Keystone Clock Ticks on Despite Economic and Environmental Benefits

August 6, 2014

New Research Calculates Carbon Footprint of Keystone Delay 

The Keystone XL clock is now at 2,147 days and counting as the application closes in on six years of review. And as the application continues to languish at the State Department, the economic and energy security benefits denied by the administration’s delay continue to mount. New research from the American Action Forum (AAF) suggests the delay is costing the U.S. more than just jobs and revenue, but there are also environmental costs from the president’s pipeline obstruction. 

According to AAF, the administration’s Keystone delay has the potential to cause up to 7.4 million additional tons of carbon dioxide to be released as the Canadian oil sands make their way to market by other means of transportation, which actually produce a larger carbon footprint.

This research helps quantify the environmental benefits of the pipeline, which reflect the State Department’s own findings. The State Department previously concluded building Keystone XL was the preferred alternative among the transportation options studied, including a no action alternative. In its most recent and final environmental impact statement, the Department confirmed the pipeline will not affect oil sands production, concluding, “[A]pproval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed project, is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States.”

At the president’s climate speech last summer he announced an environmental litmus test for the pipeline’s approval, stating, “Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest. And our national interest will only be served if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.” But the results are in, and overwhelmingly support Keystone’s approval. So what is the president waiting for?  

There is now no question that Keystone XL is in the nation’s best interest for the economy and the environment. But still even after 2,147 days, after all the studies have been completed and the tests met, the president and Harry Reid still can’t say yes to Keystone and its jobs. It’s #TimetoBuild and say #Yes2Energy