01/31/2013 22:40 EST | Updated 04/02/2013 05:12 EDT

Science journal offers support for Keystone XL pipeline

An environmental activist says he is somewhat surprised one of the world's leading scientific journals is supporting the Keystone XL pipeline.

The editorial, written in the weekly science journal: Nature, says the pipeline could eliminate the need in the United States for new coal-fired power plants, which have high emissions.

The editorial also says the oilsands development will continue, no matter what happens with the pipeline.

But Carolyn Campbell, with the Alberta Wilderness Association, says the editorial is forgetting about birds and caribou that depend on the wetlands and forests up north.

“So the way we are developing oilsands is way too rapid in terms of species that depend on old growth forests and that has continental implications,” Campbell says.

She also says the U.S. has a big role in influencing Canada to move to responsible development.

Mike Hudema, Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada, says it is not a choice between a pipeline and coal plants.

“The key issue really is to avoid investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure that are going to lock us into rampant greenhouse gas emissions and plunge us deeper into a climate crisis.”

Hudema also says U.S. President Barack Obama should turn down the Keystone XL pipeline and instead invest in renewable energy sources.