The US State Department will conduct one and only one hearing on its draft supplemental environmental impact statement on the proposed Keystone Pipeline. You would think that a project with this huge an impact would warrant more than one chance for public input. But this is it: the lone hearing before the Obama Administration makes a final decision on what some describe as a "game-changer" for the climate.
The Omaha World-Herald had this to say about Keystone: "The controversial project proposes piping 830,000 barrels of diluted bitumen per day from Canada's tar sands region to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. The 1,700-mile pipeline has been delayed and rerouted because of concerns a leak would contaminate groundwater in Nebraska's environmentally fragile Sand Hills."
And on the bigger, planetary scale, James Hansen reminds us that the tar sands "contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now."
Wow. With a public hearing on something this big just one state away, Iowans ought to be flocking in droves to Grand Island on April 18. It's at the Heartland Events Center 700 East Stolley Park Rd. Grand Island, NE 68801 in two sessions - the first from 12:00-3:30 pm, the second from 4:00-8:00 pm. Stay tuned for more details on carpools and buses from Iowa.
[Thanks to WW from EF]