State Dept. extends review of Canadian pipeline

The department is extending the mid-September deadline for federal agencies to comment on the project for another 90 days, possibly delaying a final decision until next year. A deadline for the general public to weigh in was July 2.
 
The decision to give agencies more time comes after EPA recently said the State Department’s draft environmental impact statement needed to be revised to take into account concerns that the pipeline could pollute air and water and harm migratory birds and other wildlife.
 
The consequences of “air emissions from refineries and the potential contamination of drinking water supplies from an oil spill have not been fully evaluated,” Cynthia Giles, EPA’s assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance, argued in a July 16 letter to the State Department.
 
She argued the department should revise the study and open it up for more public comment.
 
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) also expressed concern that the department’s analysis was not addressing the effect the pipeline could have on greenhouse gases.
 
In a letter this month to Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders to Clinton: 'This is not the kind of rhetoric that we need' Sekulow vows Bidens, Ukraine will be part of Trump impeachment defense Elizabeth Warren: More 'Hillary' than Hillary MORE, Waxman said the department “failed to analyze the most significant environmental impacts” of the project.
 
“This pipeline is a multi-billion dollar investment to expand our reliance on the dirtiest source of transportation fuel currently available,” Waxman wrote.
 
He said the draft environmental review does not address the project’s global warming effects and that he wants the department to release additional analysis of the project’s lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions prepared by EPA and the Energy Department.

The Keystone XL project would transport upwards of 900,000 barrels per day from Alberta, Canada, nearly 2,000 miles to Gulf Coast refineries, doubling the current imports of tar-sands-based fuel, Waxman wrote.
 
Some reports suggest TransCanada aims to transport up to 1.1 million barrels per day to the United States through the proposed $7 billion expansion of the pipeline. The first phase of the $12 billion project began July 1, with 435,000 barrels of crude oil being shipped into the United States. 
 
Canada is the largest single exporter of oil to the U.S., and Canadian oil sands are the largest single source of oil for the United States.