The proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada has cleared a significant hurdle after the State Department raised no major environmental objections to its construction.
The department's report was released Friday. It says Canadian tar sands are likely to be developed regardless of U.S. action on the pipeline and other options to get the oil from western Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries are worse for the environment.
The latest environmental review stops short of recommending approval of the project.
But the report gives the Obama administration political cover if it chooses to endorse the pipeline in spite of opposition from many Democrats and environmental groups. State Department approval of the project is needed because it crosses a U.S. border. A decision is not expected before the summer.
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) issued the following statement:
“The State Department has once again confirmed the Keystone pipeline would be safe and in the best interest of our nation. Protecting the natural resources of Nebraska and our nation has always been a key factor in considering this project. With today’s technology, we can transport energy safely while protecting our environment."
“With the environmental review now complete, it’s time to move forward with this project which would improve our energy security, create jobs, and spur economic growth."
“I encourage the President to follow the science and facts, and approve this project.”
Congressman Lee Terry (R-NE) made the following statement:
“After over five years, President Obama is out of excuses. There is no question that moving forward with Keystone XL is in our 'national interest.' This is an opportunity for the President to do more than just talk about 'an all-of-the-above energy strategy'. It's an opportunity for him to show leadership by using his pen to take meaningful action that is long over-due. It would be a disgrace to allow extreme ideologues to obstruct this critical project that will create jobs and help us down the path of energy security.”