PRESS RELEASE: Franciscans Deeply Disappointed over President's Decision to Advance the Keystone XL Pipeline

For Immediate Release
March 24, 2017
Contact: Janine Walsh
FAN Communications Coordinator
(203) 685-1856 (cell)

Franciscans Deeply Disappointed over President's Decision to Advance the Keystone XL Pipeline

We will continue to work for climate justice and access to clean energy for all

Washington, D. C. - The Franciscan Action Network is deeply disappointed in the Presidential administration's issuance of a permit allowing construction on the Keystone XL pipeline to proceed. This pipeline and others like it only increase this country's dependency on fossil fuels at a time when we need to be investing in clean energy.

Not only does the pipeline transport oil extracted from the carbon-intensive Canadian oil sands, which generates 15-20% more greenhouse gases than standard crude oil extraction, but this pipeline would cut across the Ogallala Aquifer. One of the world's largest underground deposits of freshwater, this aquifer would be left extremely vulnerable to contamination due to the very real possibility of leaks in the pipeline.

Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of the Franciscan Action Network, says, "We are very disappointed in this development. By signing this permit, it clearly shows us that the president cares less about the environment and more about his friends in the oil industry. As Christians, we are morally called to care for God's creation and this pipeline goes directly against that call."

We follow the lead of Pope Francis, who said in October 2014: "An economic system centered on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it." We call on this administration to acknowledge the immorality of destroying God's wondrous creation to support the greed of a few: this decision cannot stand.

This pipeline is detrimental to the earth and our water and will not create the abundance of jobs it claims, in fact it will only create 35 permanent jobs. As people of faith, we will not stop fighting for climate justice and access to clean water for all.


Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, and the example of Saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform United States public policy related to peace making, care for creation, poverty, and human rights. For more information: