UPDATE 1-TransCanada opposes U.S. EPA on Keystone carbon footprint

Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:59am EST
 
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Feb 11 (Reuters) - TransCanada Corp rejected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's inference that its Keystone XL pipeline would help increase the rate of oil sands production even at lower oil prices, and raise greenhouse gas emissions.

The U.S. State Department, which is evaluating the pipeline, is expected to make a recommendation to President Barack Obama, after reviewing comments from the EPA and other federal agencies.

The State Department's environmental review of Keystone XL in January 2014 found that the pipeline would not affect the rate of oil sands development or significantly raise emissions because rail cars would still carry oil to U.S. markets.

"TransCanada disagrees with any suggestion that the Department of State has not fully and completely assessed the environmental impacts of Keystone XL," Chief Executive Russ Girling said in a statement on Wednesday.

TransCanada would help the State Department in examining the emmissions-related issues raised by the EPA if further review was required, Girling said.

Obama has said the project should not be approved if it substantially raises emissions linked to climate change.

Transcanada has been awaiting a decision on Keystone XL for more than six years. The pipeline will ship 830,000 barrels per day of crude, mostly from Alberta's oil sands to refineries and ports on the Gulf Coast. (Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)