groundwater supplies.  Now the Keystone project poses grave dangers to our water resources.  The route of the pipeline passes through the Ogallala Aquifer, which is one of the largest sources of freshwater in the country – one that provides drinking water and irrigation to millions of Americans.  A spill into this important body of water would ruin drinking water and the contamination of the aquifer would be devastating.

Moving ahead with the Keystone pipeline would also be inconsistent with meaningful action on climate change, one of the most serious threats to the environment of our nation and our world.  The life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of gasoline produced from Canadian tar sands are significantly greater than those of gasoline produced from conventional sources.

Just as important, the Keystone pipeline would confirm our nation’s blind reliance on fossil fuels.  As President Obama has recognized, we need a balanced energy policy, one that moves into the future rather than one that looks to the past. 

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is just too much risk for too little reward.  It threatens public health and undermines a wise energy policy. 

The facts are clear, so, at the end of the day, we are confident that President will recognize that Keystone is not in our national interest.  We call on the President to exercise the leadership that is necessary to stop this risky and unwise proposal.