Toronto, ON – The U.S. State Department’s approval of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline is nothing more than a symbolic victory for the oil industry. The White House will soon learn a lesson Canada’s federal government already knows: approving pipelines doesn’t mean they will get built.
Despite the issuance of a Presidential Permit from the State Department, Keystone XL faces numerous legal and procedural obstacles in Nebraska and a court challenge in South Dakota. And it faces massive opposition from an unlikely alliance of landowners, farmers, Native Americans, and environmentalists.
Even if the pipeline could be completed, there will never be enough tar sands oil to fill it. After the approval of the Line 3 and Kinder Morgan pipelines, there is no more room under Alberta’s legislated cap on tar sands emissions for production to fill Keystone XL. Increasing production to that level would also make it next to impossible for Canada to keep its climate commitments.
There is no economic rationale to support the construction of yet another tar sands pipeline. Current tar sands pipeline capacity is underutilized and the price of oil is too low to justify new costly and carbon intensive tar sands projects.
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