The Aug. 13 editorial “Oil pipeline politics” diagnosed the problems with tar sands oil but got the solution wrong. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline will take us in the wrong direction, sparking global warming by tying us to a more carbon-intensive fuel and by risking oil spills. Canadian threats that the oil will instead go to China are hollow. There are no major pipeline connections to either coast, and new Canadian proposals have been fiercely opposed. Instead of providing energy security, the project will favor Big Oil with new tar sands export markets out of the Gulf Coast and will raise gas prices in the Midwest.
The true path to energy independence is to strengthen fuel efficiency standards and create cleaner transportation solutions — not to deepen our addiction to the dirtiest oil on the planet.
Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, Washington
The writer is director of the international program of the Natural Resources Defense Council.