No Major Objections to Keystone XL Oil Pipeline, State Department Says
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – The State Department on Friday raised no major objections to the Keystone XL oil pipeline and said other options to get the oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries are worse for climate change.
But the latest environmental review stops short of recommending whether the project should be approved. State Department approval of the 1,700-mile pipeline is needed because it crosses a U.S. border.
The lengthy report says Canadian tar sands are likely to be developed, regardless of whether the U.S. approves Keystone XL, which would carry oil from western Canada to refineries in Texas. The pipeline would also travel through Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
The report acknowledges that development of tar sands in Alberta would create greenhouse gases but makes clear that other methods to transport the oil -- including rail, trucks and barges -- also pose a risk to the environment.
The State Department was required to conduct a new environmental analysis after the pipeline's operator, Calgary-based TransCanada, changed the project's route though Nebraska. The Obama administration blocked the project last year because of concerns that the original route would have jeopardized environmentally sensitive land in the Sand Hills region.
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