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Monday, September 8, 2014

Keystone XL Pipeline Remains Stalled as Other Tar Sands Projects Receive Green Light

From Al Jazeera America:
The federal government has quietly approved major tar sands transportation projects with unstudied environmental effects — managing to circumvent the executive branch’s impact analysis that paralyzed development of the Keystone XL pipeline and bolstered activists’ claims that the project is dangerous and damaging to the environment. 
Over the past few years, the Keystone pipeline has become a household name. The controversy caused by Canadian pipeline company TransCanada’s project, which would bring hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil from Canada’s tar sands to the U.S. each day, has ignited an environmental movement across the country, and has elicited responses from top U.S. politicians, including President Obama. 
But the U.S. has approved other cross-border tar sands transportation projects with little fanfare. 
Those projects include one by TransCanada competitor Enbridge to build a facility in Illinois to transport crude oil from the tar sands via train, which was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week. The decision came just weeks after the State Department approved an Enbridge pipeline project that would cross Canada through the Minnesota border and help bring millions more barrels of oil to the U.S. each year. The project was approved without a public review process or an environmental-impact assessment.
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