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