On Monday, as millions of Americans celebrated the 43rd annual Earth Day, a number of environmental groups threw down the gauntlet to President Obama: approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project will cause public demonstrations on a grand scale, the Hill reports.
“You’ll see … the biggest spread of peaceful civil disobedience in modern American history,” Becky Bond, political director of the liberal activist group Credo, said.
Credo has been one of the most vocal opponents of the project, which would carry oil sands from Alberta, Canada, south through the U.S. heartland to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
The organization claims to already have 60,000 activists willing to spend time in jail if necessary.
Monday also was the final day the State Department would accept public comments on its environmental impact study of the pipeline.
The department’s draft version of the study was a largely favorable review of the project and concluded that the Canadian project would neither result in notably higher greenhouse gas emissions nor increase American dependence on crude oil.
The environmental community jumped all over the report was responsible for the deluge of comments received by State Department; more than 800,000, it has been reported.
The State Department says all those comments will be considered before its official recommendation on whether Keystone would be beneficial to the country is issued sometime in the late summer or early fall.
“I know that we’re doing this in a rigorous, transparent and efficient manner, but I don’t have a specific date” for the release of the final recommendation, Patrick Ventrell, acting deputy spokesman at the State Department, said Monday.
He also promised that the “full text of all comments” would be made available to the public “as expeditiously as possible.”
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