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Pipeline opponents: Trade-offs fall short

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By Reuters
Thursday, June 20, 2013, 6:45 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Foes of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas, said on Thursday that an expected White House package of proposals to combat climate change was not an adequate trade-off for approval of the controversial project.

Tom Steyer, a billionaire former hedge fund investor and environmental activist, said news that President Obama would reveal a climate-change strategy in the coming weeks, including curbs on power plant emissions, would be meaningless if the pipeline goes ahead.

“The idea of a trade here is very confusing and not logical,” Steyer said at the introduction of a social media campaign to engage Obama's grassroots supporters to ratchet up pressure to reject the pipeline.

Steyer's campaign is ramping up weeks after supporters of the pipeline began their own media blitz urging the White House to approve the TransCanada Corp project.

Heather Zichal, Obama's energy and climate policy adviser, said on Wednesday that the president would use the federal Clean Air Act to clean up the country's power plants, which account for nearly 40 percent of domestic emissions.

The pipeline would link Alberta's oil-sands production with refineries and ports along the Gulf Coast. The pipeline would transport about 830,000 barrels per day and cost some $5.3 billion to construct.

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