US government supports major anti-pipeline environmental group

It seems the US government is not much interested in Canada’s description of anti-pipeline environmental groups as a “terrorist threat”. Last week, US Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta spoke to a reception hosted by Environmental Defense Fund, one of the larger environmental non-governmental organizations in the US. EDF played a major role in opposing the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast, in the process describing Canadian oil sands oil as an “exceptionally dirty kind of oil known as diluted bitumen” and one result of the pipeline being to “accelerate the refining of the gooey toxic tar sands oil, which generates more global warming pollution per barrel than conventional oil”.

Panetta told the assembled EDF crowd:

  • the Environmental Defense Fund [is] a leading force for protecting the environment and for harnessing market forces to preserve our quality of life.
  • As Secretary of Defense, I am honored that the Environmental Defense Fund would honor the Department of Defense.
  • The U.S. military has a long and a very proud record when it comes to helping conserve our nation’s natural heritage.
  • We are working to be a leader and an innovator in environmental stewardship, energy efficiency and energy security.
  • the area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security:  rising sea levels, to severe droughts, to the melting of the polar caps, to more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
  • one of the things I hope we get a chance to work on is to finally get the United States of America to approve the Law of the Seas treaty
  • As one of the largest landowners and energy consumers in the world, our drive is to be more efficient and environmentally sustainable.
  • Teddy Roosevelt once said that “in utilizing and conserving the natural resources of the Nation, the one characteristic more essential than any other is foresight.
  • In the next fiscal year, we are investing more than $1 billion in more efficient aircraft and aircraft engines; hybrid electric drives for ships; improved generators and micro-grids for combat bases; and combat vehicle energy efficiency programs.  We are investing another $1 billion to make our installations here at home more energy efficient, and we are using them as a test bed to demonstrate next-generation energy technologies.
  • We have also led, in partnership with you and other environmental organizations, in developing an innovative and robust land management program.  We have learned that managing these lands for environmental reasons goes hand-and-hand with managing for military readiness.
  • Let me assure you that DoD is helping to lead this nation when it comes to preserving our environment and building a more sustainable and secure energy future.

Somehow it does not seem to be a speech that Canada’s Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay would give, though it seems to GallonDaily to be a speech that Canadians would very much like to hear.

The full text of the speech of the US Secretary of Defense to EDF can be found at

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