Five takeaways from the 2,000-page report on Keystone XL

State Dept. on Keystone XL: If you want to stop this, please protest very loudly


Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Kerri-Ann Jones just wrapped up a briefing for reporters on the latest Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on Keystone XL. Here are a few highlights:

1. This is not a decision:

“This draft SEIS is a technical review of potential environmental impacts,” she said. “This draft is not a decision on presidential permit application.”

In about a week, the department will begin a 45-day public comment period on the draft, she said.

During that time, State will hold another public meeting in Nebraska, where an alternative route has been proposed. Then, after reviewing comments, the department will write a final version of the report. Then the State Department will begin to consider whether the project is in the “National Interest.”

TransCanada will be waiting a few more months for a final decision on whether or not there will be a presidential permit to go ahead with the construction of the cross-border section of the pipeline.

2. State concludes that Keystone XL itself will not drive growth of oil sands production.

Asked about how the project would impact greenhouse gas emissions, Jones said that contrary to what many environmentalist critics of the project have been arguing, “We find that approval or denial of any one transport project really remains unlikey to significantly impact development of oil sands.”

3. This conclusion is not set in stone.

“But let me reiterate this is a draft document and we are anxious to get input from the public,” she said.

4. State did not reach conclusion on environmental soundness of project.

Asked how Keystone XL would impact greenhouse gas emissions, she said: “It’s premature at this point to come down with strong conclusions as we want to make sure we get a lot of comments on this and have a full public debate on this document.”

However, she did make a point that the Canadian government has been stressing in support of the pipeline — that the Alberta bitumen would be replacing heavy crude from other countries: “In some cases the oil is coming in and replacing oil already in US system from other sources so the question is, so how much difference does it make?”

5. This fight is hardly over.

“We’re not going to come out and make conclusions at this point until we engage with public and get some feedback,” she said.



Five takeaways from the 2,000-page report on Keystone XL

  1. Activists were protesting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and while inside, they discovered something shocking: there are actually holes in theKeystone XL pipeline, created by faulty welding.

    But moments after snapping a photo of the light coming into the supposedly airtight pipe, they were arrested and held for 24 days in prison. An hour after their arrest, TransCanada laid that segment of pipeline in the ground without inspecting it.

    Join us in signing this urgent petition to TransCanada to get independent inspection for every single inch of the Keystone XL pipeline to identify and fix any holes in the pipe, before something catastrophic happens.

    • Why aren’t you don’t anything about all that indiscriminate uncontrolled and unregulated natural gas flaring associated with the production of light oil from the Bakken in North Dakota?

      Have you look at photos of North Dakota Bakken from space at night and contrasted them with the Saskatchewan Bakken, where flaring is regulated?

      • When I was in NWT, they were burning off millions in flaring.

          • Sorry, not true.

        • How long ago, and where? Norman Wells?
          Or during the years of Panarctic exploration eons ago?

          • Yup Norman Wells, and in the late 90s

      • Shorter trudeaucommentcomprehensionfailguy:

        You shouldn’t comment on the Keystone pipeline cuz, uh look, something or other somewhere else.

    • But moments after snapping a photo of the light coming into the supposedly airtight pipe

      An impressive achievement, considering that they have not actually started building the pipe yet.

    • Pipe that is an hour away from being laid has already been welded to many many further lengths of pipe. If these people were able to take a photo of light entering a pipe they could not have been more than a couple of pipelengths away from the supposedly bad weld.

      The whole story lacks verisimilitude.

    • Wrong form letter.

      Where is the one exhorting Obama to get off his butt and start allowing the economy to proceed.

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