Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below today following the State Department’s announcement that it would reassess the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
“I applaud President Obama’s decision to reassess the route of the Keystone XL pipeline. Serious questions have been raised regarding the safety of the pipeline, the adequacy of the project’s environmental review, and the wisdom of building a pipeline across one of our nation’s most valuable water sources. Burning tar sands oil also releases more greenhouse gas pollution than conventional oil, contributing to harmful global warming. This delay is an appropriate step to more fully consider whether the pipeline is in our nation’s interest.”
Whitehouse led a letter in July to State Department Secretary Clinton signed by six other Senators, calling on the State Department to more fully address concerns regarding the route and safety of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in its environmental review. Whitehouse also signed a letter in October led by Senator Sanders, asking the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General to investigate the handling of the environmental review. The Inspector General recently announced that it was initiating such an investigation.