U.S. State Department Says Keystone XL Pipeline Would Have "No Significant Impact" on Environment

A fierce debate has been going on for some time in the energy world over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Environmentalists are outraged at the very idea of the pipeline, which would transport synthetic crude oil and diluted bitumen from from the Athabasca oil sands region in northeastern Alberta, Canada to multiple destinations in the United States.  Environmentalists hate carbon heavy tar sands, and thus have been fighting to kill the project.  That fight has included many claims about the environmental dangers of potential leaks and spills, disputed jobs figures, and more.  The Sierra Club even endorsed criminal activity to protest the pipeline.

The argument on the other side is that the Keystone XL construction would be a huge economic boon to the U.S., and proponents have steadily stated that the environmental impacts are being overstated or even fabricated by opponents.

Years have passed since the proposal was originally made and the application was filed for government approval of the project.  Things are now finally coming closer to a conclusion, although a final decision by President Obama is still at least months away.  With the release of the U.S. State Department's draft Environmental Impact Summary on the pipeline today, it would appear that the project is moving closer to being approved.

From the Washington Post:
The State Department released a draft environmental impact assessment of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline Friday afternoon, suggesting the project would have little impact on climate change.
Canada’s oil sands will be developed even if President Obama denies a permit to the pipeline connecting the region to Gulf Coast refineries, the analysis said. Such a move would also not alter U.S. oil consumption, the report added.
The lengthy assessment did not give environmentalists the answer they had hoped for in the debate over the project’s climate impact. Opponents say a presidential veto of the project would send a powerful message to the world about the importance of moving away from fossil fuels and make it more difficult for Canada to export its energy-intensive oil.
But the detailed environmental report — which runs close to 2,000 pages long — also questions one of the strongest arguments for the pipeline, by suggesting America can meet its energy needs over the next decade without it.
Read that whole article here.

To view the information the State Department has made available, click here.

To read what experts have to say about Keystone XL, click here.

If you don't care about the Keystone XL pipeline, click here for something completely unrelated to it.

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