State Department Again Finds Keystone XL Environmentally Sound

Mar 1, 2013

The State Department released a draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the Keystone XL pipeline and again found that it wouldn’t have a significant impact on the environment.

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, issued this statement:

The Environmental Impact Statement released today is long overdue, and continues to build a strong case supporting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL project has become one of the most closely examined infrastructure projects in our nation’s history—and it continues to pass with flying colors.  Once again, the State Department has confirmed that this project is environmentally sound.

The Keystone XL pipeline will make more Canadian and U.S. oil available to us—oil that will not need to be imported from unfriendly places.  It will create thousands of jobs and generate millions in revenue for state and local governments that badly need them. We’ll be working over the next 45 days to ensure that the voice of the majority of American people, who favor this project, is heard loud and clear by the Obama Administration.

The State Department report states, that if safeguards are followed, there will be “no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed project route.”

It finds that the pipeline’s construction would support 42,100 jobs during the one-to-two-year construction period, which would bring about $2.05 billion in wages, as well as another $3.3 billion in other spending.  It will also provide $2 million annually after construction in additional property taxes for Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

The report also destroys a key talking point by anti-energy groups who argue that stopping the pipeline would stop crude from Canadian oil sands from coming to market. “[A]pproval 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,” it reads. It goes on to state that, “If all pipeline capacity were restricted, oil sands production could decrease by approximately 2 to 4 percent by 2030.” Alternative methods of moving oil would be used.

Support for the Keystone XL pipeline is wide-ranging. Business and labor unions back it, there’s bipartisan support, and the public endorses it. It’s time for President Obama to approve the pipeline so American can reap its job-creating and energy security benefits.

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