EARTHblog » Lauren Pagel
By Lauren Pagel
July 8, 2010
Earlier this week, Congressman Waxman, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, sent letters to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Department of State Keystone XL Project Manager Elizabeth Orlando opposing the approval of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The State Department is charged with determining whether the pipeline is in the national interest and will issue, or not issue, a permit accordingly.
If built, the pipeline will transport tar sands oil from the Canadian tar sands in Alberta to oil refineries in the Gulf Coast. Tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest fuels out there -- emitting high volumes of greenhouse gases during development, which contribute to global warming.
In his letters to the State Department, Chairman Waxman stated that permitting the Keystone XL pipeline would be a step in the wrong direction , undermining President Obama s efforts to move this country away from oil and towards a clean energy economy. We applaud Chairman Waxman for his strong stance against increasing our reliance on dirty fuels and hope that other politicians will join him in opposing the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
By Lauren Pagel
July 2, 2010
Yesterday, Representative Arcuri of New York offered an amendment to the Oil Spill Accountability and Environmental Protection Act of 2010 to close a loophole that exempts the oil and gas construction activities from the storm water prevention permit requirement of the Clean Water Act. The amendment was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and should head to the House floor sometime this month.
The successful repeal of this exemption will be the first in a long list of exemptions that must be repealed to make sure that oil and gas drilling is conducted in a safe, responsible manner than protects communities and the environment.
Oil and gas production is still exempt from the storm water portion of the Clean Water Act. And all of you have heard about the absurd exemption that hydraulic fracturing has from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Oil and gas producers are also exemption from our hazardous waste law (RCRA), the federal law designed to clean up sites contaminated by hazardous waste (also known as Superfund), the National Environmental Policy Act, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (which requires companies to report their toxic releases), and part of the Clean Air Act.