Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NRDC questions State Dept.’s early release of DEIS for Keystone XL

WASHINGTON - Senior Attorney Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote on her Blog on April 9 “the State Department (on April 9) made available on its webpage its draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The DEIS is oddly dated one week from now and it seems as though no Federal Register notice has been published. We can only hope that its premature release is a trial balloon and that initial reaction will be considered before the real publication occurs.”
NRDC contends that State should have waited for completion of a new White House guidance on incorporating greenhouse gas emissions impacts into environmental impact statements. And, State should have been taking a hard look at whether Keystone XL is in the national interest before investing in a draft EIS.
Keystone XL is a target of environmental groups because it will double the amount of tar sands oil currently being piped into the United States – of what will be bitumen, not syncrude. Much of the tar sands oil received in the U.S. is already refined to a synthetic crude, more like common oil. Bringing in the raw bitumen in the new pipeline means that the upgrading and refining has to take place in the United States, resulting in increased emissions of greenhouse gases, heavy metals, and other pollutants, say the environmentalists.

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