Nurses Union Joins Pipeline Fray; Says Health Effects Warrant Canceling
Byline: Ben Wolfgang, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The pressure on President Obama and newly minted Secretary of State John F. Kerry to reject the Keystone XL pipeline grows stronger each day, and this week saw the nation's leading nurses union jump into the debate.
National Nurses United cited serious adverse health concerns as its chief reason for coming out against the massive project, which continues to be held up by the Obama administration.
Nurses care for patients every day who struggle with health crises aggravated by environmental pollution in its many forms, union co-president Deborah Burger said in a statement this week. As a society, we need to reduce the effects of environmental factors, including climate change, that are making people sick, and endangering the future for our children. That's why we oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.
The organization is among the latest to urge the White House and State Department - which must sign off on the project because it crosses an international boundary - to reject the proposed 1,700-mile pipeline, which would transport Canadian oil sands through the U.S. to Gulf Coast refineries.
The State Department is expected to soon issue its final review of the project, and environmental groups are counting on Mr. Kerry, for years one of the loudest voices in Congress fighting climate change, to quash Keystone once and or all.
A coalition of more than 60 environmental groups sent a letter to Mr. Kerry on Wednesday urging him to reject the pipeline and, in the process, lead the Obama administration's efforts to fight global warming.
At a time when we must rapidly reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions, the U.S. must demonstrate bold leadership by refusing to aid the expansion of this destructive and carbon-intensive industry . …