On April 22, 2011, the U. S. Department of State released a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The 400 page document attempts to address problems in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) issued one year ago. The State Department has asked for public comments, but it has given only 45 days and it is not even providing copies of the document to affected communities. Follow this link to comment on SEIS and ask for more time.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the modus operandi for the State Department. When it issued the DEIS, it provided Oklahoma with only 17 copies and put them mostly in the wrong places. Only 6 were sent to libraries along the pipeline route: Cushing, Prague, Seminole, Ada, Stroud, and Durant.
An additional 5 copies went to libraries within thirty miles of Cushing. Cushing is the pipeline hub of the United States and the pipeline businesses are important employers in the area. People in Cushing and surrounding areas would be reluctant to comment on the pipeline. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, the Cushing area got a total of 6 copies.
Of the remaining 6, Alva got 2. Alva is more than 150 miles from pipeline construction. Newkirk and Ponca City each got one. Both towns are 70 miles north of the construction. Perry and Fairfax, both 40 north of Cushing, got one. Because the new construction begins in Cushing and goes south, the towns north of Cushing are not directly impacted, and citizens there are unlikely to comment. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, towns north of the pipeline construction got as many copies of the DEIS as the towns near the pipeline.
South of Cushing are the towns of Holdenville, Wewoka, and Allen. Each town in within 5 miles of the pipeline route and each has a library. But none of them got a copy of the DIES. Coal and Atoka counties didn’t get a copy of the DEIS anywhere in the county.
The State Department actions very effectively stifled public comment on the DEIS in Oklahoma. Now the State Department has shown us it could have been worse. It issued the SEIS and hasn’t provided any copies at all.