Monday, February 3, 2014

WEEK AHEAD: Keystone pipeline protest; protecting the water; Inner Loop plan

Posted By on Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Some national progressive and environmental groups have organized a Keystone XL protest for this afternoon (Monday, February 3) to urge President Barack Obama to reject the proposed Canada-U.S. pipeline expansion.

The vigil is from 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Culver Road side of Cobbs Hill Park. A press release says that local activists will join with representatives from CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, and

Critics say the pipeline will enable the continued extraction of oil from Canadian tar sands fields. The tar sands oil is dirtier than conventional crude, and its extraction and refinement is water and energy intensive. Tar sands crude also has a higher greenhouse-gas footprint than conventionally extracted oil.

The US State Department released its final environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL project on Friday, concluding that the pipeline would not have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Previously, Obama said he wouldn't approve the pipeline unless reviews showed it would not have a climate impact.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, the Center for Environmental Initiatives will hold its inaugural Genesee River Basin Summit. The event will take place at the Roger Robach Community Center at Ontario Beach Park.

The summit is to draw attention to some of the ongoing issues facing Lake Ontario and the Genesee River basin. The summit is part of CEI’s Genesee RiverWatch initiative, and organizers are hoping to draw government leaders, nonprofit representatives, and citizens.

The event will include discussions about the state of the Genesee River basin; a review of plans that the state Department of Environmental Conservation has for the basin; and breakout sessions to brainstorm ways to improve the river’s water quality.

Speakers include CEI Executive Director George Thomas; Harvard News Office staff writer Corydon Ireland; SUNY Brockport professor Joe Makarewicz; DEC’s Water Quality Management section chief, Ron Entringer; and Empire State Development’s Finger Lakes Regional director, Vinnie Esposito. BY JEREMY MOULE

A design public information meeting on the project to fill in a portion of the Inner Loop begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4. It will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. public hearing at the Kate Gleason Auditorium in the Bausch & Lomb Public Library building, 110 South Avenue. 

The city plans to reconstruct a stretch of the eastern segment of the Inner Loop between Monroe Avenue and Charlotte Street. 

Engineers will be on hand to discuss the project and answer questions. Tentative schedules for the project improvements and construction will be discussed. BY CHRISTINE CARRIE FIEN 

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