20 people you didn’t know oppose the Keystone XL pipeline

Several business executives and entrepreneurs were among the more than 150 people who signed a letter to President Barack Obama this week urging him to reject the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

It’s the latest salvo as efforts to sway the Obama administration’s long-awaited decision on the pipeline intensify. Many of the letter’s signatories are major donors to the Democratic Party.

While Keystone XL’s southern leg has been completed, the northern portion — which would cross the national border to carry crude produced from Canada’s oil sands into the United States — has been mired in a fierce political fight. In June, Obama said he would approve Keystone XL only if the project ā€œdoes not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.ā€ A federal environmental analysis, expected to be released in coming months, will be vital in determining whether the pipeline meets that threshold.

The letter to Obama rejects an argument that Keystone XL wouldn’t affect the pace of climate change because the oil sands will be mined whether or not the pipeline is built. The signatories said that other modes of transporting the crude — like rail — would be less economical.

“Our biggest fear is … that huge, new, long-term commitments to fossil fuel infrastructure will needlessly prolong fossil fuel addiction past the point of no return for a livable climate,” the letter stated. “We find the argument that Keystone XL will not increase emissions disturbingly fatalistic.”

You can view some of the letter’s signatories in the slideshow above and read the full letter here:

Keystone Letter 2013