Take Action on Keystone XL

May 19, 2013 by


The State Dept. hired a member of the American Petroleum Institute to write KXL’s environmental report.Demand Secretary Kerry throw out this report and investigate the shocking conflict of interest!Take action!

Take action!

John Kerry wants to do the right thing on Keystone XL, but says he needs to base his decision on sound facts first.

If he’s serious, he should listen to Joe Biden — who told a Sierra Club volunteer he shares her views on Keystone XL1 — instead of the official report written by Big Oil’s favorite contractors.

That’s right: The State Department hired ERM — a dues-paying member of the American Petroleum Institute — to write the latest draft of the Keystone XL environmental assessment. Then they tried to cover up that conflict of interest.

John Kerry has always been a climate champ, not a climate chump. Tell him not to flip-flop now, and to stand strong by throwing out Big Oil’s corrupt Keystone XL report!

We’ll also send your note to the department’s Inspector General. They don’t get many emails, and 20,000 letters from Sierra Club supporters like you will make a big splash.

There’s no two ways about it: Keystone XL would be a climate disaster. The tar sands it would carry would mean “game over for the climate,” 2 the destruction of the pristine forests and First Nation lands in Canada, and an increasing frequency of disastrous pipelines spills. 3 TransCanada and API have repeatedly said Keystone XL is critical for expanding tar sands development, so it’s flat-out wrong for the State Department to say that the tar sands will be mined and burned the same way without Keystone XL. 4

And yet, that’s exactly the bogus talking point their report repeats. Now we know why — Big Oil’s favorite contractor literally wrote the report. Are you getting a sense of déjà vu? State did the exact same thing on a previous draft in 2011, hiring a contractor recommended by TransCanada.
But this time, it’s even worse: State Department employees explicitly tried to hide ERM’s ties to Big Oil from the public. 5, 6

Tell John Kerry to halt the Keystone XL process until a full investigation of this conflict of interest and inexcusable cover-up can be completed.

John Kerry is better than this. It’s up to you to remind him of that fact.

Thanks for all you do for the environment,

Michael Marx
Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign Director

P.S. After you take action, be sure to forward this alert to your friends and colleagues — five comments will have even more impact than one!

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[1] Cooper, Elaine. “Talking Keystone XL Pipeline with the Vice President.” South Carolina Sierra Club. 8 May 2013.

[2] Hansen, James. “Game Over for the Climate.” New York Times. 9 May 2012.

[3] Swift, Anthony. “Tar sands pipeline risks – examining the facts.” NRDC Switchboard. 30 March 2013.

[4] Olson, Brad and Jeremy van Loon. “Keystone Pipeline Decision May Influence Oil-Sands Development.” Bloomberg Businessweek. 7 March 2013.

[5] Rosenthal, Elisabeth and Dan Frosch. “Pipeline Review Is Faced With Question of Conflict.” New York Times. 7 October 2011.

[6] Kroll, Andy. “EXCLUSIVE: State Dept. Hid Contractor’s Ties to Keystone XL Pipeline Company.” Mother Jones. 21 May 2013.



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