State Department says hotly contested Keystone XL won’t have ‘substantial impact’

The March 1 Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statementsays the pipeline “is unlikely to have a substantial impact onthe rate of development in the oil sands, or on the amount of heavycrude oil refined in the Gulf Coast area,” where the pipelineis set to end.”Spills associated with the proposed Project that enter theenvironment are expected to be rare and relatively small,” thereport said.The report is called a draft because the public is given 45 daysfollowing its publication to weigh in on the findings, after whichthe State Department will respond and then finalize itsreport.After the public feedback period closes, the agency says it will“conduct a separate analysis of whether the project is in thenational interest, a question on which eight other agencies willoffer input over 90 days.”US President Barack Obama will most likely not make a finaldecision on the pipeline until “mid-summer at the earliest,”the report says.The Keystone XL is a hotly contested oil pipeline that, ifcompleted, would run from central Canada down through nine USstates before reaching the Gulf Coast in Texas.According to ThinkProgress, lobbyists spent $178 million in 2012alone trying to buy influence in Washington for the pipelines’backers.Since its proposal in 2008 and approval in 2010, the pipelineplan has been the subject of fierce criticism fromenvironmentalists and politicians alike over the risk of oil spillson the sensitive ground the pipeline is set to cover, as well asthe massive projected greenhouse emissions.”The annual CO2e emissions from the proposed Project isequivalent to CO2e emissions from approximately 626,000 passengervehicles operating for one year or 398,000 homes using electricityfor one year,” the State Department report says.The Sierra Club, one of the oldest environmental protectiongroups in the US, released a statement in response the sameday.”We’re mystified as to how the State Department canacknowledge the negative effects of the Earth’s dirtiest oil on ourclimate, but at the same time claim that the proposed pipeline will‘not likely result in significant adverse environmental effects.’Whether this failure was willful or accidental, this report isnothing short of malpractice,” it read.  

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State Department says hotly contested Keystone XL won’t have ‘substantial impact’

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