State Department Says Keystone Would Have Minimal Impact On Oil Sands Production

Business Insider

Note: We originally reported the State department was making its final recommendation to the President. The documents published were instead a draft Environmental Impact Statement.  

Thee department says the Keystone Pipeline would not have much impact on Canadian oil sands development  and poses little threat to local environment concerns.

"It is unlikely that the proposed Project construction would have a substantial impact on the rate of WCSB [Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin] oil sands
development," the report says.

It says not building it would curb carbon emissions by  "0.07m to 0.83m" tons per year.

That's less than the amount a single coal factory pumps into the air each year.

The document goes into granular detail about localized environmental impact, but finds the likelihood of damage from something going wrong as low.

"Since the majority of oil spills are small in volume...smaller spills, if reaching larger lakes, would result in minimal effects on overall water quality, assuming the lake volume is substantially larger than the volume of spilled oil."

The report says the pipeline will impact "relatively low numbers of wetland acres." 

Construction on the American section of the pipeline is already completed or underway. The structure will transport 700,000 of crude daily from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.

This week, the New York Times ' Steven Greenhouse  reported that AFL-CIO actually came out in favor of the project, if indirectly:

Pipelines, the labor leaders said, “are a low carbon emissions method of transporting oil and gas” and “lower the cost of fuel they carry compared with other forms of transportation.”

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