Environmental groups on Wednesday actively pushed back against suggestions that the Obama administration should approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline based on the recent findings of the State Department, which gave minimal credence to arguments that the project poses serious environmental threats.
“While the models don’t look at Keystone XL pipeline’s specific impact on the U.S. … they do suggest a high combustion of carbon emissions that the world cannot bear,” said Anthony Swift of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Environmental groups contend that a 17 percent increase in carbon emissions from the extraction of oil from tar sands should be enough evidence for the president to reject the proposal.
“Diffuse this carbon bomb by denying the Keystone permit,” said Daniel Weiss, the director of climate strategy at the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress.
President Obama meets later on Wednesday with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico. Harper has advocated for the Keystone project, which would transport 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to U.S. refineries.
First published February 19 2014, 11:28 AM
Vaughn Hillyard is NBC Newsâ€™s Tim Russert Fellow in Washington, D.C. He joined the network in July 2013. Hillyard is a native of Phoenix, Ariz. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State University.