TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline will not harm the environment, the State Department — in a blow to environmentalists who want to block the project — wrote in a newly-drafted report on the latest proposed route.
“[T]he draft Supplemental EIS concludes that approval or denial of the proposed Project is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands, or on the amount of heavy crude oil refined in the Gulf Coast area,” the State Department draft report says, as Think Progress noted.
“Today’s report again makes clear there is no reason for this critical pipeline to be blocked one more day,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “After four years of needless delays, it is time for President Obama to stand up for middle-class jobs and energy security and approve the Keystone pipeline.”
The report comes to the dismay of environmental activists. “We’re mystified as to how the State Department can acknowledge the negative effects of the Earth’s dirtiest oil on our climate, but at the same time claim that the proposed pipeline will ‘not likely result in significant adverse environmental effects,’” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement. “Whether this failure was willful or accidental, this report is nothing short of malpractice. President Obama said that he’s committed to fighting the climate crisis. If that is true, he should throw the State Department’s report away and reject the dirty and dangerous Keystone XL pipeline.”
The Sierra Club retweeted one “climate hawk” who suggested that the report “is so obviously rigged to produce the desired outcome — makes me think the fix is in on the whole process.” The State Department is opening a 45-day period for comment on the draft report before it writes the final report.
“The analysis has been revised, expanded, and updated to include a comprehensive review of the new route in Nebraska as well as any significant new circumstances or information that is now available on the largely unchanged route through Montana and South Dakota,” the report says.