Excerpt taken from news.mongabay.com:
“Proponents of the pipeline say that it will allow the US to have a secure source of oil coming from a friendly nation and will create thousands of jobs.
“What these millionaire actors and professional activists do not seem to understand is that saying no to Keystone means saying yes to more conflict oil from the Middle East and Venezuela filling American gas tanks,” TransCanada spokesman James Millar said, referring to Hollywood actors, such as Mark Ruffalo. TransCanada initially estimated the pipeline would create around 5,000 jobs, but since then has boosted that to 20,000, though opponents say this job figure was pulled out of thin air.
The tar sands issues is controversial in Canada as well. The exploitation of the region has led to water pollution, political conflict with First Nations people, and large-scale deforestation in the Boreal. In addition, the rising emissions from exploiting the tar sands have forced Canada to back-off its climate goals.
Meanwhile, the issue has become complicated by recently released emails showing an allegedly cozy relationship between the State Department and TransCanada lobbyists. A relationship, critics say, that has corrupted the entire review process.
In addition, the New York Times recently reported that TransCanada hand-picked the consulting firm that oversaw the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which environmentalists criticized for not addressing the issues of greenhouse gas emission at all, and for painting a rosy picture of possible oil spills.
“The State Department should recuse itself from the Keystone XL decision and the whole permit process should be scrapped. [...] President Obama pledged to have “the most transparent government in history.” This runs completely contrary to that promise,” Henn said of recent revelations. ”