On Friday, the State Department released its Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on the proposed Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline, making the claim that KXL will not “likely result in significant adverse environmental effects.” The report makes this claim, in part, by relying on the assumption that tar sands will be mined and burned anyway, regardless of whether the US allows the pipeline to facilitate the tar sands’ processing through US ports.
Such reasoning hides from the view the terrible climate-change effects predicted from the processing and burning of the tar sands, one of the dirtiest forms of petroleum. But perhaps even more significant is that the report admits that the US can meet its energy needs over the next decade without relying on tar sands — though it backs the pipeline’s production anyway. Though a thumbs-up from the State Department could encourage the president to green-light the project, it’s not in anyway a done deal. According to the Washington Post:
The president is not likely to make a decision on TransCanada’s permit application until midsummer at the earliest. The analysis will be subject to at least 45 days of public comment once it is published next week in the Federal Register, and the State Department will have to respond to hundreds of thousands of comments before finalizing its environmental impact statement.
We’ll be organizing Green Americans everywhere to contribute to the public comment period as soon as it is announced. Stay tuned.