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US department under pressure to progress on Keystone XL

31st July 2012

US energy association hits out at delays to the Keystone review, underlining the pipeline’s contribution to domestic energy security

Despite a poll in the Washington Post suggesting a majority of US citizens would like to see the Keystone XL project take place, thousands have spoken out against the project over fears it will exacerbate climate change

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is putting pressure on the US State Department to quickly move forward on its review of its controversial USD 7 billion Keystone XL pipeline, it emerged on Tuesday.

The Keystone pipeline network currently carries oil from Canada into the US but could be upgraded by adding a segment from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast of Texas.

In January, however, the Obama administration temporarily blocked a permit for the expansion, claiming a more thorough review was needed to examine problems it may pose to US air and water quality.

API on Tuesday hit out against the delay, stating: “Further delay of this critical project is unnecessary, and building the pipeline will ensure long-term US energy security, more dependable supplies of Canadian oil and the creation of thousands of American jobs”. 

“There is no reason to further delay this critical jobs and national security project,” said API Refining Manager Cindy Schild.

“With high unemployment and continued instability in the Middle East – approval of this pipeline will help our economy and help put our energy future back into our own hands,”  she added.

A recent Washington Post found that majority of US citizens want Keystone XL to be built. In addition to bringing 830,000 additional barrels of Canadian oil to the market every day, the pipeline would provide a critical outlet for domestic Bakken crude to reach markets, resulting in even more benefit to consumers, according to API.

“The scope of the State Department’s review should be confined to the new 88 mile reroute in Nebraska,” said Schild. “The rest of the project has already received a thorough environmental assessment and a determination by the State Department that there would be ‘no significant impacts’ on the environment. Every day of delay is a delay on getting Americans back to work, and America leading on energy.”

This week, the scientist behind the iconic "hockey stick" graph of rising global temperatures in recent decades spoke out against the project due to its potential link to rising carbon dioxide emissions from Alberta's oilsands industry.

"The bottom line is that if we don't take into account the environmental degradation associated with the climate change impact of some of these decisions then we're not operating on a fair playing field when it comes to our energy choices," Michael Mann said in an interview with local US media.


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