Report Sees No Big Problems With Keystone Pipeline
State Department assessment angers environmental groups
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2013 6:35 PM CST
In this 2012 file photo, a man walks past some of about 500 miles worth of coated steel pipe in a Little Rock, Ark., storage yard that was originally produced for the Keystone oil pipeline.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

(Newser) – A long-awaited State Department report on the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline is proving to be a bitter disappointment to environmentalists, reports Politico. The draft report issued late this afternoon does not give President Obama a clear yes-or-no recommendation on whether the project should move forward, but it generally plays down the environmental risks of the 1,700-mile pipeline from Canada, reports USA Today. The newspaper calls it a "largely positive" review. For example, the State Department's assessment says Canada is going to develop its tar sands whether this pipeline happens or not, meaning it wouldn't make a big difference on climate change if it got rejected.

"Approval or denial of the proposed project is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands, or on the amount of heavy crude oil refined in the Gulf Coast area," says the lengthy report. It also states that it sees "no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed project route." Sample criticism, from activist Bill McKibben of 350.org: "We're hearing the same rehashed arguments from the State [Department] about why a great threat to the climate is not a threat at all.” The review now gets a 45-day period for public comment. The Wall Street Journal points out that backers of the pipeline seem pretty happy with the report, with an exec at the American Petroleum Institute calling the project "one step closer to reality." President Obama is expected to make his final decision sometime this summer.

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Showing 3 of 53 comments
ppaca
Mar 2, 2013 9:29 PM CST
Those against the pipeline want the Chinese to get the benefit from it. The oil WILL be produced then sold to someone to refine. Why not to US companies? The upside far outweighs the downside. The hateful enviroNAZIs will forever remain ignorant. There is little we can do to correct that. And there is little we can do to force 0bama to approve the pipeline. He will do everything he can to prevent our economy from improving. He wants our people to be beholden to him alone, as our dictator. IMPEACH OBAMA !!!!!!!
Flatus_Antiquus
Mar 2, 2013 1:42 PM CST
The "problem" is less with the pipeline itself and more with the fact that the product it's going to transport is utterly filthy from acquisition through processing and the final result is the release into the atmosphere and oceans of several additional millions of tons of previously sequestered carbon. Keep in mind that the climate cycles we all know about, the swings from nearly global tropical climate to ice caps that reached nearly to the Mason Dixon Line occurred while all this carbon was sequestered in the form of oil and coal and OUT of the system. Now we are in another cycle, apparently a warming cycle, and at the same time we are POURING tens of BILLIONS of tons of this carbon that has been locked away for tens and hundreds of millions of years back into the atmosphere. We do know that carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse gas" and I wonder if it's possible that what we're doing is AMPLIFYING a normal climate cycle to the point where it is truly a threat.
Ucantusethatname
Mar 2, 2013 12:51 PM CST
Does not matter. Soetoro will find another reason to kill it.