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State Department Likely to Approve KeystoneXL Pipeline

Despite ongoing protests outside of the White House, “sources” tell The Washington Post that a ruling will find that the KeystoneXL pipeline will have a “limited environmental impact,” likely signalling their intention to approve its construction later this year:

The State Department will remove a major roadblock to construction of a massive oil pipeline stretching from Canada to Texas when it releases its final environmental assessment of the project as soon as Friday, according to sources briefed on the process.

The move is critical because it will affirm the agency’s earlier finding that the project will have “limited adverse environmental impacts” during construction and operation, according to sources familiar with the assessment who asked not to be identified because the decision has not been made public.

The article notes that the State Department must still rule later on whether or not the pipeline is in our “national interest” (I’m so glad we have bureaucrats at the State Department deciding this for us). However, the removal of this initial roadblock does make it seem like the pipeline will be approved later this year. And for good reason, it will create thousands of jobs immediately, will support many more in future years, and will allow the United States to increase imports of oil from Canada rather than countries across the world.

It will be interesting to see — if the pipeline is approved — how the environmental movement reacts to the news that yet again, their priorities aren’t taken seriously by President Obama. Many groups have made this a very important issue, as they accurately note that President Obama does not need to consult Congress on this decision. Some, notably James Hansen, have taken to hysterics, suggesting that it is “game over” for a livable climate pending approval of the pipeline.

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