No to Keystone

EDITOR: President Barack Obama's upcoming decision about the Keystone XL pipeline marks a potential turning point in the battle to prevent climate catastrophe ("Contentious pipeline gets boost from report," Feb. 1). The environmental report released on Jan.?31 suggests the tar sands will be extracted whether or not the pipeline is built, with the implication being that we might as well move ahead.

Please note that the Feb. 1 front page also carried coverage about the unprecedented lack of rain and the delayed plans for expanding bike paths due to no funding. Drought, hurricanes and other forms of severe weather are the anticipated results of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which scientists agree is primarily due to the burning of petroleum.

By committing the estimated $5 billion toward completing the pipeline rather than demonstrating American leadership in making the necessary shift to sustainable energy, our president will be missing an opportunity to lay the foundation for a safe future.

In the coming 90 days, citizen involvement is essential to helping counterbalance the influence of the petroleum industry lobbyists.