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Oh, the chutzpah.

An environmental impact statement (written by a consulting firm under investigation for lying about their extensive oil-industry ties) has concluded that the Keystone XL pipeline will have zero effect on the environment and climate change.

The ludicrous reasoning behind that assessment?

"Approval or denial of any single project is unlikely to significantly affect the rate of extraction of the oil in the oil sands, or the refining of heavy crude on the U.S. gulf coast."
Which is a very Zen way of doing business. "Hey, pollution happens one way or another. What difference does it make which particular company does it? Whatev. Don't get all bent out of shape, dude."

This despite the obvious fact that actually, without KXL, the ugly tar sands will NOT grow as large or as FAST.

“Long-term, we do need Keystone to be able to grow the volumes in Canada,” as Canadian oilman Steve Laut told the Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto. Laut is president of Canada's largest heavy-oil producer, so he should know what he's talking about.

Just as a reminder, the pipeline will:

- Punch through the American heartland, exposing the breadbasket of American agriculture to devastating oil spills.
- Facilitate the further exploitation of what is already an environmental disaster in Northern Canada.
- Definitely lead toHIGHER gas prices in the Midwest.
- Not even provide gasoline or diesel for the US market - it shunts the oil right across the US to Gulf Coast refineries, many of which are already under contract to export the finished products to South American and China.
- Scientist James Hansen has said the tar sands oil is so bad that if Keystone is approved, "It's basically game over for the climate."

(For more, see Meteor Blades' excellent diary fromearlier today.)

It will make a LOT of money for some people, but is in no way in the over-arching US National Interest.

As Jim Murphy of the National Wildlife Federation said,

“The question going into the State Department’s final environmental impact statement is this: Who will State listen to? Will State reverse course after listening to the Environmental Protection Agency experts who criticized the first draft as 'inadequate' and the second draft as ‘insufficient’ on climate impacts, oil spill risks, and threats to water resources? What about Canada's own government or the oil industry, which has repeatedly said Keystone XL is needed to realize tar sands growth plans that Canada projects will cause its own carbon emissions to soar 38% by 2030? Or will State stand by the oil industry consultants it hired to write that first draft currently being investigated for conflicts of interest?”
The one bright side: This is NOT the final decision. As White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today, "when that document is released, it does not, or will not, represent a decision, but rather another step in the process."

Originally posted to DK GreenRoots on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 12:47 PM PST.

Also republished by EcoJustice and Climate Change SOS.

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