On March 1, 2013, the U.S. State Department released its draft
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") for
the Keystone XL pipeline project. The EIS is a draft technical
review of the potential environmental impacts from the proposed
Keystone XL pipeline. Among the reports major findings, the EIS
reaffirmed that there would be no significant impacts to resources
along the proposed project route. The EIS also noted that Keystone
XL would result in no substantive change in global greenhouse gas
emissions and that it is unlikely to have a substantial impact on
the rate of development of the oil sands, or on the amount of heavy
crude oil refined in the gulf coast area. Finally, the EIS noted
that the denial of a presidential permit would likely result in
actions by other firms in the U.S. and global petroleum markets,
such as use of alternative modes of transport for Western Canadian
and Bakken crude oil.
The EIS will now undergo a public comment period which will last
for 45 days. Following the end of the public comment period, the
U.S. State Department will prepare a final EIS. Following this, a
determination will be made by the U.S. State Department on whether
the proposed Keystone XL project serves the national interest. The
national interest determination will involve consideration of many
factors, including: energy security, environmental, foreign policy,
economic and relevant federal regulations. Even with minimal delays
it appears that this process will not be completed until at least
the middle of this year.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
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