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Keystone XL: Affairs of State
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Science has spoken on KXL environmental review

Science has spoken on KXL environmental review | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
"TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline (above) has safely delivered more than 400 million barrels of crude oil to American markets since it began operation in July 2010. Keystone XL will provide refiners on the Gulf Coast with a secure and reliable supply of lower-priced Canadian and U.S. crude oil to displace overseas imports. - In the last month, professional activists have continued their repeated attempts to undermine the integrity of the State Depatment and the five-year long environmental review process for Keystone XL. The request for delay is premised on a collection of disparate market analyses issued since March 2013. Ordering a new SEIS on this basis would set a precedent for a never-ending review process. These groups have tried to stall and delay this important process at every step of this review, including releasing a misleading report regarding green house gas emissions related to the project. We have rebutted these claims here."
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Republican lawmakers write lobbyist-inspired letters in support of Keystone XL

Republican lawmakers write lobbyist-inspired letters in support of Keystone XL | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
At least a dozen state and federal Republican lawmakers have written in support of the US$5.3-billion Keystone XL project that would cross six U.S. states. In doing so, they often pointed to the same facts and the used the same language. - The letters commend the State Department for its “thorough and transparent” analysis of the pipeline and urge U.S. officials to approve the project as soon as possible. - 'Keystone XL will be critical to improving American energy security and boosting our economy,' Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio wrote. So did Representative Jackie Walorski of Indiana. And Steve Daines of Montana. And John Carter of Texas. And Phil Gingrey of Georgia. - The wording similarities aren’t coincidental. The letters are all based on correspondence written by the Consumer Energy Alliance, a Washington-based coalition of energy producers and users, including Exxon Mobil Corp. in Irving, Texas, and Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Michigan. - According to the letters, which quote the State Department’s own draft environmental analysis, the project will generate more than $5 billion in economic activity. Most note the 'additional 57 mitigation measures' project sponsor TransCanada Corp. agreed to take to reduce risks of a rupture."
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Canada confident Keystone XL will be approved

Canada confident Keystone XL will be approved | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
Canada's natural resources minister said Tuesday he's confident the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada to Texas will be approved because it meets President Barack Obama's requirement that it not lead to a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions."
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Alberta Premier Redford touts west-east pipeline project in New Brunswick

Alberta Premier Redford touts west-east pipeline project in New Brunswick | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"Alberta Premier Alison Redford stepped up her efforts to promote a proposal to ship oil to the East Coast, saying Canada needs the project to go ahead to improve access to lucrative markets abroad."

 

"SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Alberta Premier Alison Redford stepped up her efforts to promote a proposal to ship oil to the East Coast, saying Canada needs the project to go ahead to improve access to lucrative markets abroad. - Redford spent Friday touring New Brunswick, where she found a receptive ear to a development that could see crude shipped from her province's oilsands as far east as Saint John.

 

She said she wasn't concerned about environmental opposition to the construction of pipelines, an issue that has dogged the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipeline proposals in recent months.

 

'We face these challenges all the time, whether we're talking about a pipeline or shale gas development or building a road or building a hospital,' she said alongside Premier David Alward after delivering a speech to the New Brunswick legislature in Fredericton.

 

'But at the end of the day, the other choices we have to make are about whether or not we're going to be able to continue to fund a public health care system, a public education system, to be able to continue to invest in wonderful universities to educate generations to come and to diversify our economy.'"

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State Department Inspector General Probing Keystone XL Contractor's Conflicts of Interest

State Department Inspector General Probing Keystone XL Contractor's Conflicts of Interest | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
"In yet another investigation into the Obama Administration's activities, the State Department Inspector General is probing the conflicts of interest surrounding the contractor that performed the Keystone XL review."
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Keystone XL double standard: Tale of 2 pipelines

Keystone XL double standard: Tale of 2 pipelines | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
"A casual observer familiar with the Keystone XL saga would think the United States was making it very hard to build any oil sands-related pipelines. But nothing could be farther from the truth. While TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL is mired in seemingly endless studies, a competing project that could carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil sands crude to U.S. refineries every day is sailing through its own regulatory review. Why the double standard? It’s well known that Keystone XL is a cause celebre for environmentalists who see defeating the pipeline as a way to halt the development of Canada’s oil sands in the name of slowing climate change. But what is really hurting Keystone XL is the lack of a serious U.S. greenhouse gas policy and the need to go through a far more stringent regulatory process than other projects."
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Keystone XL Pipeline Tradeoff Is Suggested

Keystone XL Pipeline Tradeoff Is Suggested | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
Should President Obama approve the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, some foes of the project say he ought to address climate policy at the same time.
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Oil, money and politics; EPA snags Keystone XL pipeline

Oil, money and politics; EPA snags Keystone XL pipeline | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"On Monday [April 22, 2013], the Environmental Protection Agency weighed in on the side of the environmentalists, weeks after the State Department came down on the side of the proponents.

 

The EPA sent a letter to high officials at State, blasting the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) it published in March that had reflected positively on the pipeline project.

 

The environmental agency rated the DEIS as EO-2. It stands for "Environmental Objections-Insufficient Information." That could be seen as a C- on the EPA's grading scale.

 

President Obama has promised to decide soon on whether or not to allow the TransCanada oil company to lay the 835 mile long Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska.

 

While he has contemplated the pros and cons, powerful political forces have aligned on both sides of the argument."

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Can enviro-optimists save the movement from itself?

"Bill McKibben, the firebrand leader of the crusade to kill the Keystone XL oil pipeline, is losing the battle for hearts and minds. Perhaps that’s why he sounds so depressed. One of the most environmentally friendly presidents is in the White House, and he still might not kill it off. 'Go past a certain point,' warned Mr. McKibben in The Guardian, 'and we may no longer be able to affect the outcome in ways that will prevent long-term global catastrophe. We’re clearly nearing that limit.' Mr. McKibben knows as well as anyone that Keystone is merely a symbol in a larger battle. Whether or not it’s built will make no difference to the climate. One way or another, the oil will flow. The volume of crude oil transported from Canada by rail has been exploding – a net loss for the environment, by the way, because rail transport is far less safe than pipelines. The McKibbenists face defeat at every turn. The Democrats are deeply split on Keystone, as they are on the desirability of hydrofracking. The Environmental Protection Agency has postponed new laws on carbon dioxide emissions. Worst of all is the growing number of people in the environmental movement itself who flatly disagree on tactics, strategy and goals."
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Keystone XL 'will be safe,' panel told

Keystone XL 'will be safe,' panel told | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
"Debate over the contentious Keystone XL pipeline, which over the last four years has turned into an epic battle between the oil industry and a relatively small number of impassioned Nebraska farmers and ranchers, reached a head here Thursday as activists and businessmen gathered to make their final pleas to U.S. federal government officials. More than 600 people braved a late-season snowstorm to attend the hearings, which focus on the pipeline's environmental impacts. Some drove for several hours through snow-swept country roads, then lined up for an hour or more outside the fairgrounds arena where the hearings were held. More than 200 people testified, many of whom portrayed pipeline owner TransCanada as a 'foreign company invading our land.' Local members of Native American tribes such as the Sioux used the occasion to protest broken treaties and environmental contamination. If constructed, the pipeline will be the largest in the United States and will carry mostly oilsands bitumen from Alberta to Texas refineries. It will also carry some oil from the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota. While businessmen trumpeted the pipeline project as a major job creator and tax boom that will increase American energy security, landowners worried that it would pollute their water resources, damage grasslands and contribute to global warming."
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Pipelines won't solve our problems

Pipelines won't solve our problems | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
For years I was a voice in the wilderness calling for an oil pipeline to bring western oil to Eastern Canada. Now that TransCanada and Enbridge each have plans to build one, I should be pleased. But I'm not.
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Gazette opinion: TransCanada pipeline permit should be issued soon

"As the bureaucratic permitting process grinds on, the latest environmental impact statement confirms there’s no substantial environmental or safety reason to stop the Keystone XL pipeline."
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White House: Keystone XL Pipeline Not A Climate Change Cure | TIME.com

White House: Keystone XL Pipeline Not A Climate Change Cure | TIME.com | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
The White House says no final decision has been made about the fate of the pipeline, but for environmentalists reading the tea leaves, such rhetoric is not a positive sign.
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State Dept.: Keystone XL jobs impact 'negligible'

"The State Department said Monday that President Obama’s jobs claims about the Keystone XL pipeline were consistent with the agency’s ongoing review of the project."
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Keystone XL Will Unleash Tar Sands Expansion Causing Widespread Impacts

Keystone XL Will Unleash Tar Sands Expansion Causing Widespread Impacts | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
"The growth of tar sands production, however, is limited by the availability of pipelines like Keystone. There is overwhelming evidence pointing to how Keystone XL is a driver for the expansion of tar sands and therefore also a major driver to expand global greenhouse gas emissions."
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Nobel Laureates call on Obama and Kerry to reject the Keystone XL pipeline

"Ten recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize have written to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry urging the rejection of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

 

The Laureates, many of whom urged the President to reject the pipeline in 2011, believe that now is the time for leadership by the United States on climate change. The rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline is a critical step in limiting the expansion of the Canadian oil sands—Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution. The oil sands also have devastating impacts on local land, water, air, and communities."

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Canada oil output will double by 2030, if pipelines built

Canada oil output will double by 2030, if pipelines built | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
"Canada’s crude output will more than double to 6.7 million barrels a day by 2030, provided new pipelines such as Keystone XL are built to transport growing oil-sands production, an industry group representing the country’s petroleum producers said."
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Keystone XL's Approval Is A Throw Of The Dice In Much Bigger Gamble

Keystone XL's Approval Is A Throw Of The Dice In Much Bigger Gamble | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
"In an American political system so perfectly polarized by corporate lobbying and petty self-preservation, leadership on Keystone has so far proved to be evasive and dithering -- a perfect combination for the global novelty betting market."
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Keystone XL: Half of Americans don’t know about pipeline

Keystone XL: Half of Americans don’t know about pipeline | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
"As debate continues to rage over whether the U.S. government should greenlight the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a new survey reveals that half of Americans have never even heard of the project."
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EPA Letter to State Department: Keystone XL: Selected Quotes

“As recognized by the DSEIS [State Department's draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement], oil sands crude is significantly more GHG [greenhouse gas] intensive than other crudes, and therefore has potentially large climate impacts. The DSEIS reports that lifecycle GHG emissions from oil sands crude could be 81% greater than emissions from the average crude refined in the U.S. in 2005 on a well-to-tank basis, and 17% greater on a well-to-wheels basis. 1 This difference may be even greater depending on the assumptions made? The incremental emissions from oil sands crude transported by the Project would therefore be 18.7 million metric tons C02-e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per year when compared to an equal amount of U.S. average crudes, based on the Project's full capacity of 830,000 barrels of oil sands crude per day.3”

 

“Although the DSEIS describes the GHG intensity of oil sands crude, the DSEIS nevertheless concludes that regardless of whether the Project permit is approved, projected oil sands production will remain substantially unchanged. This conclusion is based on an analysis of crude oil markets and projections of oil sands crude development, including the potential for other means of transport to bring oil sands crude to market.”

 

“We have learned from the 2010 Enbridge spill of oil sands crude in Michigan that spills of diluted bitumen (dilbit)4 may require different response actions or equipment from response actions for conventional oil spills. These spills can also have different impacts than spills of conventional oil. We recommend that these differences be more fully addressed in the Final EIS, especially as they relate to the fate and transport of the oil and the remediation that will be required. …. In that [Enbridge] spill, oil sands crude sank to the bottom of the Kalamazoo River, mixing with the river bottom's sediment and organic matter, making the oil difficult to find and recover. After almost three years of recovery efforts, EPA recently determined that dredging of bottom sediments will be required to protect public health and welfare and the environment. This determination was based in large part on demonstrations that the oil sands crude associated with the Enbridge spill will not appreciably biodegrade.5”

 

“In addition to prevention measures, we agree with the DSEIS' s suggestion that additional mitigation measures regarding preparedness to reduce the impacts of a spill may be appropriate (DSEIS, p. 4.13-79). For example, we recommend including the following measures as permit conditions:

 

* Requiring that the emergency response plan, as well as contingency plans address submerged oil, as well as floating oil, including in a cold weather response;

* Requiring pre-positioned response assets, including equipment that can address submerged oil;

* Requiring spill drills and exercises that include strategies and equipment deployment to address floating and submerged oil; and

* Requiring that emergency response and oil spill response plans be reviewed by EPA.”

 

“We are concerned, however, that the DSEIS does not provide a detailed analysis of the Keystone Corridor Alternative routes, which would parallel the existing Keystone Pipeline and likely further reduce potential environmental impacts to groundwater resources. By determining that these routes are not reasonable, the DSEIS does not provide an analysis of their potential impacts sufficient to enable a meaningful comparison to the proposed route and other alternatives.”

 

“EPA appreciates TransCanada's commitment to conduct cleanup and restoration and to provide alternative water supplies to affected communities in the event of an oil discharge affecting not only surface waters, but also groundwater. We recommend that these commitments be clearly documented as proposed permit conditions. We believe this would give important assurances to potentially affected communities of TransCanada's responsibilities in the event of an oil discharge that affects either surface or groundwater resources.”

 

“Conclusion

 

Based on our review, we have rated the DSEIS as E0-2 ("EnvironmentalObjections - Insufficient Information") [see rating definitions below]. We look forward to continuing to work”

 

 

“EO--Environmental Objections

The EPA review has identified significant environmental impacts that must be avoided in order to provide adequate protection for the environment. Corrective measures may require substantial changes to the preferred alternative or consideration of some other project alternative (including the no action alternative or a new alternative). EPA intends to work with the lead agency to reduce these impacts.”

 

“Category 2--insufficient Information

The draft EIS does not contain sufficient information for EPA to fully assess environmental impacts that should be avoided in order to fully protect the environment, or the EPA reviewer has identified new reasonably available alternative that are within the spectrum of alternatives analyzed in the draft EIS, which could reduce the environmental impacts of the action. The identified additional information, data, analyses, or discussion should be included in the final EIS.”

 

To read the complete letter, click here: http://tinyurl.com/c5e7ksp

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Canada’s Oil Minister, Unmuzzled

On a visit to New York and Washington, Joe Oliver has a few things to say to opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
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Exxon CEO Tillerson: Politics gets in the way of Keystone XL

Exxon CEO Tillerson: Politics gets in the way of Keystone XL | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO Rex Tillerson called on the federal government Thursday to approve the Keystone XL pipeline at a meeting in Dallas. The oil transmission line from Canada to Texas would provide 'significant benefits to our economy' by creating thousands of construction jobs and other opportunities along the route, Tillerson said. The project has bipartisan support and has undergone three environmental impact studies totaling 10,000 pages and 14 route changes over the years, he said. In March, the State Department issued a statement saying the pipeline would have little impact on climate change. 'Yet, as you know, the decision was made to further delay the project,' Tillerson said. 'The decision to delay construction was simply a matter of putting politics ahead of an already rigorous regulatory permitting process.'

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TransCanada announces pipeline proposal

TransCanada has announced plans for another pipeline that would run from Alberta to New Brunswick. Mike Le Couteur reports.
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Obama Tells Donors of Delicate Politics of Keystone Pipeline

"President Obama, who appears to be leaning toward approval of the pipeline, acknowledged that it is difficult to sell aggressive environmental action to people who are struggling."
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Lawmakers push bills to approve Keystone pipeline

Lawmakers push bills to approve Keystone pipeline | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it
"Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress said Friday they are moving forward with bills introduced this week to pluck the power of approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada's oil sands to Texas, from the hands of the Obama administration. Republican Rep. Lee Terry from Nebraska introduced a bipartisan bill on Friday to approve TransCanada Corp's 800,000 barrels per day Keystone XL pipeline. It is a companion bill to a bipartisan bill introduced on Thursday by Senators John Hoeven, a North Dakota Republican, and Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat. A senior lawmaker said he hopes to have the bill ready for a vote in the full House of Representatives by the end of May. 'Our intent is to bring it to the House floor prior to Memorial Day,' Fred Upton, the chair of the chamber's energy and commerce committee, told reporters. The Memorial Day holiday lands on May 27 this year."
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