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US EPA criticise XL pipelines environmental impact report

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In a letter to the US State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reviewed the environmental impact report in the Keystone XL pipeline, which will bring oilsands from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries, and concluded that it is inadequate.

They have come up with a raft of issues that have not been addressed, notably, they have attacked the project for an incorrect calculation of the greenhouse gases associated with the project’s implementation. They criticise the original report for not including in the estimates the amount of GHGs that will be released during extraction and refining of the oilsands. The EPA claims oilsands production creates 82% more GHGs than standard crude oil.

The report also states that inadequate efforts have been made to assess the potential dangers of a spill from the pipeline. Another major point of concern for the EPA is that not enough has been done to identify potential dangers arising from the project to low income, minority and tribal peoples. This letter will not help TransCanada’s case for the extension of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Environmental groups and US lawmakers have already attacked the project, as it is believed that the refined oilsands that will be transported in the pipeline are undermining American efforts to lower their carbon emissions.

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