WASHINGTON Aug 8 A new study has backed an
earlier finding by the U.S. State Department that the proposed
Keystone XL pipeline will have "no material impact" on U.S.
greenhouse gas emissions, a crucial factor the White House is
expected to weigh when it decides whether to approve the
The report, produced by consulting and research firm IHS
CERA Inc, after consultation with industry, policymakers and
non-government organizations, found that without the pipeline,
the use of alternate transportation routes would lead to oil
sands production growth being higher or unchanged.
The conclusions were similar to those found in March by the
State Department in its draft environmental impact review of the
proposed 800,000 barrel per day pipeline.
TransCanada Corp's pipeline would transport oil
sands crude from Canada's Alberta province and oil from the
northern United States to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.
U.S. Senator John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota and
a supporter of the pipeline, lauded the conclusions drawn by IHS
"We have yet another study confirming what experts,
including the administration's own State Department, have been
saying for years: the Keystone XL pipeline project will have no
significant impact on the environment," said Hoeven.
In a June 25 speech focused on climate change, President
Barack Obama said the impact the pipeline would have on future
carbon emissions would be a major factor in determining whether
to approve it.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in April found the
State Department review of the environmental impact of the
According to IHS CERA, Venezuelan heavy crude oil would
likely fill the void for Texas refineries if Keystone was not
approved. The report contends that Venezuelan crude and Alberta
tar sands oil have roughly the same carbon footprint.
"Venezuelan heavy oil - and Venezuela - would be the number
one beneficiary of a negative decision on Keystone," the study
As part of their efforts to persuade the United States to
approve the pipeline, Canadian officials have often cited the
claim that U.S. refiners would turn more to Venezuelan crude oil
if Canadian supplies were less available.