Progress towards Keystone XL Pipeline

By February 27, 2014Economy, Energy

Yesterday the State Department’s Inspector General gave the all-clear on allegations that the department had violated any conflict-of-interest provisions when it contracted out the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The department had been accused of failing to vet the company fully before handing over the important task of preparing a comprehensive review of the environmental impacts of Keystone. But in fact, the IG found that the department “at times was more rigorous than the guidance,” had demanded of the vetting process.

While Keystone opponents continue to hold out for new reasons to delay and add yet additional layers of environmental review, though the evidence strongly supports approval, it looks as though the barriers to approval are drastically shrinking. This most recent EIS, released on January 31, concluded, just as the three previous studies, that the pipeline does not pose material or even unusual environmental, health or public safety impacts.  With the EIS upheld, it makes no sense to further delay the approval of Keystone as it will create tens of thousands of jobs, drive $3.4 billion in GDP, and will make us more energy secure while minimizing environmental impacts. An approval would also be a strong sign to investors around the world that the U.S. is “open for business.”

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