Rallies planned against Keystone XL

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A consortium of U.S. environmental groups said a chorus of voices will let President Obama know the Keystone XL oil pipeline "fails his climate test."

The Sierra Club, anti-Keystone group Bold Nebraska, the Natural Resources Defense Council and more than a dozen other environmental groups scheduled "protest vigils" across the country Monday to oppose the Keystone XL oil pipeline.


"This is an all-hands-on-deck moment to send the message to President Obama that Keystone XL fails his climate test and he must reject it," the consortium said.

Critics like Bold Nebraska say pipelines carrying Canadian crude oil, the more viscous grade of oil designated for Keystone XL, are at risk of spills that pose a major threat to the environment. It says part of the pipeline would run through a groundwater aquifer in Nebraska.

The U.S. State Department published an assessment of the pipeline last week, saying there were no major environmental issues associated with the project.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said last week the State Department's assessment "confirms there is no reason to oppose the project and clears the way for the president's approval."


President Obama said he'd weigh the pipeline against its environmental footprint. Keystone XL needs federal approval as a cross-border pipeline.

Kerri-Ann Jones, a U.S. environmental policy leader at the State Department, said Friday the assessment "is not a decision document."

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