The Keystone XL Pipeline Passes The President’s Red-Line On Climate

Avoiding a favorable decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline got a bit harder for the Obama Administration as the US State Department issued a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Pipeline in January. Overall, the Final Supplemental EIS supports the issuance of the necessary permits mainly because it establishes that the Pipeline meets and exceeds President Obama’s stated test for approval.

The Pipeline will stretch 875 miles and carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day originating in Western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, where it will proceed through existing pipelines to refineries on the Gulf Coast. TransCanada first filed for the presidential permit (required because of the international aspect of the Pipeline) in 2008. The latest permit request includes a pipeline route that avoids the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills Region in Nebraska, which was a source of criticism of the previous application. Continue reading “The Keystone XL Pipeline Passes The President’s Red-Line On Climate”

Keystone Pipeline Decision Looms

According to most polls, there is general support for the construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Most people are familiar with the basic facts about the pipeline. It will have the capacity to transport over 800,000 barrels of oil per day from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada to the refineries of the Gulf Coast, significantly reducing dependence on oil from Venezuela and the Middle East. It will create thousands of jobs in the construction and pipe fabrication fields, providing a boost to a sluggish economy. Overall, the project will add billions to the gross domestic product of the country.

TransCanada’s original application was filed in 2008 and re-filed in May, 2012. The governor of Nebraska approved the pipeline’s revised route through his state so that an important source of drinking water was protected. In March, 2013, the US State Department released a Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement which concluded, among other things, that “there would be no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed [pipeline] route.” Continue reading “Keystone Pipeline Decision Looms”