The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the Keystone XL pipeline would not be disastrous for the climate.
Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyFive potential Trump EPA picks Overnight Energy: EPA stands firm on fuel standards EPA decides not to weaken car efficiency rules MORE’s comments on Monday came despite her agency’s position that low oil prices could mean that Keystone will have more of an impact on the climate than previously thought.
“No,” McCarthy responded at an event Politico hosted, “I don't think that any one issue is a disaster for the climate.”
Keystone's climate impact was the focus of a letter the EPA sent in February to the State Department, which is evaluating whether to approve the Canada-to-Gulf Coast oil pipeline, which would carry oil sands from Alberta.
The EPA said that with oil prices so low, Keystone might spur more oil sands production than would happen without the pipeline.
McCarthy said that the EPA’s comments only state the fact oil sands and their refining process emit more greenhouse gases than other petroleum products and that State should examine the impact of low oil prices.
“It was simply the normal way in which EPA comments, which is to take a look at the analysis … and to make sure that people are looking at the changes in oil prices and what that means,” she said.
McCarthy’s assessment on Keystone’s climate impacts are in contrast to what environmental groups say.
The League of Conservation Voters, reacting to the EPA’s February comments on Keystone, say they “confirm that Keystone XL fails the president’s climate test. From the risk of spills to a dramatic increase in greenhouse emissions, it’s clear that tar sands oil should stay in the ground.”