In the release on Friday of the fifth environmental impact study of the Keystone XL pipeline, partisans on both sides of the issue were quick to point to the key paragraph in that study:
Approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including [the Keystone XL pipeline project], is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands [in Alberta, Canada] or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States.
Those favoring the pipeline saw this as supporting the country’s economy and lessening its dependence upon foreign, less friendly, sources of oil. Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mitchell (R-Ky.) declared:
The Keystone XL Pipeline is the single largest shovel-ready project in America, ready to go, but for years President Obama and his hard-left allies have stalled these jobs in a maze of red tape.
If the president meant what he said this week about a “year of action,” he’ll act now on this important project that won’t cost taxpayers a dime to build but will bring thousands of private-sector jobs to Americans who need them.
Mitchell’s comments were echoed by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.):
I have been incredibly frustrated for more than five years by the repeated and unnecessary delays in moving forward with the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. I am pleased the State Department has confirmed there is no evidence of any negative environmental impact from building this pipeline.
The Keystone pipeline project was initiated by TransCanada in 2008, but was delayed with repeated requests for more analysis. Russ Girling, the president of TransCanada, expressed relief that his company’s project is supported by the facts:
The case for Keystone XL, in our view, pre- and post this report, [is] as strong as ever. No matter how much noise [environmentalists] make or how much misinformation they spread, the facts do support this project....
It will have minimal impact on the environment.
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