By Maria Gallucci, InsideClimate News
A new group has chimed in to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline project that would carry oil from Canada to Texas: local officials who advocate for electric vehicles and alternative fuels.
The officials say the $7 billion project would steer investment and interest away from their efforts to clean up county fleets and get residents off gasoline. And they’re speaking out now because they want their opposition heard as the Obama administration continues to deliberate the project.
“Clean vehicle manufacturing and infrastructure development really do create jobs,” Efren Carrillo, who chairs the board of supervisors in California’s Sonoma County, told InsideClimate News. “My concern is that there is a potential to put these investments at risk if this pipeline were approved.”
Carrillo is part of a national network of more than 500 local government officials, called the Climate Communities coalition, which is concerned that the pipeline’s approval would undermine their efforts to advance clean transportation initiatives at the local, state and national levels. The four-year-old organization aims to educate federal policymakers about the key role that local governments play in shaping energy and climate policies.
Earlier this month, 103 mayors from 28 states also weighed in on the pipeline in a letter to President Obama. Their concerns included the threat of pipeline leaks, environmental impacts and increased greenhouse gas emissions from the Keystone XL.