Ignoring Climate Change, State Department Report Concludes Keystone XL Has ‘No Significant Impacts’
By Stephen Lacey @ ThinkProgress, August 26, 2011
The State Department issued its final environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline [Friday], finding that it would bring “no significant impacts” on the environment – even while substantially increasing greenhouse gas emissions and crossing major aquifers and wetlands across the country.
The Environmental Protection Agency criticized the last two environmental reviews from the Department of State, saying they lacked adequate study on almost every major environmental issue associated with building the pipeline. But the DOS worked closely with the EPA on this report.
The 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline would bring over 800,000 barrels of tar sands crude from Alberta to the Gulf Coast each day. The EPA estimates that carbon emissions from tar sands are 80% higher than the average crude refined in the U.S. The process of extracting tar sands oil requires strip mining, causing extensive damage to the boreal forest, creating “dead” water ponds filled with toxic chemicals, and requires four times more water to produce a barrel of tar sands oil than for conventional oil.
It seems the DOS has pulled the same maneuver as the Interior Department — admitting that greenhouse gases are a major issue, but still declaring the project environmentally sound. (Last month, Interior green-lighted Shell’s offshore drilling in the Arctic while ironically outlining the swift impacts of climate change on the region.)
The protests against the pipeline continue at the White House this week, where almost 300 people have been arrested.
read it all at ThinkProgress...