The Times News: Senator Crapo: Time to Pass Keystone

By: Sen

To say the Keystone XL pipeline project has been analyzed extensively is an understatement. Over the more than seven years since TransCanada originally applied for a Presidential Permit, the U.S. State Department has conducted extensive studies of this project in coordination with at least 12 federal agencies, along with various state and local agencies and Indian tribes and considered nearly 1.9 million comments. The following are some considerations as Congress debates the project’s merits.

Environmental Protection: Pipeline opponents assert that the project will have detrimental effects on groundwater and air quality, increase greenhouse gas emissions and result in more oil spills.

• According to the State Department, the project is not expected to contribute to the violation of any federal, state or local air quality standards.

• The State Department analyzed possible effects on area aquifers and concluded that potential spills are unlikely to affect the water quality of aquifers along the project route.

• A lower risk of spills through the project were projected compared to alternative shipping methods.

• The department estimated that alternative transport options would result in a 28 percent or higher annual greenhouse gas emissions as compared to the proposed pipeline.

• Ninety-five special mitigation measures, including some “above what is normally required,” that Keystone agreed to incorporate into the project to reduce spill risk were noted…

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