As members of the U.S. Senate debate whether to move forward with construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline — which would carry petroleum from Canada to refineries in Texas — Los Angeles city leaders and environmentalists Tuesday voiced opposition to the project.

The City Council took an official stance Friday opposing pipeline. Councilman Paul Koretz urged leaders from other cities to take similar action.

The resolution pushed by Koretz was signed Monday by acting Mayor Herb Wesson.

Koretz joined representatives of the Sierra Club and other activists outside City Hall Tuesdayto denounce the project, saying it would be carrying tar sands oil, “one of the worst polluting oils there is.”

“The human habitability of the planet is very much at stake,” he said.

“A reckless Congress and an extremist oil and gas industry (are) putting our health and safety at risk,” Koretz said. “It’s time to fight back with all we’ve got.”

The project was voted on and approved by the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives Friday and forwarded to the Senate for a vote as early as Tuesday.

The project would need backing by at least 60 senators, according to Koretz.

Koretz issued a video message Friday  urging President Barack Obama to halt the construction of the pipeline and calling on other cities to join him by introducing their own resolutions and uploading their own video messages to the Internet.

Environmentalists who oppose the pipeline contend it would be as much as 19 percent more “greenhouse gas intensive” than regular fuel, Koretz said.

Critics of the pipeline also say the project would have an impact similar to putting 9 million more cars on streets, he said.

City News Service

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