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

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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