Mar 1, 2013 / 6:59 pm
The U.S. State Department says rejecting TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline would neither put the brakes to Alberta's oilsands development nor significantly diminish greenhouse gas emissions, critical findings that could help White House green-light the controversial project.
The pipeline "remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of development of the oilsands or the demand for heavy crude oil in the United States," a State Department official told reporters in a conference call Friday minutes after the voluminous draft report was released to the public.
Canada will develop its lucrative oilsands "with or without the proposed project," the State Department's analysis reads.
The report acknowledges that developing the oilsands would create cause greenhouse gas emissions but added that other methods used to transport the oil, including rail, trucks and barges, release even more.
Government analysts also found that Keystone XL would produce, each year, the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions of 620,000 passenger cars operating for a year. But those emissions would likely occur anyway because of fuels produced and obtained from other sources, the report found.
The analysis also says the $7-billion pipeline, which would carry bitumen from Alberta's carbon-intensive oilsands through six U.S. states to Gulf Coast refineries, would cause "no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed project route."
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