League President Elisabeth MacNamara sent a letter to President Obama expressing opposition to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline and urging him to deny the permit for the pipeline's construction.
The Honorable Barack Obama
The President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The League of Women Voters of the United States supports strong regulation to protect our natural environment. Consequently, we oppose the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project.
- Granting a permit for the pipeline would 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. The pipeline would encourage production of this "dirty" fossil fuel.
Exploiting this vast new source of carbon-intensive fuel would also add to the challenge of meeting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, in keeping with the Copenhagen Accord. Approval of the pipeline would undermine efforts to reduce our dependence on oil and stabilize the climate.
- The route of the proposed pipeline over the Ogallala Aquifer poses an unacceptable risk to this critically important water source. The League of Women Voters has worked steadily since the 1950s to ensure safe drinking water for all Americans and to protect groundwater supplies. The Ogallala Aquifer is an important clean water resource, providing water for drinking and agriculture for millions of Americans.
A reading of the U.S. State Department's Final Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed pipeline shows a relatively high risk of leaks. The contamination of the aquifer could be devastating.
- Reducing demand is the best way to improve America's energy security. The stricter vehicle fuel economy and tailpipe standards recently implemented by your administration are an important step in the right direction. Now is the time to build on this advance and make the transition to a clean energy future.
The need for strong U.S. leadership is clear. It is time to put the U.S. on the path to significant emissions reductions and lead the way in fighting global climate change. Therefore, on behalf of the League's 150,000 members and supporters nationwide, I strongly urge you to deny the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline and reaffirm your commitment to a clean energy future for our country and for the world.
Elisabeth MacNamara, President