NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Keystone XL Won't Worsen Climate Change

February 5, 2014

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline cleared a key hurdle recently with a government study that found its impact on the climate would be minimal, which supporters said meets President Barack Obama's test for allowing the project to be built, says Bloomberg.

  • In its final environmental review, the U.S. State Department found the Canada-U.S. oil pipeline would not greatly increase carbon emissions because the oil sands in Alberta will be developed anyway.
  • The study, while not the final word, is important because Obama has said he wouldn't approve Keystone if it would exacerbate carbon pollution.
  • Now the pipeline's fate comes down to broader questions about whether the project is in the U.S. national interest, weighing matters such as energy needs and diplomatic relations.

TransCanada Corp. (TRP) applied more than five years ago for a permit to build the pipeline through the U.S. heartland, connecting the oil sands with refineries along the coast of Texas and Louisiana.

  • Supporters have said the pipeline would create thousands of construction jobs and boost the nation's energy security.
  • The project would directly and indirectly support about 42,100 jobs during a year or two of construction, and add $3.4 billion to the U.S. economy, the report says.

The report includes an analysis of greenhouse-gas emissions from a barrel of tar sands compared with a barrel of heavy crude from Venezuela or Mexico. Still, the new calculation is essentially unchanged from the March report, which found that Keystone won't significantly contribute to climate change.

Source: Jim Snyder, Mark Drajem and Jim Efstathiou Jr., "Keystone XL Won't Worsen Climate Change, U.S. Says," Bloomberg," January 31, 2014.


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