Canadians React to US Rejection of Keystone XL: Time for leadership on Pipelines and Protecting Climate in Canada

TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2015 /CNW/ - Canadians across the country including environmental groups, first nations and scientists are reacting to today's announcement by President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline and calling for Canada's new Liberal government to follow suit and take bold action on pipelines and protecting our climate.   

"Last year over a hundred scientists called for a moratorium on oilsands and pipelines because our research shows that this development is inconsistent which reducing carbon pollution and protecting biodiversity.  We applaud President Obama's rejection of the Keystone pipeline today, this is truly science based leadership in the climate era," says Dr. Wendy J. Palen, Associate Professor of Biology, Simon Fraser University.

Contact: Wendy J. Palen (415) 548-3510

"In his announcement, President Obama said: 'Ultimately if we're going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we're going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them.' He's exactly right. And the fuels that we'll keep in the ground first will be dirty fuels like the oil sands. Canadians need to wake up to the fact that past economic commitments to this industry have gravely jeopardized our country's economic future, and the new federal government needs to begin today to chart a radically new path for that future," says Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, Professor, Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Contact: Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, Professor, Balsillie School of International Affairs,

"As I said in my 2013 testimony before the US Congress on Keystone, fossil fuel infrastructure projects enrich a very few at a huge cost to all of us and our children, and our politicians need to fight off the money and influence of those very few and stop this insanity. We cannot be expanding fossil fuel production and transport infrastructure and we all know it," says Mark Jaccard, PhD, FRSC University Professor, School of Resource and Environmental Management.

Contact: Mark Jaccard,, 778 789 0852
Available for interviews in Vancouver

"The Keystone rejection sets a new and important precedent in the run up to the Paris climate talks that we hope Prime Minister Trudeau will take to heart. Project approvals must take climate impacts into consideration so that we are building the future instead of stuck in the past," says Tzeporah Berman, Adjunct Professor York University

Contact: Tzeporah Berman, Adjunct Professor York University, 604-313-4713, Available for interviews in Vancouver

"Obama's rejection of Keystone XL demonstrates historic leadership by saying no to new fossil fuel infrastructure. For the first time, a pipeline has been rejected because it puts our climate at risk – a litmus test that the new Canadian government should adopt. The President's rejection of Keystone XL proves that the public does not have to accept other risky tar sands pipeline proposals. Like Keystone XL, TransCanada's even larger Energy East pipeline proposal puts our climate and water at risk," says Adam Scott, Environmental Defence

Contact: Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521, ext. 223; 647-468-3641  Available for interviews in Toronto

 "Just like Keystone XL pipeline, Kinder Morgan, Energy East and the Northern Gateway Pipleline do not serve the long term economic and environmental interests of our country. We now call on Prime Minister Trudeau to fulfill his election promise to ban oil tankers on Canada's pacific coast and kill the Northern Gateway Pipeline," says Karen Mahon, Executive Director, ForestEthics Advocacy.

Contact: Karen Mahon, ForestEthics Advocacy 604 836 5992,
Available for interviews in Vancouver

"There is no turning back: expanding the oil sands is not inevitable. Canada's fair share contribution to keeping global warming to safe levels requires a moratorium on oil sands expansion. President Obama's announcement today tells the world that fossil fuels are no longer socially desirable or consistent with keeping our climate in balance and our people safe" says Louise Comeau, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada.

Contact: Louise Comeau,,

"The prime minister needs to follow the president's lead and recognize that science demands and the public wants action on climate change and that can't be done while expanding the tar sands. Prime Minister Trudeau has a huge opportunity to lead the transition to diversify Canada's economy, reduce its emissions and lead the green transition. One hundred percent renewable is 100% possible.  We hope we now have the government leadership to make it happen," says Mike Hudema, Greenpeace.

Contact: Mike Hudema, Climate and Energy Campaigner: 780-504-5601
Available for interviews in Edmonton

"We salute President Obama's decision. Prime Minister Trudeau should also realize that we cannot hope to fight climate pollution while promoting the tar sands," says Steven Guilbeault, Equiterre. 

Contact: Steven Guidbeault, Senior Director,, +1-514-231-2650
Available for interviews in Montreal

Youth, Indigenous leaders and environmental activists sitting in at the Canadian Prime Minister's residence today for the  'Climate Welcome' action are also reacting:

"Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline sets a new standard for political climate action. Justin Trudeau needs to take note that it is time now to listen to the science, to Indigenous Peoples, and to freeze tar sands expansion. We are here sitting-in at the Prime Minister's house, filled with exhilaration and awe at the power of social movements like the climate justice movement. It's Justin Trudeau's turn now to act and to commit to a freeze on tar sands expansion. Because it's 2015," says Clayton Thomas-Muller, campaigner,

Contact: Canada, Amina Moustaqim-Barrette, (514) 229-5843  
Clayton Thomas-Muller, available for interviews in Ottawa

SOURCE kaur communications

For further information: To arrange for interviews or more information: Sarbjit Kaur,, 416-274-5324

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