Keystone draft report
"As one would expect, the report is thorough. It notes that some 15,493 acres would be disturbed during construction - an area of about 24 square miles - and that the pipeline would cross over 1,000 bodies of water. It articulates the native species of plants and animals that would be effected by construction. And - of most concern to environmentalists - it considers how the project will affect and be affected by climate change. The project will create 240,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas while being built, and another 3.19 million metric tons each year thereafter - a figure that is less than one percent of the emissions from the country's coal-fired power plants.
Perhaps the most ironic part of the report is its assessment of what damage the pipeline might see at the hands of climate change. After outlining what climate change is expected to bring to the United States (warmer temperatures, more wildfires, etc.), it notes:
The pipeline would be buried deep enough to avoid surface impacts of climate changes (freeze-thaw cycles, fires, and temperature extremes).
This will no doubt be a great relief to activists.
But, as with nearly every part of this hard-fought issue, the report released today isn't a clear cut victory for either side. The Washington Post notes that the report undermines one of the key economic arguments made by pipeline proponents.
[T]he detailed environmental report - which runs close to 2,000 pages long - also questions one of the strongest arguments for the pipeline, by suggesting America can meet its energy needs over the next decade without it. The growth in rail transport of oil from western Canada and the Bakken Formation on the Great Plains and other pipelines, the analysis says, could meet the countryÃ¢ÂÂs energy needs for the next decade, even if Keystone XL never gets built.
The on-going delay in construction of the pipeline has led to a significant over-supply of tar sands oil in Alberta, causing prices to plummet and, according to some analysts, threatening the long-term economic viability of the project. The State Department's analysis above offers another reason for pessimism: even if built, the market may not return.
Critics will also cite the report's determination that construction would create about 42,000 jobs - but only 35 long-term.
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this does not mention that the current US pipeline system is being very heavily used by the North Dakota oil boom.
Here is a link that might be useful: link