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Keystone XL Clears Environmental Hurdle, but Outcome Far From Certain

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The Department of State today issued the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would deliver up to 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day from Canada to Nebraska, linking to an existing pipeline that would then make the oil accessible to ports in the Gulf of Mexico.  An initial read of the EIS suggests State is laying the groundwork for the Obama administration to approve the pipeline because the document assesses that the pipeline would not have a significant impact on the climate.  Although we have seen this plenty of times before - an EIS downplays the impacts of a project and signals impending approval - the outcome is far from certain in the case of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The President claimed in his June 2013 climate speech that he would evaluate whether or not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline based on its overall contribution to the climate crisis; he should instead ask whether the Federal government should facilitate a 5.4 bill…