Enviros blast updated review of major oil pipeline project

"We are deeply disappointed to see such an inadequate environmental analysis from the State Department,” Kate Colarulli, associate director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Oil campaign, said in a statement. “Given the destructive nature and far-reaching effects of that these dirty tar sands would have on our economy, farms in the Heartland, and Americans’ health, we expect more. The American people deserve more.”

The groups also said the State Department’s 45-day comment period on the updated analysis is insufficient to get adequate feedback from the public.

“If this round of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline environmental review is as superficial as it seems, the State Department will need to go back to the drawing board — perhaps the third time will be a charm and they will get it right,” Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, international program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

Environmental groups have long raised concerns about the project, pointing to the high levels of greenhouse gas emissions that result from Canadian oil-sands production and the potential for safety problems with the pipeline.

But proponents of Keystone XL say the project would help wean the country off of its dependence on Middle Eastern oil. 

The State Department is heading up the review of the Keystone XL project. Amid concerns by a variety of interest groups as well as the Environmental Protection Agency about the draft analysis, the department announced in March that it would subject the project to additional review.