Thursday, March 6, 2014

Keystone XL will Fly or Fail Depending on Who you Talk to

Depending on who you listen to the Keystone XL is destined to move forward or doomed to die. If approved by US President Barack Obama, the proposed 1,660-mile pipeline will carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada's oil sands to refineries in Texas.

On one side there are those who say it will gain the support of the President as part of the nation's effort to be energy independent. On the other people say that there is no choice but to reject the pipeline.

Pointing to President Obama\s climate action plan, Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president for government affairs at the League of Conservation Voters said it would be inconsistent to move forward. "We're confident that at the end of the day, we're going to like the decision."

Obama has unilaterally signed a number of climate oriented executive orders. He has also proposed a billion-dollar climate resilience fund, passed new environmental standards for vehicles and gasoline. Dan Weiss, director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress, said the secretary "will have no choice but to reject the Keystone XL permit."

More recently Kerry has called climate change, "the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction." However, a final environmental impact analysis by State Department at the end of January appears to leave the door open for approval.

Like the environmental organizations that believe the KXL will be put to rest, industry groups are equally bullish, but in the opposite direction. Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute said that the State Department's review "puts to rest any credible concerns about the pipeline's potential negative impact on the environment."

The two groups are also divided about the State Deparment report itself. Those opposed to the pipeline say that Environmental Resources Management, the consulting firm hired by the State Department to review the potential environmental effects of the Keystone XL pipeline, did all sorts of questionable things.. Those who support the pipeline say there was no serious rule breaking.

The fate of the pipeline varies depending on who you ask.

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