(SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE) Sen. Barbara Boxer opened another front on the battle over the Keystone pipeline, arguing that the Obama administration should further delay a permitting decision until a full study of the pipeline’s effects on human health is carried out, beyond its anticipated effect on the climate.
The California Democrat, joined by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., in a conference call with reporters, said she had the backing of the National Nurses United union. The move is part of a politically risky campaign by Boxer and Whitehouse announced earlier this year — with the blessing of Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and the Obama administration — to raise awareness of climate change. They freely acknowledge that without a shift in public opinion, legislation is not possible.
Boxer, chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said the Keystone pipeline “will bring 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil into our nation every day,” a 45 percent increase. Longer term, she said Canada is projected to raise tar sands production 300 percent by 2030.
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