Keystone XL Pipeline study reveals no significant environmental concerns

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., recently called on the U.S. State Department to declare the Keystone XL Pipeline is in the nation's best interest and for President Barack Obama to give final approval to build the long-delayed energy infrastructure project.

A new report released from the State Department concluded that the pipeline will have no significant environmental impact. With the report complete, the fate of the Keystone XL Pipeline now rests with the administration, which must decide whether construction is in the best interest of the nation.

"With 43,000 jobs and a more energy-independent America on the line, this new study underscores what has been said all along," Landrieu said. "It is time to build. This single project will inject billions of dollars into Louisiana and national economies and reduce our dependence on oil from hostile countries."

The environmental study says the pipeline would not contribute to climate change, since the amount of oil removed from Canadian oil sands would remain constant.

"The Keystone XL pipeline will create 20,000 direct jobs and hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs while providing energy from a reliable ally," U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy said. "The President should approve the pipeline as quickly as possible."

"The reality is the Canadians, one of our closest allies, wants to help us become more energy independent," Gov. Bobby Jindal added. "Cheap, affordable domestic energy is an absolute critical component for us reviving our manufacturing based economy.

"This is a no-brainer. This decision should have been made a long time ago. The Canadians are going to go and get this oil Candy. The question is whether they sell it to us or the Chinese. I'd rather it come here to America."

The Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club has joined the national Sierra Club and many other groups, communities, and individuals in opposing construction of the pipeline.

The decision on the Keystone XL pipeline represents a historic opportunity for the US to show leadership on moving away from dependence on dirty fossil fuels toward a clean energy economy, Chapter Chair Haywood Martin said.

Tar sands remain one of the dirtiest and most expensive sources from which to extract petroleum, with serious impacts on the local environment in Canada in addition to the wider climate impacts of their expanded production, Martin said.

"We face a global challenge of reducing carbon emissions enough to slow the process of global warming," Martin said. "Offsetting the emissions from expanded production of the tar sands oil adds tremendously to that challenge."