U.S. State Department Report Expected to Boost Keystone XL Prospects

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The U.S. State Department’s long-awaited final report on the Keystone XL pipeline will likely conclude that the controversial project will not appreciably increase carbon emissions, according to Reuters.

The finding would not be the final word on the project, as the decision whether to allow the pipeline — which will bring oil from Alberta’s tar sands to refineries in Texas — will ultimately be made by President Barack Obama. Bloomberg News also reported that those briefed on the report said it will likely disappoint environmentalists, who have vehemently opposed the project because of the high CO2 emissions associated with tar sands oil.

An earlier draft of the report said the project would have a minimal effect on climate change because Alberta’s oil sands would be developed regardless of the pipeline’s operation. The report has been five years in the making, and President Obama has said he wouldn’t approve Keystone if it would “significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” The next step will be a 90-day review period for other U.S. government agencies to comment on whether the pipeline is in the national interest.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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