A government study has found that the Keystone XI pipeline project would have little impact on climate change. This conclusion was cheered by supporters of the pipeline and disappointed environmentalists who have opposed the pipeline from the Canadian oil sands through the midwest to Gulf Coast refineries.
The long-awaited report is one of the last steps before a decision by President Barack Obama on the proposed pipeline. The president has been under extreme pressure by environmentalists who are trying to block it.
The State Department released the report. That agency was given the job of assessing the project. The report said the pipeline would not significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands. The report, in other words, concluded that the oil would be extracted anyway with or without the pipeline and probably would be moved by rail. More studies are planned. Under the permit review, created by executive order, Secretary of State John Kerry will make the final decision. He probably will do what the president tells him to do.
The project has been delayed for years and the president certainly has had a major part in the effort to please the environmentalists.
Meanwhile the oil is flowing and will continue to do so if the 1,200-mile pipeline eventually is killed. Most of the oil now from the oil sands in Canada is being shipped by rail. That begs the safety question. Is it safer to use rail than a pipeline?
Construction companies and unions want the pipeline built. It will be a job-creating project. Environmentalists view the project as a symbol of U.S. dependence on fossil fuels and worry that extraction of the oil from the Canadian oil sands will release large amounts of carbon dioxide, exacerbating global warming, according to The Wall Street Journal. The controversy has divided elements of the Democrat Party, making the final decision, like so many, wrapped in politics.
The pipeline should be built. It will hook into a pipeline in northern Missouri. The oil is going to continue to be extracted and having a second transportation link would be favorable in regards to safety, may affect prices in a positive way for consumers eventually, and there doesn’t seem to be an environmental problem.