Read

Search form

Carbon Conspiracy: Proposed Keystone XL Contractor Responsible for Melting Asian Glaciers

Carbon Conspiracy: Proposed Keystone XL Contractor Responsible for Melting Asian Glaciers
Tue, 11/18/2014 - by Steve Horn
This article originally appeared on DeSmogBlog

TransCanada chose Environmental Resources Management Group (ERM) as one of its contractors to conduct the environmental impact statement for Keystone XL on behalf of the U.S. State Department. ERM Group also happens to have green-lighted a gold mining project in central Asia that is now melting glaciers.

ERM Group has a penchant for rubber-stamping projects that have had tragic environmental and public health legacies. For example, ERM formerly worked on behalf of the tobacco industry to pitch the safety of its deadly product.

A January 2014 study about Keystone XL's climate change impacts published in the journal Nature Climate Change paints a drastically different picture than ERM Group's Keystone XL tar sands study.

The Kumtor Gold Mine, owned by Centerra Gold/Cameco Corporation, was provided a stamp of approval from ERM Group in October 2012. Similar to the TransCanada arrangement with the State Department on Keystone XL, Centerra served as the funder of the report evaluating its own project.

“The mine sits at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level, in the Tien Shan mountain range and among some of Kyrgyzstan's - and the region's - most important glaciers,” explained an October 28 story published in Asia Times.

“Centerra Gold has consistently dismissed as untrue that operations at Kumtor have had negative implications for the glaciers, which are reportedly melting with observable speed due to years of dumping rock tailings onto the ice sheet. The Canadian company has backed its position with expert evaluations from consultancies such as Environmental Resources Management.”

DeSmogBlog's finding comes in the aftermath of the U.S. House of Representatives voting to authorize the Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma Keystone XL northern leg, with a vote in the U.S. Senate to follow on November.

Josh Earnest, White House press secretary, hinted President Barack Obama will veto the bill if it arrives at his desk, with Obama also sounding as if a veto looms in a recent public appearance.

“I have to constantly push back against the idea that Keystone is either a massive jobs bill for the U.S. or is somehow lowering gas prices,” said Obama. “Understand what the project is, it will provide the ability for Canada to pump their oil and send it through their land down to the Gulf where it will be sold everywhere else.”

Bill Promoters Cite ERM Report

Promoters of the latest legislative push to ram through Keystone XL North have cited ERM's State Department report as a reason for why Obama should sign off on the bill.

“The time for excuses is over,” the head of the American Petroleum Institute (API), Jack Gerard, said at an API-sponsored panel convened by The Hill (beginning at about 4:42 in the video). “This has been in the process for six years and has gone through five comprehensive environmental reviews and somehow [there is] this excuse that we've got to let the [permitting] process continue.”

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), sponsor of the Senate bill and in the midst of a run-off vote election against U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) — sponsor of the House-version of the bill — sang a similar tune about the ERM study at a press conference.

“This project has cleared every environmental hurdle and it has met the complete environmental review,” Landrieu stated in listing off the reasons why the pipeline should be approved.

The sponsor of another Senate bill introduced in May calling for the approval of Keystone XL North, U.S. John Hoeven (R-ND), also cited ERM's State Department report in addressing the full Senate floor on November 13.

“[T]he final environmental impact statement…stated the project will have have no siginficant environmental impact [and] stated that very clearly,” said Hoeven. “Hail Mary”

The Landrieu-Cassidy run-off has become what Houston Chronicle energy reporter Jennifer Dlouhy called a “Hail Mary” for both of them at The Hill event.

“There is no more vivid example that elections matter than the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Dlouhy (beginning at 33:33). “Both Representative Cassidy and Senator Landrieu are fighting to claim the title of the oil industry's biggest champion, as well as that seat, and both view Keystone XL as their Hail Mary.”

But if Big Oil catches the Hail Mary pass and runs the ball into the end-zone, it will mean more melting glaciers in the Arctic at the hands of climate disruption, caused by the tar sands production Keystone XL North will incentivize.

Originally published by DeSmogBlog

Sign Up

Article Tabs

Twenty states, backed by Donald Trump’s Department of Justice, are trying in the courts to dismantle the law by attacking what they see as its Achilles heel: the individual mandate.

occupy, creative activism, activism, act out e165

A backlog that's symptomatic of a patriarchal system that not only devalues women but devalues survivors of sexual assault.

E.U. trade, U.S. trade war, aluminium tariffs, steel tariffs

“These tariffs aren’t even legal under U.S. law, let alone World Trade Organization laws. It seems rather odd to be citing national security and targeting countries including your closest allies.”

public banking, public banks, Bank of North Dakota, public financing, financing infrastructure, Wall Street influence, private-public investments

Private interests’ influence over banking consumes, rather than sustains, the public good.

Dodd-Frank act, Volcker Rule, bank deregulation, Wall Street lobby, proprietary trading, SEC

By revising the Volcker Rule, a centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank act, the feds are pushing financial regulation in a direction that should worry everyone.

The Trump administration has backtracked on its policy but offered no immediate plan for reuniting families. Photograph: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

NGOs say bringing parents and children back together is an enormous puzzle with no clear system from the administration.

EPA, pollution deaths, pollution risks, Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, respiratory illness

The authors used EPA’s own risk assessments to estimate the number of illnesses and early deaths prevented by clean air and water rules Trump is now trying to erase.

The Associated Press reports that young migrant children forcibly separated from their parents are being sent to facilities that critics described as "prisons for babies." (Photo: @NIJC/Twitter)

Those who have visited the facilites describe "play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis."

Twenty states, backed by Donald Trump’s Department of Justice, are trying in the courts to dismantle the law by attacking what they see as its Achilles heel: the individual mandate.

wage theft, corporate crimes, CEO pay,

An eye-opening new report has documented billions of dollars of corporate theft from workers. The government is turning a blind eye.

public banking, public banks, Bank of North Dakota, public financing, financing infrastructure, Wall Street influence, private-public investments

Private interests’ influence over banking consumes, rather than sustains, the public good.

Posted 6 days 18 hours ago
E.U. trade, U.S. trade war, aluminium tariffs, steel tariffs

“These tariffs aren’t even legal under U.S. law, let alone World Trade Organization laws. It seems rather odd to be citing national security and targeting countries including your closest allies.”

Posted 5 days 14 hours ago
U.S. Border Patrol agents take into custody a father and son from Honduras near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018, near Mission, Texas. The asylum seekers were then sent to a processing center for possible separation. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

A new report confirms that Trump and his advisers had been considering the brutal policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border for as long as they’ve been in power.

Posted 6 days 19 hours ago
The Trump administration has backtracked on its policy but offered no immediate plan for reuniting families. Photograph: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

NGOs say bringing parents and children back together is an enormous puzzle with no clear system from the administration.

Posted 2 days 21 hours ago
family separations, ICE, immigrant deportations,

The size and brutality of this particular raid in Ohio, along with the use of military tactics, have shocked even the most seasoned immigrants’ rights activists.

Posted 5 days 19 hours ago
The Associated Press reports that young migrant children forcibly separated from their parents are being sent to facilities that critics described as "prisons for babies." (Photo: @NIJC/Twitter)

Those who have visited the facilites describe "play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis."

occupy, creative activism, activism, act out e165

A backlog that's symptomatic of a patriarchal system that not only devalues women but devalues survivors of sexual assault.

family separations, ICE, immigrant deportations,

The size and brutality of this particular raid in Ohio, along with the use of military tactics, have shocked even the most seasoned immigrants’ rights activists.

wage theft, corporate crimes, CEO pay,

An eye-opening new report has documented billions of dollars of corporate theft from workers. The government is turning a blind eye.

E.U. trade, U.S. trade war, aluminium tariffs, steel tariffs

“These tariffs aren’t even legal under U.S. law, let alone World Trade Organization laws. It seems rather odd to be citing national security and targeting countries including your closest allies.”