Waxman on Keystone: ‘We Don’t Need this Dirty Oil’

March 4, 2013 - 5:54 PM

Rep. Henry Waxman

Rep. Henry Waxman (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) – the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee – said that America does not need the “dirty oil” that would be imported through the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, which received long-awaited favorable environmental review from the U.S. government.

“We don’t need this dirty oil. To stop climate change and the destructive storms, droughts, floods, and wildfires that we are already experiencing, we should be investing in clean energy, not building a pipeline that will speed the exploitation of Canada’s highly polluting tar sands,” Waxman said in a statement on Friday responding to the government’s analysis.

In its draft environmental review released Friday, the State Department said the construction of the pipeline through much of the Midwest would not have a meaningful impact on climate change.

“[T]here would be no substantive increase in GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions and…there would likely be no substantial change in WCSB [Canadian oil] imports to PADD 3 [Gulf Coast refineries] with or without the proposed Project [Keystone],” State wrote in its environmental report.

In other words, State concluded that building the Keystone XL pipeline would not have any real effect on global warming because even if the U.S. blocked the importation of Canadian oil, that oil would find buyers elsewhere. It also found that even if the pipeline is blocked, the oil would find a different route to Gulf Coast refineries as global oil market conditions changed.

The report comes after years of governmental delays for the project, proposed by the Canadian firm TransCanada and rejected by President Barack Obama in 2011. The company reapplied for a State Department permit in 2012. A federal permit is required because the project crosses state and international boundaries.