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Coming Down on Keystone

November 13, 2013, 12:00 am

Mayor David Coss and city Councilors Patti Bushee and Chris Calvert want Santa Fe to go on record as “respectfully requesting that President Obama deny the permit application by TransCanada to construct the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.” Like many resolutions the council proposes about federal issues, this one would be symbolic. The pipeline won’t even go through New Mexico—Keystone’s proposal says it would extend 1,179 miles from the Canadian city of Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Neb. Proponents argue the pipeline’s proposed capacity to transport 830,000 barrels per day would provide the US with energy security and jobs. 

The resolution is backed by a group of local activists who recently held a training session for those who “risk arrest” at a planned protest that would block access to the federal courthouse in Santa Fe if President Obama gives the pipeline final approval. The resolution, if passed on Nov. 13, says the City Council would “strongly support public expression of resistance to approval” of the pipeline, “up to and including peaceful, nonviolent and dignified expressions of civil disobedience.” The resolution argues that the pipeline is not in the public interest because it would create risks for spills along its proposed route and help drive the production of Canada’s oil sands, thereby increasing carbon emissions. (Justin Horwath)


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