Report says Keystone pipeline would not up U.S. greenhouse gas emissions

Thu Aug 8, 2013 6:11pm EDT
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By Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON Aug 8 (Reuters) - A new study has backed an earlier finding by the U.S. State Department that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline will have "no material impact" on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, a crucial factor the White House is expected to weigh when it decides whether to approve the project.

The report, produced by consulting and research firm IHS CERA Inc, after consultation with industry, policymakers and non-government organizations, found that without the pipeline, the use of alternate transportation routes would lead to oil sands production growth being higher or unchanged.

The conclusions were similar to those found in March by the State Department in its draft environmental impact review of the proposed 800,000 barrel per day pipeline.

TransCanada Corp's pipeline would transport oil sands crude from Canada's Alberta province and oil from the northern United States to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.

U.S. Senator John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota and a supporter of the pipeline, lauded the conclusions drawn by IHS CERA.

"We have yet another study confirming what experts, including the administration's own State Department, have been saying for years: the Keystone XL pipeline project will have no significant impact on the environment," said Hoeven.

In a June 25 speech focused on climate change, President Barack Obama said the impact the pipeline would have on future carbon emissions would be a major factor in determining whether to approve it.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in April found the State Department review of the environmental impact of the pipeline "insufficient."   Continued...