State Department Eases Path for Controversial Pipeline

Raises pressure on Obama to approve Keystone XL Pipeline

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An environmental impact report on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline raised few obstacles to the project Friday, raising the political stakes for the Obama administration as it makes a final determination on the controversial pipeline in the months ahead.

Environmental groups have lobbied the White House to kill the proposed pipeline—which would carry oil from Canadian tar sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries—arguing that it would contribute to climate change and warning of the risk of spills. But the State Department assessment said the tar sands oil would be extracted regardless of the pipeline’s approval, and found it to be a safer and more environmentally friendly way to transport the crude oil, compared to rail or tanker transport.

The findings add to pressure on the White House from Republicans to approve the pipeline, which has been tied up in regulatory reviews for years.

“This report from the Obama administration once again confirms that there is no reason for the White House to continue stalling construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. “So, Mr. President, no more stalling—no more excuses. Please pick up that pen you’ve been talking so much about and make this happen.”

The State Department review estimated that the construction of the pipeline would create 42,100 jobs and approximately $2 billion in earnings throughout the United States.

The League of Conservation Voters, one of many green groups that have fiercely opposed the pipeline, said said the Obama administration now faces “a choice between locking us into an unsafe future with more dirty and dangerous fuels or moving toward a clean energy economy that will help combat the climate crisis.”

The Obama administration now must make a final determination of whether the project is in the national interest. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wouldn’t discuss Friday to what extend Obama would be involved in the decision. “I’m not going to make a statement about what the president is going to do based on something that hasn’t happened yet,” Carney said.

The State Department said the final permit evaluation process “now focuses on whether the proposed Project serves the national interest, which involves consideration of many factors: including, energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; foreign policy; and compliance with relevant federal regulations and issues,” the State Department said in a fact sheet. “During this time the Department will consult with, at least, the eight agencies identified in the Executive Order: the Departments of Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency.”

In remarks last year on climate change, Obama said he would only approve the project if it was in the national interest, adding that curbing carbon pollution was in the national interest.

“I do want to be clear: Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest,” Obama said. “And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.  It’s relevant.”

26 comments
RobertNguyen
RobertNguyen

Obama would be very stupid to approve this pipeline - the republicans always hate him anyway, and we independent/dems will definitely throw him under the bus for approving this pipeline...

It's no win for him to approve.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

He will just dither and lie his way out. After five years you should know that. The problem is as time goes by America`s friends and allies realizes the futility of dealing with us and turn to our enemies for friendship and security which is not far fetched.

BorisIII
BorisIII

Obama had to go through a lot of trouble to justify to the liberal green party voters to build the pipe line.  I'll bet he knew what the results of the study would be before the study was started.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

This pipeline is definitely in the national interest.  And it's a much safer, more manageable way to transport oil.

As for it's environmental impact let's be honest.  That oil is going to get burned no matter what.  Denying the construction of a pipeline will not halt carbon emissions or work to reverse global warming.  The environment is going to be protected by emerging new renewable energy technologies and a move by the population toward them.

RichardPederson
RichardPederson

How many spills have there been on the Alaska pipeline.

RichardPederson
RichardPederson

How many spills have there been on the Alaska Pipeline


EdwardWPWW
EdwardWPWW

“Multiculturalism” is a program that is FORCED upon EVERY & ONLY White countries.
“Multiculturalism” is a program to turn EVERY White country into a non-White country.
This IS geNOcide. WHITE geNOcide.
If you are White, and you object to your own geNOcide, you are called a RACIST!
Well guess what, my people, White people, are catching on very quickly to the following two things:
1 – Multiculturalism is a code for White geNOcide.
2 – Anti-racist is a code for anti-White.

Hotpuppy
Hotpuppy

Let's build it.  What we are talking about here is stable cheap energy for decades.... do we want it going to China or the USA?  I personally would rather pay more for Canadian and Mexican and American oil then for Middle Eastern oil.  Let the Europeans deal with the Middle Eastern tyrants and instability for a while.

reallife
reallife

@ReneDemonteverde  he'll say that he was for it all the way but the house republicans kept blocking him, or he'll blame Bush


LOL

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@RichardPederson

It looks like four.  Two of which were contained with environmentally engineered protective structures.

"On the 800-mile-long Trans Alaska Pipeline System itself, there was one incidence of a relatively small spill caused by corrosion, one significant spill when an above-ground section of pipeline was punctured by a bullet, one incidence in which a spill at a pump station was caused by a meter malfunction, causing a standby storage tank to overflow, and an incident in early 2010 where there was a small leak in a pump station. The latter two spills, the tank overflow and pump station piping leak, were kept in a containment system."

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/10/03/what-are-the-risks-of-the-keystone-xl-pipeline-project/lessons-from-alaska-pipeline-regulation-is-key

Not bad for a 35 year old system.

Bullsgt
Bullsgt

@EdwardWPWW  No one cares. Your rants only show your genetic (moronic) limitations.

aztecian
aztecian

@Hotpuppy this is a sad day.  this pipeline will create nothing but destruction and more pollution, allowing idiots to continue to drive around in monster 4by4 trucks as commuters.  this can't happen!

aztecian
aztecian

@reallife @ReneDemonteverdeno, because the pipeline will not make his approval.  we all know this fuel will be used to feed more large suvs and big 4by4 trucks.  this will destroy land and habitats, create more pollution.  it would be a disaster.

Bullsgt
Bullsgt

@aztecian @Hotpuppy  I agree - A sad day! But what choices do we have. The oil/shale will still be mined, still be burned, still be transported no matter if the U.S. uses it or not. The costs will not go down for us/U.S. and spending the money internally will be a benefit for some.  

JayRickyVillarante
JayRickyVillarante

@aztecian @Hotpuppy  you are already buying oil transported via sea. isn't that a more unstable way of transporting oil than through a highly-controlled pipeline?

Bullsgt
Bullsgt

@aztecian Of all the things I'd like to see our government get out of "green" environmental issues aren't one of them. But the big oil money owns them (politicians). The President ran on a no pipeline/environmental platform to get the votes and he's gonna approve (in the best interest of the country) this. 

His party needs this for the upcoming elections (yea, they buy votes on both sides)

aztecian
aztecian

@JayRickyVillarante @aztecian@Hotpuppyi don't believe so.  we need to do as we've been doing.  force people to pay more for fuel through high taxes and scarcity and they'll use less.  in turn green technology will literally grow from the trees.  so what if we are buying middle east oil, we are still using less.