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NEWS: US State Department releases its report on the KXL pipeline

The Washington Post reports this hour, “The State Department released a draft environmental impact assessment of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline Friday afternoon…”

According to the news article, the assessment suggests “that blocking the project would not have a significant impact on either the future development of Canada’s oil sands region or U.S. oil consumption”, but “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 State Department says KXL is not needed to meet US energy needs because of “the growth in rail transport of oil from western Canada and the Bakken Formation on the Great Plains and other pipelines…”

In terms of timelines and next steps, “The analysis will be subject to at least 45 days of public comment once it is published next Friday in the Federal Register, and the State Department will have to respond to hundreds of thousands of comments before finalizing its environmental impact statement. The State Department will also have to conduct a separate analysis of whether the project is in the national interest, a question on which eight other agencies will offer input over 90 days.”

The news report concludes, “The president is not likely to make a final decision on TransCanada’s permit application until mid-summer at the earliest.”

The Council of Canadians has actively opposed the KXL pipeline.

More to come.