Keystone report coming Friday

Politico, By Andrew Restuccia, Updated January 31

The State Department is set to release a final environmental analysis of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline on Friday, according to sources, setting the stage for a months-long endgame in one of the Obama administration’s most intractable environmental controversies.

The department has repeatedly concluded — most recently in a draft study in March — that the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline would pose little environmental risk, despite sharp objections from climate activists and some scientists. But some activists took heart from President Barack Obama’s promise in June that the pipeline would be acceptable “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

Bloomberg was reporting Thursday night that the new report “will probably disappoint environmentalists and opponents of the Keystone pipeline, according to people who have been briefed on the draft of the document.” But other sources were unable to confirm that late Thursday night.

The report is not the final word on Keystone — the State Department still must study whether building the pipeline would be in the U.S. national interest, with the final call going to Secretary of State John Kerry and then Obama. But it will be a long-awaited milestone for both pipeline developer TransCanada and the throngs of activists who have elevated the once-obscure pipeline project to a crucial test of the president’s seriousness on climate change.


Keystone Report Said Likely to Disappoint Foes on Climate

Bloomberg, January 30

The U.S. State Department is preparing a report that will probably disappoint environmental groups and opponents of the Keystone pipeline, according to people who have been briefed on the draft of the document.

While the report will deviate from a March draft in some ways to the liking of environmentalists, the changes won’t be as sweeping as they had sought, several people familiar with the government’s deliberations over the review told Bloomberg News. Changes could still be made to the report before its release, which may come tomorrow.

The March report concluded that the Canada-U.S. oil pipeline would have only a minimal impact on carbon emissions, because the oil sands in Alberta will be developed anyway. Several people briefed on the findings, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations, said they expect the final report will track that conclusion.

Also, Fox: Pipeline boost? Keystone XL report may disappoint project’s foes, January 31

One Reply to “Keystone report coming Friday”

  1. State Department releases Keystone XL final environmental impact statement

    Washington Post, By Juliet Eilperin & Steven Mufson, January 31

    The State Department concluded in its final environmental assessment issued Friday that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would not significantly alter global greenhouse gas emissions, but officials cautioned that they were still weighing whether or not the project would meet the test of President Obama’s broader climate strategy.

    The report “is not a decision document,” said Kerri-Ann Jones, assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs. “This document is only one factor that will be coming into the review process for this permit” sought by TransCanada, an energy giant based in Calgary, Alberta.

    […]

    The State Department’s report includes 11 volumes of analysis on how the proposed pipeline would affect heavy-crude extraction in Canada’s oil sands and reaches the same conclusion as its draft report did in March: No single infrastructure project will alter the course of oil development in Alberta.

    The report said that “the proposed Project is unlikely to significantly affect the rate of extraction in oil sands areas (based on expected oil prices, oil-sands supply costs, transport costs, and supply-demand scenarios).”


    Bill McKibbon’s optimistic statement today:

    “The intrusion of reality into this process is really important. The report concluded that in a scenario where we take climate change seriously and regulate climate pollution, this pipeline will indeed have a ‘significant impact’ on climate change. So now we’ll find out if that’s the world Barack Obama and John Kerry want. This report gives President Obama everything he needs in order to block this project. This is the first environmental issue in years to bring Americans into the streets in big numbers, and now they’ll be there in ever greater numbers to make sure the President makes the right call.”


    Also, via Al Jazeera America, we have: Ex-NYC mayor Bloomberg named UN climate change envoy
    and Digby recommends: The untold story of Keystone

    Washington Post Editorial: Keystone report from State Dept. puts common sense back in the pipeline

    ENVIRONMENTALISTS HAVE drawn a line in the sand on the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s the wrong line in the wrong sand, far away from any realistic assessment of the merits — as yet another government analysis has confirmed. It’s past time for President Obama to set aside politics and resolve this bizarre distraction of an issue.

    […]

    If the pipeline wouldn’t heat the planet, it also wouldn’t significantly slash gasoline prices, the State Department found. The real downside to rejecting the project concerns jobs (construction would create at least several thousand), relations with Canada and the message that arbitrary ­decision-making would send to investors and other nations.

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