State Department: No Good Reason Why Pipeline Can't Be Built

The State Department issued a revised environmental impact statement for the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline on Friday that says there's no conclusive environmental reason it should not be built.

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Greg Palast explains why the Koch brothers want that pipeline built!

One would think if this was not a foregone conclusion and President Obama was serious about weighing the environmental impact of the pipeline, he would have assigned this report to the Environmental Protection Agency and not the State Department. But I suppose we'll finally see how "serious" he is about climate change when he makes his decision. I'm sure he'll keep in mind the evidence collected by activists of bad pipeline welds that make environmental disaster that much more likely (ha ha, just kidding!):

WASHINGTON — The State Department issued a revised environmental impact statement for the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline on Friday that makes no recommendation about whether the project should be built but presents no conclusive environmental reason it should not be.

I suppose those environmental scientists and climate change experts who are freaked out enough by the impact of this pipeline that they chained themselves to the White House fence were consulted about this?

The 2,000-page document also makes no statement on whether the pipeline is in the United States’ economic and energy interests, a determination to be made later this year by President Obama.

But it will certainly add a new element to the already robust climate change and energy debate around the $7 billion proposed project. The new report does not make any policy recommendations, but its conclusion that the environmental and climate change impacts are manageable could provide Mr. Obama political cover if he decides to approve the pipeline.

I suppose this is all part of his new "bipartisan, market-based solution" to climate change. Oh, and his adviser tells us this "can't be a Washington-centric solution", so if you have a Republican governor, sorry about that. And the options that allow the president to make meaningful change without Congress? Might affect the economy, so those things aren't being considered. (Of course, Hurricane Sandy didn't affect the economy at all. Uh huh.) Bold!

Although the study will help guide the president’s decision, it does not make the politics any easier. Environmental advocates and landowners along the route have mounted spirited protests against the project, including a large demonstration in Washington last month. They say they view Keystone as a test of Mr. Obama’s seriousness about addressing global warming.

The president faces equally strong pressure from industry, the Canadian government, most Republicans and some Democrats in Congress, local officials and union leaders, who say the project will create thousands of jobs and provide a secure source of oil that will replace crude from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and other potentially hostile suppliers.

Even though that oil will be exported on the world market, not for the U.S., and incidentally will make the Koch brothers even richer by an estimated $2 billion a year.

The draft report, which updates a 2011 study that essentially gave the project a green light, weighs the impacts of the pipeline, which would carry about 800,000 barrels a day of heavy crude oil from tar sands formations in Alberta across the Great Plains to Gulf Coast refineries.

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