The Los Angeles City Council took an official stance Friday opposing the proposed construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline — ahead of a vote by the U.S. Senate expected next week — with one member challenging leaders from other cities to take similar steps to press Congress and potentially President Barack Obama to jettison the project.
The resolution approved 10-0 by the City Council opposes a project to build a pipeline to deliver petroleum from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The issue was voted on and approved by the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives today and forwarded to the Senate for a vote as early as Tuesday.
The project would need backing by at least 60 senators, according to Councilman Paul Koretz, who introduced the emergency resolution at today’s council meeting.
Koretz said the approval of a project like the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would deliver tar sands oil — what he contended is “one of the world’s dirtiest fuels” — clashes with the climate agreement President Barack Obama struck this week with China.
“We must stop building fossil fuel infrastructure that only makes matters worse. The president’s historic climate agreement with China this week must not be undermined by a reckless Congressional vote,” Koretz said. “This is a defining moment for our generation and we must stand strong. The City Council took a unanimous stand today to prevent further climate destabilization and give President Obama our support to veto any Keystone XL Pipeline legislation that makes it to his desk.”
Koretz also issued a video message, urging the president to halt the construction of the pipeline and calling on
other cities to join him by introducing their own resolutions and uploading their own video messages to the Internet opposing the project.
“We can change it, and we have to do it, locally — city by city,” Koretz said. “The fossil fuel industry has too much control in D.C. We have to stop building the infrastructure for tar sands, one of the dirtiest oils.”
Environmentalists who oppose the pipeline contend it would exacerbate climate change because tar sands fuel is as much as 19 percent more “greenhouse gas intensive” than regular fuel, Koretz said.
Critics of the pipeline also say that it would have an impact similar to putting 9 million more cars on streets, he said.