U.S. Offers Key Support to Canadian Pipeline
The Obama administration gave a crucial green light on Friday to a proposed 1,711-mile pipeline that would carry heavy oil from Canada across the Great Plains to terminals in Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast, saying the project would provide a secure source of energy without significant damage to the environment.
In reaching its conclusion that the Keystone XL pipeline from the oil sands deposits in Alberta would have minimal environmental impact, the administration dismissed criticism from environmental advocates, who said that extracting the oil would have a devastating impact on the climate and that a leak or rupture in the 36-inch-diameter pipeline could wreak ecological disaster. Opponents also said the project would prolong the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels, threaten sensitive lands and wildlife and further delay development of clean energy sources.
The State Department said in an environmental impact statement that the pipeline’s owner, TransCanada, had reduced the risks of an accident to an acceptable level and that the benefits of importing oil from a friendly neighbor outweighed the potential costs.