Hi Sarah [Hughes],senators_office_down_hall

Thank you for taking the time to meet with groups yesterday regarding their strong opposition to the KXL pipeline. It was good of you.

Since you said that Sen. Bennet is basing his pro-KXL stance on the EIS, I thought it imperative that you convey to him how faulty and conflicted that document is widely considered. 

First of all, the EIS was so biased, deeply flawed, and plagued by conflicts of interest, that it has resulted in a lawsuit by the Sierra Club. Here’s one reason (there are more) – Environmental Resources Management (ERM), the third-party contractor hired to conduct the analysis of the fiercely-debated KXL pipeline proposal to ferry heavy crude from Alberta’s oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, is a dues-paying member of the American Petroleum Institute, the largest U.S trade association for the oil and natural gas industry. The State Department also received a letter in April of 2013 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criticizing the draft environmental impact statement, suggesting the review contained “insufficient information” on environmental, climate and community impacts associated with the project. You can read more about these conflicts here in the Huffington Post.

Secondly, The EIS was based on claims that Transcanada could get the tar sands oil out by other means – trains or other pipelines – if there was no pipeline. This is also a flawed conclusion.  Watch this video by Naomi Klein from a couple of days ago, which explains this in detail.  Naomi says, “What’s really shifted in 3 years is that that claim cannot be made now because the tar sands are surrounded by opposition. Everywhere they try to build a new pipeline or expand an existing pipeline they’re facing fierce direct action as well as legal challenges by indigenous people and by other interests. So the idea that if you don’t build Keystone they’ll get it out anyway is absurd.” She points out that Transcanada aims to double or triple current tar sands oil production through the KXL pipeline. So the conclusion that building the KXL pipeline won’t increase greenhouse gas emissions is a complete farce. The whole point of the pipeline is to expedite tar sands oil to the global oil market. The US gets the climate impacts/blame and spill risks, and Transcanada gets the profits.

Lastly, even if Sen. Bennet likes the pipeline, it appears traitorous that he is willing to vote for a measure to usurp President Obama’s authority and vote for the KXL pipeline based on the flawed EIS analysis instead of listening to over 50,000 Coloradans who have signed petitions, attended events and called his D.C., Denver and other local offices urging him to oppose it. Watch the President speak about the pipeline recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0G3OMSC7eBU

Please make sure that Sen. Bennet is aware of these facts and points regarding the EIS, because far too much is at stake with his decision on the KXL pipeline to base his decision on a flawed and conflicted document and ignore the will of a huge number of his constituents. This will undoubtedly have far-reaching impacts on his political career.

Thanks again for your time,

Micah Parkin
350 CO
P.S. More than 20 state leaders cc’d, many of whom attended yesterday’s event at Sen. Bennet’s Denver office.